PCDC executive director John Chin was invited to be a panelist at the WHYY Story of China premiere event on Monday, June 19th. The documentary explores the 4,000-year history of China and aired nationally June 20th.
The panel, hosted by Shirley Min, WHYY Anchor/Reporter, discussed connections between the history of China and the modern day history of Asian Americans in Philadelphia. Co-panelists were Dr. Paul Goldin, Professor and Graduate Chair of East Asian Studies at UPenn and Zachary Scott, Benjamin Franklin Fellow in the same department.
At the panel, John discussed the history of Philadelphia Chinatown as an immigrant enclave. Originally a bachelor society, new immigrants with no family in America received support from the 9 original Chinese associations. Each association represented either a group of surnames or a common region of origin. These associations helped immigrants obtain jobs, housing, social support, and funeral services.
Over the past 147 years, Chinatown retains its role as a community for the culturally and linguistically isolated new immigrants, providing essential services for this growing population. PCDC works hard to preserve Chinatown for this underrepresented community and was pleased to participate in this opportunity to promote appreciation for Chinese history and culture.
Documentary Philadelphia broadcast times on PBS WHYY:
Episode 1: “Ancestors”: Tuesday, June 20, 8:00 PM
Episode 2: “Silk Roads & China Ships”: Tues, June 20, 9PM
Episode 3: “Golden Age”: Tuesday, June 27, 8:00 PM
Episode 4: “The Ming”: Tuesday, June 27, 9:00 PM
Episode 5: “The Last Empire”: Tuesday, July 11, 8:00 PM
Episode 6: “The Age of Revolution”: Tuesday, July 11, 9PM
For more information about the additional episodes and to watch previews, visit www.pbs.org/story-china