With THE CHINESE EXCLUSION ACT, filmmakers Ric Burns and Li-Shin Yu tackle a complicated yet under told story about a significant piece of U.S. history — the only legislation barring an entire group of immigrants based on ethnicity and race. More significant, as highlighted through first-person interviews and archival materials, is the resistance against racism and the resilience of people that shaped the fabric of the United States well into the 21st century.
Part of CAAM’s “Who is American?” educational and community outreach campaign — which aims to reach thousands of high school and college students to learn about the Chinese Exclusion Act — the film tells a story of strife, but also of hope and resilience. The film was inspired by the exhibition Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion, currently showing at the Chinese Historical Society of America.
Interviews with scholars and experts such as writer and professor Erika Lee, as well as descendants of those who came to the U.S. as “paper sons,” bring this time in history to life. The 60 years of national exclusion, racialized ordinances, and hate crimes, is more important than ever to bear witness to.
Expected Guests in Attendance: Ric Burns (Co-Director), Li-Shin Yu (Co-Director), Robin Espinola (Producer)
Co-presented by: AACO (Asian Americans for Community Outreach), Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation, API Council, Chinese Historical Society of America, Chinatown YMCA, OCA SF – Asian Pacific American Advocates