Wednesday 16th August 2017,

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LA Times: Exhibition Honors Early Chinese American Immigrant Rights Activist

posted by Randall

You Chung Hong

Born in 1898, Chinese American pioneer You Chung Hong argued some 7,300 cases on behalf of Chinese immigrants seeking to enter the United States.

Hong studied law at USC and became the first Chinese American to pass the California State Bar. Another was admitted a few years earlier without taking the written exam.YC Hong business flyer

A new exhibition based on his collections of papers, photographs and letters is at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino near Los Angeles through March 21, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Hong is also credited with building Los Angeles’ Chinatown.

“Building the new Chinatown to include other people, not just Chinese, was part of the goal,” said exhibition curator Li Wei Yang. “Hong’s life was about inclusion — bringing people past the national border and having Chinese become part of the mainstream American society.”

YC Hong with Ronald Reagan in the 1960s

YC Hong with Ronald Reagan in the 1960s

YC Hong 1950

YC Hong 1950

Hong also fought to loosen immigration laws to allow Chinese men to bring over their wives and children.

YC Hong Family Christmas

YC Hong Family Christmas 1960s

Perhaps appealing to the racists of his era, Hong “pointed out that `the [Chinese] men in America need to be married, and interracial marriage is not something anyone wants.’ He had to appeal to [elected officials’] racism to urge them to keep this channel open,” said Yang.

You can read about Hong’s remarkable life and advocacy work in the Los Angeles Times.

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