Fong See: Paved the Way For Chinese-Americans

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During the late 19th and early 20th centuries Chinese men began to flock to America. Following stories of the untold wealth and riches that awaited them on the “Gold Mountain” and escaping the stagnant economic position they experienced in China, these sojourners made their way to the United States by any means possible. Often taking money from supportive family members promising them that upon their homecoming they would repay their debts and more with their newly acquired fortunes was the only way to realize their oversea dreams. These men would make the arduous journey by boat to an unfamiliar new land. Upon arriving to their new home it was not riches that they found but a welcome of hostility and conflict consisting of “prejudice, economic discrimination, political disenfranchisement, physical violence, immigration exclusion, social segregation, and incarceration.” Once in the cities where they were to live, these Chinese men were segregated to enclave communities, often known as “Chinatowns”. Despite the hostilities of the Caucasian majority population many people in these enclaves flourished, opening their own businesses and eventually bringing their families to live with them, or simply making new families. This is very similar to the life of Fong See in “On Gold Mountain”. When he came to find his father, he ended up finding an environment in which his natural entrepreneurial ability would let him realize the life of success many men came to find. Fong See’s experience on “Gold Mountain”, however, was different from the daily toil of the “coolie” labour class, as well as the Chinese merchant class of the time as he strived to live by Chinese custom in an untraditional setting. Fong See started and maintained a ... ... middle of paper ... ...2 (2009): 410-427. Daniels, Roger. Asian America: Chinese and Japanese in the United States since 1850. (Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1988). Fu, Victoria R and Chin-Yau Cindy Lin. "A Comparison of Child-Rearing Practices among Chinese, Immigrant Chinese, and Caucasian- American Parents." Child Development 61, no. 02 (1990): 429-433. Lyman, Stanford M. "Marriage and The Family Among Chinese Immigrants to America, 1850-1960." The Atlanta University Review of Race and Culture 29, no. 04 (1968): 321-330. Moyer, Bill. “Becoming American: The Chinese Experience.” Interview with Tommy Wong. (Public Affairs Television, 2003). See, Lisa. On Gold Mountain. (New York: Vintage Books, 1996). Wong, Morrison G. “Chinese Americans” in Asian Americans: Contemporary Trends and Issues. (Thousand Oaks. Pine Forge Press. 2005), 110-145.

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