Chinese Texans and Civil Rights
6400 Bissonnet St. at Braewick
Houston , 77074
THC Class of 2009, 09HR32; Marker in storage at the Harris County Records Center pending installation & dedication; pending determination of location, may be installed at the Asia Society Building per Dr. Chen 8/2013; minor capitalization error in THC Atlas marker text: "Houston Community", "Chinese American citizens alliance,"
Directions: From SH 59 south on Fondren to Beechnut, left on Beechnut to Bissonnet, left of Bissonnet to Bayland Park (Houston); marker is on the west side of the center in the landscaped parking area From 610 West, west on Bissonnet two and three tenths mile to Hilcroft & another two tenths mile to Park entrance at the Bissonnet & Braewick stop light, enter park and turn right, follow the signs to Bayland Park Community Center; marker is on the west side of the center in the landscaped parking area
Key Time Period: 1920 - 1940 Post-WW I & Depression
Marker Text: Chinese immigrants arrived in Texas in the 1870s and 1880s, primarily to build railroads and work as laborers. These early immigrants faced harsh working conditions and racism from those fearing they would take away jobs. Chinese Texans were also met with violence, punctuated by Judge Roy Bean’s reported 1884 ruling that it was not illegal to kill a Chinese. With Anti-Chinese sentiment spreading through the western and southern states, congress restricted immigration through the Chinese Exclusion Act (1882), the only U.S. Law to exclude a specific race from immigrating; it also denied citizenship to Chinese Americans.
As was true throughout Texas, discrimination against Chinese Texans was common in Houston. However, the Houston Chinese community, which numbered only 50 in 1930, began to grow as immigrants came here from other southern states. In Houston, Chinese students could attend public schools with whites, and soon, Chinese Texans began attending state universities.
Through the efforts of American-born Chinese, economic and social injustices began to be righted. 1937 testimony by Edward K.T. Chen ()and Rose Don Wu ( ) helped kill a proposed Texas law that would have prevented Chinese from owning urban property. In 1943, the Magnuson Act repealed the Chinese Exclusion Act. The Chinese American Citizens Alliance, including its Houston branch, under the direction of Albert C.B. Gee ( ), helped pass the immigration Act of 1965, paving the way for large-scale Chinese immigration. Today, Chinese Texans continue to make a vital impact on politics and culture in Texas, standing as a tribute to the immigrants who withstood discrimination and thrived. (2009)
Marker is property of the State of Texas
Marker Type: Marker with Post
Historical Org: Texas Historical Commission (THC)
Key Map Information: 530 M
GPS Coordinates: 29 41.691, 95 29.811
Precinct No: 3
Marker No: 16254