Tag Archives: Asian American

Black Friday, 1995

There are many stories about the origins of “Black Friday” in the US.  Despite the checkered past of the term, these days it means big bargains in outlet stores and malls, a kind of shopping frenzy to kick off the … Continue reading

Posted in 1990 | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

On the Ferry, 1943

On a recent visit to relatives in the San Francisco Bay area, I went to the Oakland Museum’s exhibit, Dorothea Lange–The Politics of Seeing.  The museum is the depository of Lange’s archive, so it was a chance to see some … Continue reading

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On the Street in Chinatown, ca. 1900

When did women in the United States start wearing pants on the street?  It depends on where you look.  This picture from San Francisco’s Chinatown shows that pants were common attire for women of Chinese descent at the turn of … Continue reading

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Pants Party, 1934

This picture needs its own short story, or maybe its own novel. At the center is a young man with some sort of hanging logo for the radio station KTRB. He is surrounded by women young and old, many wearing … Continue reading

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Anna May Wong, Aging

At the recent blockbuster show, “China through the Looking Glass” at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, one room was devoted to the Chinese American actress, Anna May Wong (1905-1961). “In terms of shaping Western fantasies of China,” reads the … Continue reading

Posted in 1950s, 1960s | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Marion Higa—A Life of Sewing

When some people say that they have been sewing forever, it’s an exaggeration. Not so for Marion Higa, now in her early seventies. She started sewing as a young girl, part of Japanese language and culture classes many Japanese Americans … Continue reading

Posted in 2000s, 2010s | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

A Christmas Party at the Beautee-Fit Company, 1947

What a diverse group of women employees at the Beautee-Fit Company in Los Angeles. Most look to be Asian or Mexican American, with a few Anglos here and there. I wonder if some of the Asians were Japanese Americans just … Continue reading

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Ruth Asawa–Straw into Gold

Although I lived stretches of my life near San Francisco (in Santa Cruz and Berkeley), I only discovered the work of San Francisco based artist Ruth Asawa (1926-2013) in a recent New York Times Magazine article marking her death. Her … Continue reading

Posted in 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990, 2000s, 2010s | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Finding Clothes that Fit, World War Two Era

When I look at old photos, I often find evidence of poor fit in the clothes that older women wear. That’s because women’s bodies naturally change shape in the aging process, broadening backs and rounding bellies, etc. These changes are … Continue reading

Posted in 1940s | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

The Digital Public Library of America—Investigating American Diversity

I found this fascinating photograph of a sewing class at the Jerome Relocation Camp for Japanese Americans in Arkansas by typing “sewing pattern” into the search engine of the Digital Public Library of America.  This recent venture aims to collect … Continue reading

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