HomeAsian Americans’The Other Ones’ wonder why there are so many Chinese restaurants

’The Other Ones’ wonder why there are so many Chinese restaurants

by Martin and Rich Lee

Why are there so many Chinese restaurants even in small rural towns? It’s been over 80 years since the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act which was the first major legislation to bar a specific national group from immigration to the United States. But this xenophobic and racist law set in motion creative and resilient efforts by Chinese immigrants to resist and overcome these barriers. The establishment of Chinese restaurants in the early 1900s served as a way for Chinese immigration to continue, albeit slowly, through legal loopholes for merchants to bring restaurant workers from China. Of course, many of these workers were family members allowing for family reunification.  So yes, there are a lot of Chinese restaurants and thank goodness!

Martin and Rich Lee are second generation Korean American brothers. Martin is a retired elementary school teacher and the illustrator of the strip. Rich is a professor of psychology in Asian American studies at the University of Minnesota and writes the content.

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