“HERSTORY,” Looks at Chinese-American Women’s History Through a Legal Lens

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The Chatham Square Library offers a unique take on the story of Chinese-American women’s history with their upcoming exhibit, “HERSTORY: Chinese-American Women, 165 Years of Struggle and Success.” Told through legal cases fought in supreme courts throughout the U.S.,   the exhibit features the personal collection of Dr. Chang C. Chen, who has documented much of the written legal history, and includes rare photographs and case descriptions of efforts by Chinese-American women to gain legal standing in the U.S.

Chatham Square Library writes:

Starting in 1852, the cases document women who fought for equal treatment in the eyes of the law and for citizenship and immigration rights. One 1874 case from San Francisco describes a group of recent immigrants who were defined as “lewd and immoral” due to their style of dress, and were set to be deported. The women fought back and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in their favor, stating that the California laws were in conflict with federal immigration laws and the women were released. In Tape v. Hurley, 66 Cal. 473 (1885), a landmark case in the California Supreme Court in which the Court found the exclusion of a Chinese American student from public school based on her ancestry unlawful. The Court ruled that Chinese-American children had a right to public education and to attend public schools.

HERSTORY: Chinese-American Women, 165 Years of Struggle and Success” opens on Wednesday, Sept. 28th with a reception at 6pm. The exhibit runs through October 31, 2016.