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1871 LA Chinatown Massacre: Reflecting on the Past to End Racial Violence


1871 LA Chinatown Massacre: Reflecting on the Past to End Racial Violence

Friday, October 22, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Click here to register


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On October 24, 1871, a mob of more than 500 descended on Los Angeles Chinatown, and in a span of two hours, killed 19 people, about 10 percent of the city’s Chinese population at the time. The 1871 Los Angeles Chinatown Massacre was one of the bloodiest massacres against Asians in the USA on record. It was the first in a series of riots and killings that were documented in places like Rock Springs Wyoming, San Francisco, and other towns along the Pacific Coast. It was in the midst of these attacks that the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was passed.

A distinguished panel of speakers will shed more light on this little known chapter of Los Angeles and U.S. history in search of insights that might help us address the rise of anti-Asian hate we see today.

Hao Huang is the Bessie and Cecil Frankel Endowed Chair in Music and professor of Humanities at Scripps College. He is a concert performer who has written articles in refereed journals of Great Britain, Hungary, Greece, Japan, China and the USA, that span general music studies, popular music, ethnomusicology, jazz, anthropology, American Studies and Humanities. He is the producer of Blood on Gold Mountain, a multi-episode podcast series about the 1871 LA Chinatown massacre in commemoration of the worst mass race lynching on the West Coast, that was released recently to acclaim from national print media, social media, NPR and PBS. He will speak about the significance of the 1871 Los Angeles Chinatown massacre within the context of many acts of mass violence against Asian Americans over the past century and a half in the USA.

Eugene Moy was raised in Los Angeles Chinatown. He is a community scholar and activist and has been involved with public history and historic preservation for many years. He has been an active member of the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California since 1976 and serves as Vice President of the organization. He is also an active member of the Friends of the Chinese American Museum, the Los Angeles Lodge of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance, the Save Our Chinatown Committee in Riverside, and other community organizations. Before his retirement, he worked in planning and economic development for cities in Los Angeles County for 35 years. He will speak about growing up in racially segregated LA Chinatown and give a historical account of the LA Chinatown massacre.

Hiroshi Motomura is the Susan Westerberg Prager Distinguished Professor of Law, Faculty Co-Director of the Center for Immigration Law and Policy at UCLA. He teaches and writes about immigration and citizenship, with influence across a range of academic disciplines and in federal, state, and local policymaking. He has written two award-winning books, Americans in Waiting: The Lost Story of Immigration and Citizenship in the United States (Oxford 2006), and Immigration Outside the Law (Oxford 2014), and he is now at work on a new book on the shape of immigration policy in the coming generation. He will speak about the 1871 massacre in the context of local, state, and federal law’s treatment of immigrants, especially Asian immigrants, throughout U.S. history. He’ll address how immigration and citizenship laws have discriminated in different ways — sometimes explicit and obvious, and sometimes more subtle but just as troubling. The events that make up this history have laid the foundation for violence against Asian Americans and against many other communities in the United States.

Sponsored by University of California Los Angeles Chancellor’s Arts Initiative, UCLA Asian American Studies Center, UCLA Asia Pacific Center, Chinese American Museum, Scripps College

Click here to register (Eventbrite)