These are the Minutes of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance’s San Francisco Lodge from 1933 to 1963. They are part of 159 boxes of historical material, in Chinese and English, transferred to the Stanford University Library in 2017. They document the activities of one of the oldest Asian American civil rights organization in the United States. Established in 1895 in San Francisco as the Native Sons of the Golden State and re-chartered in 1915 as the Chinese American Citizens Alliance, the Alliance shifted the Chinese population toward patriotic American citizenship and active civic engagement as solutions to social issues and racial prejudices confronting the Chinese in America for decades. It was a significant evolution for an emerging Chinese American society which, up to then, had relied on traditional Chinese perspectives and associations to largely govern them within protective Chinatowns. The Alliance’s embrace of community and political activism integrated them firmly into America, fighting for elected offices, voter rights, and legislation to repeal Chinese Exclusion laws and defending the rights of all Americans. The minutes and related documents record the operations and concerns of the Alliance from 1904 onward. They are invaluable primary source materials on the history of the Chinese American community’s organized struggles for fair immigration, the preservation of heritage, and civil rights.
– Suellen Cheng, C.A.C.A. National Historian, on behalf of the National C.A.C.A. Archives