Chinese American Women: A History of Resilience and Resistance. New web exhibit. National Women's History Museum. Curated by Jean Pfaelzer
A new cyber exhibit at the National Women's History Museum titled "Chinese American Women: A History of Resilience and Resistance," curated by Jean Pfaelzer, UD professor of English, Women's Studies and East Asian Studies and author of Driven Out: the Forgotten War Against Chinese Americans,
The exhibit with newly discovered photographs examines Chinese American women during their first 100 years, revealing the strength and resilience that characterized these women as they adjusted to their new world and helped to make the United States the ethnically diverse society it is today.
The exhibit spans the first Chinese women that arrived in the American West, who were kidnapped and enslaved and sold in "dens" to work as prostitutes, to the effects of foot binding on women and its subsequent abolition, to the brave women who fought for their freedom, like Yoke Leen, who marched into a courthouse in 1910 to document herself as a free woman so no man could lay claim to her, and Lonnie Yee Young, who built ships during World War II and became a "Rosie the Riveter" figure.
"This exhibit puts Chinese American women at the center of the history of migration, labor and civil rights,” Pfaelzer said. “From the moment of leaving China, to immigration legislation, to home life to working life, from violence to violation, from resistance to resilience, this is a history whose time has come.”
Ginny Gong, president of the Organization of Chinese Americans, said, "While stepping forward does not mean breaking from traditions, it is time to step out of the shadows and be our own, proud, free voices of Asian American women."
"The exhibit portrays how Chinese American women demonstrated great courage in breaking down barriers to live a better life,” Joan Wages, executive director of the National Women's History Museum, said.
Doris Weatherford, a recognized expert and acclaimed author in the field of women's history and an adjunct professor at the University of South Florida, served as a consultant on the project. The exhibit was researched by National Women's History Museum interns Shi Chen and Claire Love and designed by Nikki Emser.
Jean Pfaelzer, University of Delaware, English, E.Asian Studies, Women's Studies firstname.lastname@example.org
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