By Charlotte Brooks
Among the early 1900s and the past due Nineteen Fifties, the attitudes of white Californians towards their Asian American associates developed from outright hostility to relative popularity. Charlotte Brooks examines this alteration during the lens of California’s city housing markets, arguing that the perceived foreignness of Asian american citizens, which first and foremost stranded them in segregated components, finally facilitated their integration into neighborhoods that confounded different minorities.Against the backdrop of chilly struggle efforts to win Asian hearts and minds, whites who observed little distinction among Asians and Asian american citizens more and more encouraged the latter group’s entry to middle-class existence and the residential components that went with it. yet as they remodeled Asian american citizens right into a “model minority,” whites purposefully neglected the lengthy backstory of chinese language and jap american citizens’ early and mostly failed makes an attempt to take part in private and non-private housing courses. As Brooks tells this multifaceted tale, she attracts on a vast diversity of resources in a number of languages, giving voice to an array of neighborhood leaders, newshounds, activists, and homeowners—and insightfully conveying the complexity of racialized housing in a multiracial society.
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Additional info for Alien Neighbors, Foreign Friends: Asian Americans, Housing, and the Transformation of Urban California (Historical Studies of Urban America)
Still, most theaters, restaurants, saloons, and other leisure businesses outside Chinatown did not admit Chinese customers, while police and city officials purposely confined gambling and prostitution to Chinatown. Tongs, Chinese organizations with both legitimate and less savory functions, controlled much of the ensuing vice trade within the district. Still, even their legendary battles rarely involved white San Franciscans. 62 After the turn of the century, a number of Chinese American merchants who benefited from the money the slummers spent in the area organized to 32 Chapter One rid Chinatown of the very problems that white visitors came to see.
Once a fashionable area, it survived the great earthquake and fire of 1906 and then briefly boomed when displaced residents poured in, Chinatown: America’s First Segregated Neighborhood 29 carving up the homes into apartments and establishing businesses. By the late 1910s, however, most of these refugees had long since left for newer and better areas. At that point, the district became popular with poorer laborers and families of almost every ethnic and racial background, including Japanese immigrants displaced by the quake.
Mediterranean stucco and Arts and Crafts style bungalows sprouted in the newer and more fashionable areas. Turn-of-the-century San Francisco remained a solidly working-class city with a national reputation for union activism and power. 23 Still, the union-affiliated anti-Chinese movement continued to influence San Francisco politics at all levels well into the 1930s. By 1900, the city had also grown more diverse, with thousands of Italians, Scandinavians, Russians, and other new European immigrants joining the predominately Irish, German, and Anglo population.
Alien Neighbors, Foreign Friends: Asian Americans, Housing, and the Transformation of Urban California (Historical Studies of Urban America) by Charlotte Brooks