Monday, February 22, 2021

New Sampan Article: Sam Wah Kee: Chinatown’s Wealthy Merchant Turned Fugitive

"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 sixteen articles for Sampan, including:

The 150th Anniversary of Chinese New Year in Massachusetts

My newest article, Sam Wah Kee: Chinatown's Wealthy Merchant Turned Fugitive, is now available in the new issue of Sampan. During the late 1880s and 1890s, Sam Wah Kee was the most wealthy Chinese merchant in all of New England, a leader of the Chinese Free Masons, and the uncrowned king of Chinatown. His ultimate fate is unknown, as he fled from federal authorities and apparently was never apprehended. It’s a fascinating tale of the rise and fall of an influential Chinese merchant in Boston’s Chinatown.

I'm currently working on a new article for the Sampan. 

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!

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