Leaving China & the
Journey Across the

Cultural Traditions

Women in Early

Anti-Chinese Violence
& Women's Resistance

Chinese Women at


Women in Cultural

The Great Depression
and War


Additional Resources




Four Chinese women, of the Chinese Women's Patriotic League of New York, marching in the Easter parade, April 1932.
Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-113492

In their lives and actions, Chinese American Women resisted the slogan “The Chinese Must Go”. Chinese American women have always fought to enter, re-enter, and remain in the United States. With great courage they sailed to the United States, fought to stay in the United States, and maintained deep ties to China.

Moving east and moving west, they carried cultural traditions, philosophical and spiritual rituals, children and parents. Through work, resilience, and resistance, they transcended humiliating stereotypes, hostile laws, physical abuse, slavery, and anti-Chinese violence. They turned to American laws, which were particularly designed to limit and diminish their opportunities, and forcefully used them to prosecute vigilantes, free themselves and their sisters, and open public schools for their children. They demanded and won hundreds of thousands of dollars in reparations for the damages inflicted on their communities, and for being the “objects of mob violence.” Their traditions of family, art, food, music, work and wit have given birth to a transnational culture in the United States. This exhibit is the history of how the first Chinese American women forged a global link of determined womanhood.







© 2008 National Women's History Museum