San Francisco's Chinatown--the oldest, largest, and most famous Chinese enclave outside of Asia--is more than a tourist attraction. Since its birth in the 1850s, Chinatown has also been a residential neighborhood, business community, and cultural center for generations of Chinese Americans. This collection of vintage photographs, taken from public archives and private collections, looks beyond the facade of Chinatown to show the realities of daily life, including a community's struggle for survival against racial hostility, exclusion laws, two major earthquakes, and urban renewal. The images of ordinary people working, shopping, and socializing in Chinatown, combined with the changing streetscape, historic landmarks, and significant cultural and political events, are organized into three historical periods, providing a panoramic view of community transformation from the gold rush to the present day.
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