|Southern cousins and their spouses attended my talk and book signing.|
Another 'chance' outcome that was greatly advantageous to me! I contacted my friends at the Atlanta OCA (Organization of Chinese Americans) to see if they might be looking for a speaker for some upcoming event. They were not in need of a speaker anytime soon, but because I have 'performed' so well a few years ago at an OCA event, Teresa Chao of OCA recommended me to Tricia Sung, an organizer for the Friends of the National Archives in Morrow, just outside of Atlanta. The organization was planning its first event in conjunction with Asian Pacific Islander Month in May, 2010, and felt that my work on Chinese Americans was well-suited for this event. Over 100 people attended and two Congressmen were also invited to speak, California's Mike Honda, House of Representatives and Joseph Cao, House of Representatives for Louisiana. I framed my keynote address in terms of how the National Archives helped me track down the history of my parents' immigration to the United States in the 1920s. The topic later attracted the attention of Jack Peng, the editor of a small journal, Chinese American Forum, that publishes a blend of Chinese American social issues, political concerns, history, and culture. I was invited to submit a paper based on my talk, "Searching for Needles in Haystacks," which aptly depicts the task one faces when dealing with the daunting tasks of finding records from archives especially when many Chinese names are misspelled, reverse, or fictitious. A few months later, I received another dividend because based on my work on the Delta Chinese in Mississippi, I was invited to write a paper on the historic Gong Lum v. Rice (1927) case concerning school segregation against Chinese in Mississippi.