Chinese Historical Society of Southern Calif. 2007 Talk on Southern Fried Rice

This presentation was extra special because two sons of my Uncle Joe who had a laundry in Atlanta, Henry and James, their wives Ronnie and Helen, attended as well as Jessica, the daughter of Henry and Ronnie. In addition, a long time friend, Ron Gallimore, who attended graduate school with me at Northwestern, and became a distinguished professor at UCLA also came with his wife, Sharon, and one of his research assistants.

The audience was attentive and absorbed in the story behind Southern Fried Rice. Many audience members, about half by show of hands, had been part of a laundry family or had had relatives in this occupation. Those who had grown up in cultural isolation in other parts of the U. S. than the Deep South readily identified with one of the major themes of the presentation, the difficult task of ethnic identity formation where there are very few or no other Chinese in the region.

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