Exclusion as the American Experience: The Chinese Exclusion Act
For the 60 years, from 1882–1943, long before Muslim travel bans and family separations at the U.S.–Mexico border, the Chinese Exclusion Act prohibited Chinese laborers from entering the United States and denied persons of Chinese descent a path to U.S. citizenship. The act grew out of political pressure from labor unions and U.S. cities to which large numbers of immigrants had moved in the decades following the California Gold Rush. The act’s effects on the Chinese immigrant communities across the United States were lasting and dramatic.
Join us for a screening of a 49-minute version of The Chinese Exclusion Act, a feature-length documentary made by award-winning documentary filmmakers Ric Burns and Li-Shin Yu and co-produced by the Center for Asian American Media in association with the New-York Historical Society and shown on the acclaimed PBS series “American Experience.”
Bay Area entrepreneur and cultural advocate David Lei, who provided much of the inspiration for the documentary, will be present to discuss his perspective and answer questions about the Exclusion Act’s relevance to the immigration debate today.
MLF: Asia Pacific Affairs
In association with the Center for Asian American Media
The Commonwealth Club
110 The Embarcadero
Max Thelen Boardroom
San Francisco, 94105