When Newark Had A Chinatown

A talk and discussion with Yoland Skeete-Laessig, a Multimedia Artist, Documentarian, Arts Instructor, and author of When Newark Had a Chinatown: My Personal Journey (Dorrance Publishing Co., 2016)

Many people do not know that New Jersey Chinese have an approximately 140 years of history in New Jersey. The recorded history of New Jersey Chinese begins in Belleville and matures in Newark with a population at its height of 3,000. It was from Newark that they moved into the NJ suburbs and became the Chinese Americans we now know. The first laws against immigration to the US by any race of people were made against the Chinese and despite the many racial segregation laws, the hostility, negative publicity, and violence Chinese Americans have succeeded in becoming one of Americas thriving minorities. But in order to understand Chinese immigration, like understanding any immigration, one has to look at the situation in the homeland that would create a desire to immigrate.

The book When Newark Had a Chinatown, tells the story of a search for a community of people who had disappeared so completely that no one even remembered they were there, no plaque stood to speak of their existence. It is an examination of the history of New Jersey Chinese immigrants through the eyes of a contemporary immigrant of Chinese ancestry who is seeking an understanding of American racial attitudes and its effect on people of color.


This talk is presented by the Federated Department of History and co-sponsored by the Clement A. Price Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience, the Program in American Studies, the Department of African American and African Studies, and the Center for Migration and the Global City.

Light reception following presentation. Books will be available for purchase.

Register at https://whennewarkhadachinatown.eventbrite.com.