Chinese American Vaudevillians

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Few people know the history of Chinese Americans who worked in vaudeville over one hundred years ago.  They were there, countering popular stereotypes about the musical and theatrical abilities of persons of Asian descent and broader negative attitudes that undermined their inclusion in the nation. These three Tin Pan Alley covers include photos of Chee Toy (daughter of world-reknowned magician, Ching Ling Foo), Lady Tsen Mei (also known as Josephine Kramer who was of Chinese, African, and European American ancestry), and the Chung Hwa Three (Hugh K. Liang or Leong Hui Kim; Edgar A. Don Sang or Don Tin Yaw/Yew; and James Ah Chung, who was also of mixed ancestry).  All of these performers worked in the American entertainment industry in the 1910s and 1920s.  

– Krystyn Moon, History and American Studies, University of Mary Washington

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