4/29/12

Update on the National Seminar, U. S. China People's Friendship Association, Washington, D. C. April 26-27

     This 2 day seminar under the leadership of National President Diana Greer was a great success with high quality presentations on a diverse range of topics relevant to the promotion of better understanding, cooperation, and respect between the peoples of the U. S. and China.
     My presentation on Chinese American history was well-received and regarded as valuable information that was relevant to the mission of USCPFA.  This meeting helped me establish some good network contacts with a broader population than I've reached thus far.
      A highlight of the event was the opportunity to visit and tour the spectacular new Chinese Embassy at their reception for USCPFA.  I presented Ambassador Zhang Yesui (top right) with a set of Yin and Yang Books, which he graciously accepted,  expressing the view that it is important that China know more about the history of Chinese in America. Without the persuasive and enthusiastic support of  Peggy Roney, President of the Southern Region (bottom left), my advocate who nominated me as a seminar speaker, I would have missed out on this wonderful seminar.

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4/23/12

U.S. China People's Friendship Association Seminar, Washington, D. C. April 26-27

      I'm looking forward to speaking at the U. S. China People's Friendship National Seminar this week in Washington, D. C.  I get to speak early on the first day, so I can then enjoy lunch and the rest of the activities on the 2 day event. The organization has nicely arranged some wonderful touristy and cultural events for the participants.
    The theme of my talk will be "How U.S. China Relations Affect the Lives of Chinese in America" and I'll use my 4 books as illustrative evidence.

Day 1  Schedule

9:00 Official Representative:  The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
9:30 Zhou Wenzhong:  Vice President of China-U.S. People’s Friendship Association, Beijing
10:00 Marcia Brown:  Community Global Initiative and Students—Angel Gaston and Taylor Middleton                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
10:30 John Jung, Ph.D., Author/Lecturer from California
11:30   Lunch in Lounge Area near Lobby
1:00 Board bus for VIP Tour at Freer Gallery
1:30  VIP Tour of Highlights of Chinese Art in Freer Gallery and view Sackler Gallery on your own
3:30 Visit Martin Luther King monument with report by Mary Warpeha
4:15 Return to Washington Plaza Hotel to get ready for Embassy Reception (Dress in business attire)
5:00 Board bus for Chinese Embassy
5:30 Arrive at Embassy (must be prompt)
6:00 Reception at The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the U.S.A.
3505 International Place, N.W., Washington,  D.C.
7:30 Board bus for Illumination Tour of the city and monuments


4/12/12

The Power of Google

       A few days ago I posted about the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California's annual observance  of Ching Ming in Los Angeles followed by a visit to the gravesite of  Miss Donaldina Cameron, the San Francisco missionary who rescued Chinese girls enslaved by prostitution rings. Thanks to Google, it found its way to a talented writer of children's fiction, Robert A. Black. He contacted me to tell me about the relevance of the information in my post to his forthcoming book, Unswept Graves, which is a sort of "science fiction" story involving time travel about a young Chinese girl kidnapped into servitude and her rescue to the protection of a mission home back in the 1890s. It's great to hear of his book and hope that it will help inform a wide range of middle school aged children about the historical realities of the past.

4/7/12

Ching Ming Remembrance in Los Angeles Included Visit to Miss Donaldina Cameron's Grave

    Ching-Ming, the annual spring Chinese 'sweeping of the graves' ritual remembrance of ancestors was held today at Evergreen Cemetery in East Los Angeles with a ceremony sponsored by the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California. It was an especially significant event now that the unearthed bones of about 100 unidentified Chinese immigrants from over a century ago have been given a respectful resting place in the cemetery after protests by the Chinese community when these remains were initially 'discarded'  when they were discovered during the excavation for a light rail line.
     Following the ceremony during which Daoist monks performed ritual chants, there was a Chinese lunch with roast pig, dim sum, and jook. Finally, we gathered at the nearby grave of Donaldina Cameron, a renown Presbyterian missionary who devoted her life to rescuing and helping young Chinese women who were essentially sold into slavery and prostitution in Chinatown during the early decades of the last century. Although this native of New Zealand served the Chinese of San Francisco, she is buried in Los Angeles where her relatives resided. We wanted to pay respects to her for the substantial contributions she made to Chinese women.
Donaldina Cameron (center back) in front of the Julia Morgan designed building at  920 Sacramento St., San Francisco with  Chinese girls that she rescued or who received daycare.

    Below is the 1920 Census Record listing Miss Cameron and her staff (in green) at the top of the sheet.  Note the ages of the girls, highlighted in the green column with some as young as 16.



       The census sheet below is also for 920 Sacramento and contains names of much younger girls, possibly children left for daycare by working parents.  The listing does not cover all the women that received shelter at Cameron House over many years, only the one residing there on the day the 1920 Census taker was there.


         The visit to her gravesite was meaningful to me in a personal way as I spent many hours at 920 Sacramento St., named Cameron House in her honor, during my high school and college years in the Bay area during the 1950s and made many friends among the Chinese youth who frequented this Chinatown service center.   



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