Chinese Laundries: Tickets To Survival On Gold Mountain

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9781430329794: Chinese Laundries: Tickets To Survival On Gold Mountain
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A social history of the role of the Chinese laundry on the survival of early Chinese immigrants in the U.S.during the Chinese Exclusion law period, 1882-1943, and in Canada during the years of the Head Tax, 1885-1923, and exclusion law, 1923-1947. Why and how Chinese got into the laundry business and how they had to fight discriminatory laws and competition from white-owned laundries to survive. Description of their lives, work demands, and living conditions. Reflections by a sample of children who grew up living in the backs of their laundries provide vivid first-person glimpses of the difficult lives of Chinese laundrymen and their families.

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From the Author:

I grew up, literally, in a Chinese laundry that my immigrant parents owned and operated for about 25 years in Macon, Georgia, where we were the only Chinese in the whole city. As a child, I knew nothing about the history of Chinese laundries, and the fact that it was at one time the primary form of self-employment for Chinese immigrants. Poverty, lack of English speaking ability, as well as societal racial prejudices, blocked them from better work opportunities. All of the few Chinese that I met or heard my parents talk about in other parts of the South also operated laundries so it is hardly surprising that I grew up thinking all Chinese were capable of doing was to run laundries, a difficult and low-status occupation. Hours were long, the work was physically taxing, and the whole family contributed to the work.

Many years later when I retired from a long career as a professor of psychology, I wrote a memoir, "Southern Fried Rice: Life in A Chinese Laundry in the Deep South," about the lives of our family in Georgia (and our later move to San Francisco).

In the course of researching background material for the memoir, I became aware, for the first time, of the important historical factors that led Chinese to be so prevalent in running laundries, a business that was critical in the economic survival of Chinese all across the U. S. (and Canada) for several generations. This discovery was the impetus for this book, "Chinese Laundries: Tickets to Survival on Gold Mountain." I wanted to pay tribute to the thousands of Chinese immigrants and their families who toiled for decades in their laundries to provide better futures for their children.

About the Author:

Born in Macon, Georgia, where his immigrant parents from China, the only Chinese in the city, operated a laundry from the late 1920s to early 1950s. After moving to California, he majored in psychology at U. C. Berkeley and went on to earn a Ph.D. at Northwestern University. Author of several academic textbooks, including a second edition in 2010 of Alcohol, Other Drugs, and Behavior,  he is Professor of Psychology Emeritus at California State University, Long Beach.
Following retirement, he developed a new 'career' studying aspects of Chinese American history that involved publication of 4 books, Southern Fried Rice: Life in A Chinese Laundry in the Deep South in 2005 followed by Chinese Laundries: Tickets to Survival on Gold Mountain in 2007 and Chopsticks in the Land of Cotton: Lives of Mississippi Delta Chinese Grocers in 2008 and in 2010, Sweet and Sour: Life in Chinese Family Restaurants.

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Book Description Paperback. Condition: New. 258 pages. A social history of the role of the Chinese laundry on the survival of early Chinese immigrants in the U. S. during the Chinese Exclusion law period, 1882-1943, and in Canada during the years of the Head Tax, 1885-1923, and exclusion law, 1923-1947. Why and how Chinese got into the laundry business and how they had to fight discriminatory laws and competition from white-owned laundries to survive. Description of their lives, work demands, and living conditions. Reflections by a sample of children who grew up living in the backs of their laundries provide vivid first-person glimpses of the difficult lives of Chinese laundrymen and their families. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9781430329794

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