Library Record

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Call# 801.8-L
Summary Angel Island, now an idyllic state park out in San Francisco Bay not far from Alcatraz, was the point of entry for the majority of the approximately 175,000 Chinese immigrants who came to America between 1910 and 1940. Modeled after New York's Ellis Island, the site was used as the immigration detention headquarters for Chinese awaiting jurisdiction on the outcomes of medical examinations and immigration papers. It was also the holding ground for deportees awaiting transportation back to the motherland. The ordeal of immigration and detention left an indelible mark in the minds of many Chinese, a number of whom wrote poetry on the barrack walls, recording the impression of their voyage to America, their longing for families back home, and their outrage and humiliation at the treatment America accorded them.
When the center's doors shut in 1940, one of the most bitter chapters in the history of Chinese immigration to America came to a close. The poems expression the thoughts of the Chinese immigrants were locked behind those doors and soon forgotten. Those poems have been resurrected and preserved in this book. It was by accident that they have survived. The three of us, offspring of Angel Island inmates, plunged into the project of translation and historical hobby which later evolved into this book. The task to preserve the words and history of these Chinese immigrants was made more urgent by the fact that most of these old-timers are now elderly and many already have died.
Object Name Book
Subjects Chinese poetry -- 20th century
Immigrants' writings, Chinese
Immigrants -- California -- Angel Island -- History -- 20th century
Chinese -- California -- Angel Island -- History -- 20th century
Angel Island (Calif.) -- History -- 20th century
Title Island : poetry and history of Chinese immigrants on Angel Island, 1910-1940.
Published Date 1980
Physical Description 174 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
Catalog Number 2004.051.183
Accession number 2004.051
Publisher HOC DOI
Collection Museum of Chinese in America - Found in Collections