Winston Ho 
Member since Oct 27, 2015


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Re: “Where was New Orleans' Chinatown?

Well, Campanella's book (2006) actually mentions several reasons why Chinatown was located where it was, including the fact that it was in near Canal Street and the River. Also, Campanella was talking about Chinatown in relation to other ethnic enclaves in the city. Chinatown was in a poor immigrant area surrounded by German and African American neighborhoods.

More importantly, New Orleans Chinatown was never very large. It was really a commercial district for dry good stores and other retail businesses that served the Chinese community in the city -- only a few Chinese actually lived there. The Chinese mostly operated laundries in New Orleans, from the 1870s until the 1940s, and those laundries were everywhere. These laundries were small family-run businesses, and the Chinese lived at or near where they worked, so the Chinese lived everywhere in New Orleans. This made New Orleans Chinatown very different from the San Fransisco, Chicago, or Manhattan Chinatowns, which were large ethnic neighborhoods. However, New Orleans Chinatown was very similar to the modern Chinatown / Shopping districts in Houston and Atlanta, since most Chinese today live in the suburbs.

Winston Ho
Rutgers University New Brunswick, Asian Languages and Cultures

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Winston Ho on 10/27/2015 at 3:24 AM

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