HomeBad Ass AsiansBeyond Chron: The Forbidden City of San Francisco Chinatown

Beyond Chron: The Forbidden City of San Francisco Chinatown

Forbidden City-Golden Age of Chinese NightclubsSan Francisco’s Chinatown was a thriving entertainment district with a large concentration of Chinese owned nightclubs between 1937 and 1964.
Beyond Chron recently interviewed Trina Robbins, the author of Forbidden City, the Golden Age of Chinese Nightclubs.
Robbins met many of the dancers from those clubs at a dance class and became fascinated with the topic. Soon she began interviewing as many nightclub owners and performers as she could before publishing her book.
She said many entertainers had to run away from home and their disapproving parents to pursue their dream of becoming dancers.
“In those days, there was still an enormous amount of racism,” said Robbins. “You look at movies and TV today, and there’s still not a whole lot of roles for Asians. But in those days, there was nothing unless you were going to play Charlie Chan, and that character was actually played by a white guy, Warner Olund.”
You can read her entire interview in Beyond Chron.


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