Questions/Goals for this reflection?
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- How did Chinese Americans fight for the right to access public schools in California in the 19th century?
- How did the experiences of racial segregation vary based on the ethnicity of group?
- Kuo, Joyce.
- Chinese Mother latter
- Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) (Links to an external site.),
First two articles are attached below .
make sure you read the articles .
The Tape v. Hurley decision predates some issues that will be explored in future modules.
There are two areas of focus here in the Tape v. Hurley case: one is in the matter of law. For instance, the California Supreme Court acknowledged that state law did not explicitly allow the exclusion of Chinese from public schools. In fact, the California Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Superior Court, which held that:
“To deny a child, born of Chinese parents in this State, entrance to the public schools would be a violation of the law of the State and the Constitution of the United States. It would, moreover, be unjust to levy a forced tax upon Chinese residents to help maintain our schools, and yet prohibit their children born here from education in those schools.”
While this legal determination was a victory for the Tapes, it ultimately also allowed for the segregation of Chinese from public schooling opportunities through new state legislation that specifically addressed the Chinese in public schools and finalized the creation of segregation. This, in turn, would be ultimately be upheld by the United States Supreme Court in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) (Links to an external site.), which established the idea of “separate but equal” as constitutional and paved the way for decades of Jim Crow segregation throughout the states.
Another area to consider in your reading is the political dimension of Tape v. Hurley and its aftermath. While the Chinese faced issues of segregated schooling, another group of Asian immigrants — Japanese Americans — fared differently when it came to the issue of segregation. The Japanese government was actually able to intercede on the behalf of its nationals abroad and entered into the informal Gentlemen’s Agreement with the Untied States which allowed Japanese students to attend white schools in San Francisco.
Base your discussion this week on one of those two aforementioned themes. Considering the nature of the Tape v. Hurley decision (as well as other court cases documented by Joyce Kuo) or how the Japanese were afforded some different treatment based on the political clout of Japan, what aspects of the readings did you find specifically interesting or relevant? Why? Does this issue seem surprising or not, based on your understanding of the history of school segregation? Please be specific in your answers, and utilize concrete examples drawn from your readings when appropriate
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