UC Santa Cruz professor emerita of American Studies Judy Yung is coming to Richmond on May 16 to discuss the experiences of Chinese American women during World War II.
Her talk begins at 3 p.m. at the visitor education center of Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park.
The discussion will cover, in part, how Chinese American women during WWII enlisted in the armed services while others left Chinatown for the first time to work in defense factories, the private sector, and took part in fundraising, propaganda work, civil defense, and Red Cross work on the home front.
At the time, Chinese nationalism and American patriotism occurred simultaneously. What was a four-year world war to most Americans was a 14-year affair for the Chinese, beginning with the Japanese attack on China in 1931 and ending with VJ Day in 1945.
“The war years thus provided Chinese American women with unprecedented opportunities to improve their socioeconomic status, broaden their public role, and fall in step with Chinese men and fellow Americans during a time of national crisis,” according to a museum statement.
Yung, a second-generation Chinese American who was born and raised in San Francisco’s Chinatown, received her Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley and has penned numerous books about Chinese American and women’s history, including: Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island; Unbound Feet: A Social History of Chinese Women in San Francisco; and most recently, Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America.
Those interested in attending should call (510) 232-5050 ext. 0 and leave a message with your name, phone number and be sure to specify the date of the program you would like to attend. Space is limited and reservations are required.