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Nativity scene in Korean Sunday School at a Methodist church in St. Anthony Park. Photograph Collection ca. 1974 (Minnesota Historical Society)

Gene’s Surf Riders.  Filipino-American musicians playing at the Crown Cafe, East Hennepin, Minneapolis. Photograph Collection 1937-1938.

Minnestoa’s Filipino community had its beginnings in a small group of 25 to 30 Filipino students — predominately males — who enrolled at the University of Minnesota and other colleges during the late 1910s and early 1920s. It was not until the late 1920s that systematic recruitment brought 150 to 200 Filipino laborers each spring and summer to Minnesota’s sugar beet fields, truck farms, and canneries. (Mason, S. R. (2003). They Chose Minnesota: A Survey Of The States Ethnic Groups. Minnesota Historical Society Press.)

San Francisco Chinatown’s First Demonstration, 1968.

Adopting the tactics of the civil rights movement, 200 demonstrators marched through Chinatown to a rally at Portsmouth Square. They criticized the Chinatown establishment for promoting tourism instead of resolving social problems in the community, and they called for reforms in the areas of education, employment, health, housing, youth, senior citizens, and immigration. (Photographs by Harry Jew; courtesy of CHSA collection.)

Community picnic foot race, Seattle, c. 1918. Courtesy of Mamiya Family Collection, Densho.

Corky Lee has captured images of some of the most vivid and defining moments in APA history. His photo of a Chinese-American man bleeding from the forehead and being hauled away by the police wound up on the front page of The New York Post. It inspired 20,000 Chinese Americans in New York to protest police brutality in 1975.

Our Family is Healthy Because Our Home is Free from Cigarette. Southeast Asian Health Project, 1988. The UC Irvine Libraries, Special Collections and Archives.

Children’s taiko (Japanese drum) group called The Zendaiko are ready to make a joyful noise when Los Angeles celebrates at the Nisei Week Japanese Festival, August 3, 1989.

Felix Taganas (front, center) was the owner of a Filipino diner in Los Angeles in the 1930s.

Filipino diners and cafes offered ethnic dishes and a place where Filipinos could dine without being confronted or refused service. (Courtesy of Jenny Ochale and Celina Taganas-Duffy)

Shipyard worker Lonnie Young during WWII (Courtesy of Connie Young Yu)

The demands of wartime production enabled Chinese Americans to move into the American workforce in large numbers. For the first time Chinese American women took on jobs as welders, riveters, burners and flangers. 

Burmese protest at San Gabriel Municipal Park. Photo by Mike Sergieff.

Lawyer Frank R. Oo speaks to group of approximately 350 Burmese who gathered at San Gabriel Municipal Park to demonstrate against Burma’s brutal military dictatorship. Photograph dated August 14, 1988.

Members of the Los Angeles Philippine Women’s Club during a lunchtime meeting held at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Photo dated: May 6, 1966.

Staff of the Chinese Weekly, about 1925, Hennepin, Minneapolis.

Members of the Twin Cities Chinese community, under the leadership of Henry Yep, published a Chinese-language newspaper called Sing Kee Po (Chinese Weekly). Each issue included foreign and domestic news as well as advertisements for Chinese businesses.

Interior view of the barbershop owned and operated by Soishi Kusumoto in Anaheim, 1918. (Anaheim Public Library)


Minoo Netervala, on far right, rides a carousel with friends, 1952.

The women are from the University of California Los Angeles, and the men are from the University of Southern California. The female student wearing the sari would have been rare in this period since most students from India were men.

On July 2, 1946, partly due to the assistance India provided to the Allied Forces in World War II, Congress passed the Luce-Celler Bill. This removed restrictions on Asian Indian immigration and gave India an annual immigration quota of one hundred. Asian Indian immigrants now had naturalization rights. Asian Indian men who had not seen their wives and children in over thirty years were now able to send for their families and build a new life in the United States.

Vincent Chin Protest

The murder of Vincent Chin and the subsequent sentence of his attackers (probation and a fine) brought Asian Americans together in protest and supported the growing realization that they could be a more effective political force if they worked together. (Courtesy of Helen Zia)