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Clips from A Chinatown Banquet

 

Early Chinatown
"Early Chinatown" contains the historical background of Chinese in North Adams, working for the Sampson shoe factory and setting up tents in Pingan Alley.  This video also details the rigorous interrogations and screening process of immigrating into America. 
 
Click here to see the "Early Chinatown" video
Family Associations
Family associations were created to provide aid to new families (find a place to stay, a job, letter writing, translation services), to bring culture and hierarchy on how to solve issues.  This video also narrates the influence of family association in finding a job and talks about the current situation of family associations.
 
   Click here to see the "Family Associations" video
The Chinese Exclusion Act
This video describes how the historical segregation of the Chinese contributed to the formation of Chinatown and illustrates the bachelor society that existed.
 
 Click here to see the "Chinese Exclusion Act" video
Bootlegging
This testimonial speaks to the bootlegging culture during the Depression and how many Chinese families supported themselves through making whisky. 
 
Click here to see the "Bootlegging" video
Chinatown's Social Security System
Chinatown's social security system illustrates the gambling society that existed during the depression and how this supported many of the residents of Chinatown. 
 
    Click here to see the "Chinatown Social Security System" video
Syriantown
This narrator speaks of the churches, the Syrian bakery, and the congregation places for adults and children in the 9-10 blocks of Syriantown.  She speaks of the disruption of the Massachusetts Turnpike (central artery) caused on the loving and compassionate community that once was. 
 
Click here to see the "Syriantown" video
 

Laundrymen
"Laundrymen" chronicles the change from when Chinatown was strung with hand washed laundry to today and the hard life of a laundryman and the intricacies of the laundry business. 
 

Click here to see the "Laundrymen" video
The Quincy School
The Quincy school has been in continuous use since the mid 1850's.  It used to be extremely diverse with less than 25% of the students coming from Chinese descent. 
 
Click here to see the "Quincy School" video
The Chinese Merchant's Building
The Chinese Merchant's Building was merely four years old when it was reduced by a third to make way for the Massachusetts Turnpike (central artery).  At the time, the Chinese community had no voice and did not stand up against the highway cutting through Boston Chinatown. 
 
 Click here to see the "Chinese Merchant's Building" video
Hudson Street Stories
Of the 60 or so families who were evicted from Hudson Street for the construction of the Massachusetts Turnpike (central artery), 75% of them were Chinese. This displacement and construction took the soul out of Boston Chinatown and left no room for expansion of the community. 
 
Click here to see the "Hudson Streeet Stories" video
The Combat Zone
The Combat Zone was the zone adopted by Boston in 1974 which housed adult entertainment.   Negative effects on the neighboring Chinatown included bringing people into Chinatown who were drunk or who had anti-Asian attitudes. 
 
Click here to see the "Combat Zone" video
Parcel C
Parcel C was one of the last remaining developable plots of land in Chinatown owned by the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) as a part of a land swap with the New England Medical Center (NEMC).  Originally proposed as a parking garage that would provide little benefit to the Chinatown community (and which conflicted with the promise of the land to become a community center), the residents of Chinatown organized a referendum resulting in withdrawal of the statement. 
 
Click here to see the "Parcel C" video
Nothing Else to Lose
Nothing Else to Lose speaks of the Vietnamese Chinese who came over to Boston following the Vietnam Was as boat people for the Refugee Act.  These Vietnamese Chinese took the risk to open restaurants on Washington Street which was near the Combat Zone and used to have organized crime and turned it around. 
 
Click here to see the "Nothing Else to Lose" video
It's Not Just Food
"It's Not Just Food" explains how Chinese restaurants changed from the 1920's where they solely catered to Chinese to the 1930's where they began catering to the non-Chinese community.  Although these restaurants were the stepping stone for new immigrants, this video seeks to dispel the image of Chinatown as merely a place to eat because people work and live in Chinatown. 
 
Click here to see the "It's Not Just Food" video
Immigrant Stories
Immigrant stories are the personal narratives of immigrants and of refugees speaking of their personal experiences of courage to come to America without speaking any English, of being told to assimilate and to be white, and of the American dream of equal opportunity and freedoms
 
Click here to see the "Immigrant Stories" video