The UC San Diego Library is pleased to present a rare look at Chinese-American women’s history, told through legal cases fought in the Supreme Court of the U.S. and the supreme courts of its states. Using the personal collection of Dr. Chiu Chang (邱彰博士), Herstory features rare photographs and case descriptions ons of efforts by Chinese-American women to gain legal standing in the U.S.
Startng in 1852, the cases document women who fought for equal treatment in the eyes of the law and for citzenship and immigration on rights. One 1874 case from San Francisco describes a group of recent immigrants who were defined as “lewd and immoral” due to their style of dress, and were set to be deported. The women fought back and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in their favor, statng that the California laws were in conflict with federal immigration on laws and the women were released. In Tape v. Hurley, 66 Cal. 473 (1885), a landmark case in the California Supreme Court in which the Court found the exclusion of a Chinese American student from public school based on her ancestry unlawful. The Court ruled that Chinese-American children had a right to public education on and to aroend public schools.
The exhibit is a fascinang look at the ordinary people who fought for their rights, and, in doing so, helped shape a new world for Chinese-Americans in the U.S. The exhibion is provided to the Library by Dr. Chiu Chang (邱彰博士), who has worked relessly to document the writen legal history of Chinese-Americans.