chapter  2
48 Pages

History of Chinese in the South

WithJianli Zhao

Groups of Chinese settled in Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, and Texas as early as the mid-nineteenth century. Since the largest concentration of Chinese immigrants in the South before 1960 was located in the Mississippi Delta, it was natural that early published studies of Chinese in the South found their focus there. Although the original plan was to recruit laborers directly from China, southerners and their agents turned increasingly to California as a site for recruitment. Compared with Chinese concentrations in large cities of North America and other parts of the South, a different pattern developed among the several hundred Chinese brought to Mississippi. Since most power and status in the South were held by whites, the Chinese sought to move into that world. The Delta Chinese experience is important to the study of Chinese experience in the South, and that of Chinese in the United States in general.