Don Lee, who is an information technologist as well as member of former New York City Mayor Dinkins’ administration, is a Taishan married to his Hakka wife thus he cooks Punti and Hakka dishes. He will lead a presentation on the food prepared for the railroad workers who needed sustenance for the grueling work.
Want to Trace your Hakka Ancestry, but don’t speak/read Chinese?
Introducing My China Roots’ Online Roots Quest, a DIY Research Tool for the Chinese diaspora, as well as Friends of Roots, a California-based group which connects overseas Chinese with their Guangdong Province villages.
This talk will include the efforts by pioneering Chinese genealogy start-up company, My China Roots, to develop an online tool for overseas Chinese, helping them research their family history and explore the stories behind their ancestors, without needing to speak or read Chinese. Clotilde Yap will demonstrate the tool which will be the first of its kind to provide an engaging and accessible roadmap on an international level, in a bid to map and connect the Chinese diaspora worldwide. My China Roots has been helping overseas Chinese to reconnect with their roots since 2012, by helping them trace their ancestry, put their roots into context, and travel to their ancestral villages.
Also Robert Hew, Vice President of the Chinese Benevolent Association of Jamaica, and Clotilde Yap during this session actually will assist you in your search for your family and will share the best resources that you, as an amateur, should use.
- Clotilde Yap, Marketing and Digital Content Manager of My China Roots
- Robert Hew, Vice President of the Chinese Benevolent Association of Jamaica
The 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad will be celebrated in 2019. The contributions of Chinese to this massive undertaking are largely omitted and unrecognized by US history. The renowned Chinese American photographer Corky Lee will talk about the annual trip he leads with descendants of Chinese railroad workers and many other adventure seekers. He also will share his iconic photography taken for the reenactment of the railroad’s completion with staged Chinese workers, many of them descendants of the original workers. He will also present the preliminary travel plan for the 150th anniversary celebration. Corky Lee believes that some of the railroad workers might have been Hakka and if so, they would they would have been omitted twice. Dr. Bayer Jack-Wah Lee will explore if the Hakka were involved by introducing Zheng De Hua’s 1989 PhD Thesis, “A Study of Armed Conflicts between the Punti and the Hakka in Central Kwangtung, 1856 to 1867.” Dr. Lee also will discuss Chung Yoon-Ngan’s posting in Asiawind suggesting that Hakka joined the Transcontinental Railroad effort as they fled from South China in the fifth migration which occurred during the Taiping Revolution (1851 AD to 1864 AD).
- Corky Lee
- Dr. Bayer Jack-Wah Lee
An historical and architectural look at traditional Hakka housing structures. The towering roundhouses of Fujian Province have been declared a world heritage site by UNESCO. The oval villas of northeast Guangdong and the rectangular compounds of southern Guangdong loom large in the built landscape. They provide profound lessons for tomorrow’s habitats. Teng Teng Chin Kleiner will present and discuss her visit to the “king” and “prince” of Tulous, iconic Tulous known globally. She will share excerpts from a video she’s producing about Tulous and discuss the architectural, cultural and psychological aspects of Tulous.
- Teng Teng Chin Kleiner, former Chinese talk TV show producer and a Hakka from Malaysia.
Part One: CHINATOWNS (10:00 - 11:00 am):
- Havana Chinatown: Old and New by Mitzi Espinosa Luis with photos from Jook Leung (20 min.);
- New York Chinatown photographic project presented by Corky Lee and Jook Leung (20 min.);
- Los Angeles by Dr. Gay Quai-Ming Yuen (20 min.);
- Peru and Hakka Chinese by Patricia Castro, PhD candidate in Chinese Anthropology at Pontifical Catholic University of Peru-Peking where she conducts fieldwork in Jiangxi, Fujian and Guangdong provinces (20 min.)
- Steven Owyang (歐陽如展), Friends of Roots advisor, is a lawyer and administrative law judge. He previously served as the executive officer of California’s civil rights commission for more than 20 years. Owyang is a fourth generation Chinese-American and majored in history and Chinese studies before attending law school. Having attended the University of California Berkeley during the height of the ethnic studies movement, Owyang has had a continuing interest in American race relations, the Chinese Diaspora, and Chinese-American history. He has hosted Chinese lawyers, judges, and law professors in visits to study the American legal system.
- Wayne Yeh, who have just will sought and visited his ancestral Guangdong Province village of Huizhou.
Part Two: CHINESE ASSOCIATIONS (11:00 – 11:50 noon):
- Mitzi Espinosa Luis of Min Chih Tang will show a short film on the Chinese in Cuba (20min.).
- Leaders from New York and Jamaica Family Associations will present their respective organizations (20 min.) Q/A: (10 min.)
This discussion will focus on how storytelling has brought together generations and cultures. By linking the histories of our Hakka ancestors to our living global community, we will discuss the relevance of the past to our present and future identity as Hakkas, a complement to the rich genealogical/historical work that will be presented. Participants will work with Felicia Chang, CEO of Plantain, Inc., a Trinidad-based company which focuses on helping people capture their life (his)tories by interweaving oral histories with historical context/genealogical research and pairing this with beautiful design. This interactive session will help people tell their own stories as oral, written and video narratives. Be prepared to record some of your own stories over the course of the two-day NY Hakka Conference!
- Felicia Chang, CEO, Plantain, Inc.
Blue-eyed blondes were the standard bearers of beauty on runways, in the pages of glossy magazine and in TV commercials until the 1970's-- when designers, editors and advertisers determined that diversity paid.
But even after covergirls like Naomi Sims, Iman and Beverly Johnson crashed the catwalk and shattered old notions of beauty-- the paradigm shifted from all-white, to black & white.
Now, thanks to globalization, the power of social media and the browning of America-- the beauty business has undergone a yet another makeover and has finally started to reflect a more multicultural consumer base.
Supermodels Gail O’Neil, Naomi Campbell and Tyson Beckford-- all of whom share Jamaican-Chinese ancestry-- were at the forefront of that wave.
Join Gail O'Neill, Keith Lowe and Paula Madison in conversation as they talk about multiculturalism as modeled in fashion.
Gail O’Neill is a journalist, style editor and blogger. As a contributor to ArtsATL, she reviews books, film, theatre and architecture, writes profiles of artists and covers museum and gallery openings in metro-Atlanta. She is also style editor for Southern Seasons Weddings magazine, where she reports on trends in bridal couture, food, drink and design. And her blog The Gaily Planet is a compilation of essays on popular culture, business, politics, sports, style and film.
Most recognizable for her work in television, Gail has hosted several prime time series and specials for HGTV, anchored CNN’s weekly series Travel Now and was a film and entertainment correspondent for CBS News’ The Early Show. Prior to Gail’s tenure as a television journalist, a chance encounter with a photographer led to her career in fashion. The subject of magazine editorials and covers, she traveled the world as muse to top photographers, was a fixture on catwalks in New York, Paris, and Milan and the face of advertising campaigns for clients like Revlon, Cover Girl and Clairol.
A graduate of Wesleyan University, Gail divides her time between homes in New York City and Atlanta.
This session will introduce the life and work of Han Suyin (pen name), who wrote about her Hakka ancestors in the western part of China in her autobiography The Crippled Tree (1965). Her account of Hakka migration theory was integrated with stories about her father and her third uncle. Her ancestral Hakka roots in Szechuan (Sichuan) might have afforded her the rare opportunity to conduct government-approved research at a commune in Tibet (See Lhasa, The Open City: A Journey to Tibet, 1977). At the time of the cold war, her sympathetic account of leaders of the newly emerging People’s Republic of China was much criticized. China experts such as Robert Elegant described her as an “outmoded sycophant” and fellow Belgian Simon Leys (also pen name) castigated her for her account of Tibet as Maoist. A trained medical doctor graduated from University of London Medical School (without the support of her first husband), she later left medical practice and became a writer, authoring of over 30 books in multiple languages. She wrote about China and the Hakka identity from her family stories and personal experiences. At the time when most China experts were men who emphasized professionalism over experiences and story telling, Suyin was not considered a sinologist even though she wrote widely on the subject. The panel will explore whether she was a victim of gender biases, or whether her life and work deserved further explorations.
- Dr. Keith D. Lowe
- Dr. Bayer Jack-Wah Lee
This workshop will explore creative ways to tell a Hakka story. The workshop will be led by Professor Tao Leigh Goffe and Henry Chang, Hakka published authors.
Tao Leigh Goffe received her Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University. A native of London, she also grew up in New York and New Jersey. As a Princeton undergraduate, Dr. Goffe received her A.B. in English with a certificate in African American Studies. Currently a professor at NYU, her research explores the intersections between black and Asian diasporic literature in the United States, United Kingdom, and the Caribbean. Goffe’s book project, "Chiney Royal: Afro-Asian Intimacies in the Americas" maps a network of Afro-Asian intimacies in the metropolises of New York’s Chinatown and Toronto as well as the plantations of the West Indies and the American South. Analyzing spy thrillers, travelogues, beauty pageant photography, radical romance novels, indenture contracts, recipes, ship manifests, reggae songs, and family photographs, all of which encompass a rich archive of Afro-Asian intimacies in the Americas, Tao reads cultural objects against the grain of colonial history by drawing on methodologies of literary criticism and cultural history. Goffe's most recent article, "007 versus the Darker Races: Black and Yellow Peril in Dr. No," which offers a reading of a Jamaican Chinese James Bond and the orientalist coding of Ian Fleming’s Jamaica, was published in Anthurium: A Caribbean Studies Journal.
