Numerous studies have documented the transnational experiences and local activities of Chinese immigrants in California and New York in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Less is known about the vibrant Chinese American community that developed at the same time in Chicago. In this sweeping account, Huping Ling offers the first comprehensive history of Chinese in Chicago, beginning with the arrival of the pioneering Moy brothers in the 1870s and continuing to the present.Ling focuses on how race, transnational migration, and community have defined Chinese in Chicago. Drawing upon archival documents in English and Chinese, she charts how Chinese made a place for themselves among the multiethnic neighborhoods of Chicago, cultivating friendships with local authorities and consciously avoiding racial conflicts. Ling takes readers through the decades, exploring evolving family structures and relationships, the development of community organizations, and the operation of transnational businesses. She pays particular attention to the influential role of Chinese in Chicago's academic and intellectual communities and to the complex and conflicting relationships among today's more dispersed Chinese Americans in Chicago.
Includes bibliographical references (pages 249-306) and index.
Introduction : rethinking Chinese Chicago -- Searching roots of a transnational community -- Locating Chinatown, 1870s-1910s -- Operating transnational businesses, 1880s-1930s -- Living transnational lives, 1880s-1930s -- Bridging the two worlds : community organizations, 1870s-1945 -- Connecting the two worlds : Chinese students and intellectuals, 1920s-2010s -- Diverging and converging transnational communities, 1945-2010s -- Epilogue : the "hollow center phenomenon" and the future of transnational migration.