Who are the Cantonese Chinese?: New York City Chinatown during the 1940s-1960s: New York City Chinatown Oral History Project

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The Cantonese Chinese were largely Toisanese peasant farmers from southern China and the original Chinese pioneers to the United States starting in the 1800s. Recruited as cheap labor to build the transcontinental railroad, they faced harsh discrimination and were viewed as an economic threat during the California Gold Rush. After its completion, they were omitted from the U.S. annals and the only national group ever to be barred from immigrating to the U.S. by the Chinese Exclusion Acts between 1882 and 1943. After World ...

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