Lotus among the Magnolias: The Mississippi Chinese by Robert Seto Quan, Julian B. Roebuck

By Robert Seto Quan, Julian B. Roebuck

A examine displaying how the Mississippi chinese language were capable of extend their social and monetary capability and at the moment are relocating clear of their restrictive beginnings

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Sample text

Then, when I'm finished, my wife eats and I run the front. Then when nobody's around I take a nap. The trucks usually come in around three or three-thirty, so my wife wakes me up and I go to check in the stock. Business is sometimes like a flood—everybody all at once. And then sometimes it is just a trickle. Around five business steps up because everyone is getting off work. They stop by the store to pick up things to eat for supper. When the sun goes down things get slow and we close around eight-thirty.

But if you owe someone money, and you sell at ten cents, you be sunk. We helped each other too and didn't pay no interest when we paid it back. During the first half of the twentieth century many of the Chinese knew too little English to do business with people in the outside world. To cope with the problem they founded an informal mutual protection association. As one elderly grocer said: We businessmen always helped each other out, like in a family. One person would look after the other, and then nobody failed.

Women wear plain dark dresses and men wear white short-sleeved shirts and inexpensive dark trousers. Most speak broken English. Nonetheless, they manage to communicate effectively with blacks and whites. All but a few have acquired the linguistic ability to pass the compulsory literacy tests for naturalization. Old People at Home Members of this group see themselves at home as a bridge connecting the distant past to the present. " They realize that their children and grandchildren have to learn American customs in order to be successful, but they dislike the personal cost of the climb, which means to them the casting aside of many Chinese traditions.

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