Chinatown native son and author Henry Chang is Hakka. He vaguely remembered his "Nine Rivers" Hakka connection, recently recalling his cultural ancestry when he was informed about the New York Hakka Conference earlier this year! Now he will be reading passages from his acclaimed detective stories, Year of the Dog and Chinatown Beat which include Chang’s experiences growing up Hakka in a Punti Chinatown. His poems have appeared in the seminal Yellow Pearl anthology, and in Gangs In New York’s Chinatown. He has written for Bridge Magazine, and his fiction has appeared in On A Bed Of Rice and in the NuyorAsian Anthology. His debut novel Chinatown Beat garnered high praise from the New York Times Book Review, the Boston Globe and the Washington Post, among others. Henry Chang is a graduate of CCNY (City College of New York). He has been a lighting consultant, and a Security Director for major hotels, commercial properties, and retail businesses in Manhattan. He resides in the Chinatown area, and his ‘Chinatown Trilogy' of CHINATOWN BEAT (2006), YEAR OF THE DOG (2008), RED JADE (2010) and DEATH MONEY (2014) are currently being developed for television and movies. ‘LUCKY’, the fifth book in the series was published in March.
The idea for this joint project came from a visit to Cuba in January 2017 by Dr. Keith Lowe, Dr. Bayer Jack-Wah Lee, Jook Leung, Howard Williams, Jared Lee and Paula Madison. While visiting the Chinese Cemetery in Havana, they saw remains of thousands of deceased Chinese Cubans which presently are in bone boxes bearing their names and home villages. The boxes originally were created to be sent back to China to be buried in the person’s home village. For many, this final journey was facilitated by the charitable works of the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals of Hong Kong, the largest and oldest charitable organization in Hong Kong. Dr. Gay Quai-Ming Yuen, board member of the Chinese American Museum of Los Angeles will explain this tradition which is highlighted by a permanent display of such bone boxes at her museum. Mitzi Espinosa Luis, secretary to the Chairman of Havana’s Min Chih Tang, will give a history of the Chinese Cemetery in Havana and Jook Leung will show his 3-D and drone photography. Robert Hew, Vice President of the Chinese Benevolent Association of Jamaica will present the restoration and management of the Kingston Chinese Cemetery project in Jamaica as a model for what might be possible in Havana.
- Dr. Gay Quai-Ming Yuen, immediate past chair, Chinese American Museum of Los Angeles
- Robert Hew, Vice President of the Chinese Benevolent Association of Jamaica
- Mitzi Espinosa Luis, secretary to the Chairman of Havana’s Min Chih Tang
- Jook Leung, 3-D and drone Photographer
- Dr. Keith D. Lowe, Chair and Co-Founder Toronto Hakka Conference
- Paula Madison, President New York Hakka Conference
Transportation option: Take mini van from Confucius Plaza to Flushing Library then walk along Main Street to Northern Blvd.
6:30 p.m. Welcoming Remarks, Dr. Keith Lowe, chair and co-founder, Toronto Hakka Conference; Dr. Bayer Jack-Wah Lee, pastor First Chinese Baptist Church of Chinatown NY and Paula Williams Madison, president, New York Hakka Conference.
7:30 p.m. Flushing Town Hall screens the film "Finding Samuel Lowe: China, Jamaica, Harlem" by Paula Williams Madison, followed by Q&A and her signing of her book (in English and Chinese translation). After retiring from NBCUniversal, Harlem-born Madison began actively to search for the Chinese side of her family from which the Jamaican side was separated for almost nine decades. She traveled to the Toronto Hakka Conference in 2012 and, with the help of attendees, found the threads that led her back to China to be reunited with her family of almost 150 generations. Her story is the subject of inquiry into the influence of West African conception of self-identity and spirituality on the formation of Afro/Caribbean Hakka identity. Get your tickets now, RSVP at Flushing Town Hall website.
Option: Those who already saw the film could leave early if they wish but we encourage you to see it again.
7:30 p.m. or 9:15 p.m. Attendees could have dinner in Flushing or return to Chinatown. Transportation option: Regularly scheduled mini vans ($3) from the Flushing Post Office to Confucius Plaza OR take MTA #7 train, then transfer to D train and exit at Grand Street Station in Chinatown.