The Chino-Latino Project

This collection consists of interviews with people of Chinese descent that immigrated to Central and South America before coming to the United States. The interviews explore the themes of Chinese-Latino identity in New York. A culminating exhibit was presented at MOCA and at the Bronx Museum of the Arts in 1998.

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2015.007.013 Interview with Rose Lowe February 28, 1998

Rose Lowe was born in Jamaica. She talks about the life of her father and how her family ended up in Jamaica. Her grandfather moved to Jamaica with the goal of becoming a business owner, but he died when her father, the youngest, was only six months old. The oldest brother of her father stays in Jamaica, but to get help raising her eight children his grandmother returned to China. The eldest brother of his father does well in Jamaica, and soon his remaining brothers and he moved back to Jamaica in the hopes of making a living. Her father first works under his brother, and later he opens his own grocery store. They grew up in a not so great neighborhood in Jamaica. Rose and two of her other siblings were basically raised by a maid, while their parents worked in the store. She wasn’t really raised with Chinese culture.

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2015.007.014 Interview with Staceyann Chin

Staceyann Chin, a spoken word performer, talks about growing up in Jamaica and how her ethnic identity played into her childhood interactions. She goes on to discuss how anti gay sentiment in Jamaica caused her to immigrate to the US.

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2015.007.015 Interview with Sylvia Seid

Sylvia Seid is the sister in law and wife of the men who founded what is now considered a Chinatown cultural trademark - The Chinatown Ice-cream Factory. Of Peruvian and Chinese descent, Seid describes her upbringing and her childhood growing up in Peru and the States. She also discusses the evolution of the ice-cream business from the late 1970s to the early twentieth century and how it has transformed from being the once tourist destination to the now localized sweet-treat icon it is known as today.

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2015.007.017 Interview with Ya Qin "Betty" Chou January 7, 1998

Betty Chou describes growing up in Colombia and the States as impoverished child in a family of 7. She recalls the feelings of isolation and displacement she experienced as a Chinese living up in Colombia, and as a Colombian in the States.

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2015.007.020 Interview with Yvonne Wong July 17, 1997

Yvonne Wong is a woman who grew up in Jamaica. She was born to a Chinese father and a Jamaican woman of mixed ancestry, African and European. Yvonne talks about growing up in Jamaica and her early recollections of living there. She recounts how her father was a gambler and lost his first business as a gambling debt. She further talks about how her parents different ethnicities led to different traditions and cultural values. Her father wanted her to work in the shop while her mother instilled the need for a good education. She went on to discuss the how she ended up in the states working at the UN. She discusses the question of ethnicity. She considers herself Jamaican because to her that encompasses all of her ancestry from both sides of her family. Jamaica has a very diverse ethnic background, in the 16th century Jamaica had the largest Sephardic Jew population. Trying to hide any part of your ethnicity is going to make a person feel uncomfortable so Yvonne believes that everyone needs to accept their heritage whether good or bad.