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When we hear “Chinatown,” we often think of New York, San Francisco, or Philadelphia. While these epicenters of Chinese immigration remain prominent today, many cities across the country were home to enclaves of Chinese immigrants.  In New Jersey, Chinese immigrants first settled in Belleville before branching out to Newark due to its proximity to New York City.  Please join us in honor of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month as Yoland Skeete-Laessig uncovers the history and stories of Newark’s lost Chinatown, which during the turn of the twentieth century, was larger than New York City’s.  Yoland will also touch on how her experiences growing up as a mixed-race child in Trinidad influenced her identity, especially her Chinese grandfather and relatives.

Yoland Skeete-Laessig is a documentarian whose photographs, video and multimedia works are in the print collection of the Museum of Modern Art, African American Museum of Life and Culture in Dallas, Texas, the Alexander Bonin Gallery in Chelsea, the American Express Corporation, The Bilha Museum in Portugal, and The Zimmerli Museum in New Jersey.  She also served as director and co-founder of the Sumei Multidisciplinary Arts Center in Newark, one of Newark’s leading artist run alternative spaces from 1993 to 2015.  She has been a recipient of the Glide Memorial Grant, The Graff Travel Grant, The New Jersey Council on the Humanities Grant and the Melon Grant distributed through New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s Humanities program and The Chinese American Museum in Los Angeles.

This is presented by the New Jersey State Library. Click here to register for this virtual talk.