Monday, November 9, 2020

New Sampan Article: The First Chinese Person To Live In Boston

 The most interesting feature of Chinese life to me was that on board their boats, or sampans, as they are called....Upon these boats live whole families of three and even four generations."

--The Fall River Daily Herald, November 20, 1888

As I've mentioned previously, I've a new writing gig, contributing to Sampan, the only bilingual Chinese-English newspaper in New England. I've previously written ten articles for Sampan, including:

My newest article, The First Chinese Person To Live In Boston, is now available in the new issue of Sampan. The first documented Chinese person to have lived in Boston was Chou, a teenager who worked for a local sea captain. Unfortunately, Chou died far too young, falling on a ship, and the captain had him buried in the Central Burying Ground in Boston. Today, you can still see his tombstone there. However, although many believe the sea captain was compassionate and kind, there is a dark twist to this tale, which is known to few. Read my full article to learn about this dark twist.

I'm currently working on a new article for the next issue of Sampan, which should be published later this month. 

What is a "sampan?" The newspaper's site states, "A sampan is a popular river boat in traditional China. This small but useful vessel, by transporting cargo from large boats to the village ports, creates a channel of communication among villages." And like that type of boat, Sampan delivers news and information all across New England, and "acts a bridge between Asian American community organizations and individuals in the Greater Boston area."

Sampan, which was founded in 1972, is published by the nonprofit Asian American Civic Association, "The newspaper covers topics that are usually overlooked by the mainstream press, such as key immigration legislation, civil rights, housing, education, day-care services and union activities. These issues are crucial to the well-being of Asian immigrants, refugees, low-income families as well as individuals who are not proficient in the English language."

There is plenty of interest in Sampan which will appeal to all types of readers, from restaurant reviews to historical articles, from vital news stories to travel items. In these current days when racism and prejudice against Asians and their restaurants is high, it's more important than ever that accurate information about the Asian community is disseminated and promoted. We need to combat the irrational prejudices that some possess, and support our Asian communities just as we would support any other element of our overall community. We are all important aspects of a whole, and we need to stand together.

Support Sampan!

No comments: