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By Charlotte Brooks

Between the early 1900s and the overdue Fifties, the attitudes of white Californians towards their Asian American acquaintances developed from outright hostility to relative popularity. Charlotte Brooks examines this change in the course of the lens of California’s city housing markets, arguing that the perceived foreignness of Asian american citizens, which firstly stranded them in segregated parts, ultimately facilitated their integration into neighborhoods that confounded different minorities. opposed to the backdrop of chilly conflict efforts to win Asian hearts and minds, whites who observed little distinction among Asians and Asian americans more and more encouraged the latter group’s entry to middle-class lifestyles and the residential parts that went with it. yet as they reworked Asian american citizens right into a “model minority,” whites purposefully missed the lengthy backstory of chinese language and eastern americans’ 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 huge diversity of resources in a number of languages, giving voice to an array of neighborhood leaders, reporters, activists, and homeowners—and insightfully conveying the complexity of racialized housing in a multiracial society.

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Extra resources for Alien Neighbors, Foreign Friends: Asian Americans, Housing, and the Transformation of Urban California

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Mayors and political leaders no longer Chinatown: America’s First Segregated Neighborhood 35 promised white constituents to erase Chinatown from the map and to rid the city of Chinese; instead, a growing number of white San Franciscans tolerated Chinatown’s presence, and some actually recognized it as an asset. ” But if Chinese Americans sought something different—homes outside Chinatown’s “ten city squares” or work in the mainstream economy—they faced insurmountable obstacles and intense hostility.

The 1906 school affair ended with Japanese children returning to integrated schools and the United States and Japan concluding the 1907 Gentlemen’s Agreement, under which the Japanese government halted further male labor emigration to the United States. White San Franciscans deplored 28 Chapter One the fact that Japanese children could attend “white” schools, but they understood that Japan’s military standing forced the United States to treat Japanese citizens with some consideration. ”50 Federal pressure could not prevent nativist residents and homeowner organizations from keeping Japanese out of most San Francisco neighborhoods.

71 Still, their takeover did not improve neighborhood housing in the increasingly overcrowded district, particularly for the working-class majority. Like their white predecessors, Chinese American owners charged their captive audience rents that were about 50 percent higher than what other San Franciscans paid for comparably miserable housing. ”72 i cannot live as they do San Francisco’s Chinatown tourism industry paralleled developments in New York, where white residents segregated and then exoticized the African American population.

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