By Shelley Sang-Hee Lee

In Claiming the Oriental Gateway, Shelley Sang-Hee Lee explores some of the intersections of urbanization, ethnic id, and internationalism within the adventure of eastern americans in early twentieth-century Seattle. She examines the improvement and self-image of the town via documenting how U.S. enlargement, Asian trans-Pacific migration, and internationalism have been manifested locallyoand how those forces affected citizens' relationships with each other and their atmosphere. Lee info the numerous function jap Americansoboth immigrants and U.S. born citizensoplayed within the social and civic lifetime of the town as a way of changing into American. Seattle embraced the assumption of cosmopolitanism and boosted its function as a cultural and advertisement "Gateway to the Orient" even as it constrained the ways that Asian americans may possibly perform the general public faculties, neighborhood paintings creation, civic celebrations, and activities. She additionally seems at how Japan inspired the thought of the "gateway" in its participation within the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition and foreign Potlach. Claiming the Oriental Gateway therefore deals an illuminating examine of the "Pacific period" and trans-Pacific family within the first 4 many years of the 20 th century.

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Additional info for Claiming the Oriental Gateway: Prewar Seattle and Japanese America (Asian American History & Culture)

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69 Such an encounter recalls the conditions of Jim Crow America, which must have been especially disconcerting for newly arrived blacks from the South. Historically, African Americans came to Puget Sound and the American West along with others drawn by gold, jobs, and land. Their presence in Seattle dates to the 1850s, although their numbers were minuscule until the 1910s, and, even during this decade, their growth was modest compared to the rapid expansion occurring throughout the city. S. Census counted just 406 blacks in Seattle, and by 1910, there were 2,296.

Eventually the family did well enough to move up to King and Eighteenth into a previously all-white neighborhood that was gradually transforming into an enclave for upwardly mobile Asians and other minorities. Initially, the Otas’ neighbors were Italians, but this family soon left and was replaced by a Chinese family. ” I said, “So what? ” So my mother and I used to argue, and then they were about to sell their house and she said, she said she’d sell to anybody except a black or Jew. So I said to her, “Mama, you know, you’re a Christian.

Census counted just 406 blacks in Seattle, and by 1910, there were 2,296. 70 Historian Quintard Taylor calls the West a “racial frontier” for African Americans. Indeed, black homesteaders who went to such places as Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas during the 1860s and 1870s saw the West as a promised land where they could escape the harsh racial orders of the Southeast and Northeast. 71 As did Chinese, Japanese, and Jews, blacks initially settled south of Yesler. One attraction of this area was the available work as porters, cooks, or waiters as well as the low rents and proximity to the railroad station.

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