"And the food was always phenomenal"
October 12, 2017 10:42 AM   Subscribe

The Untold Story Of America's Southern Chinese "There's a rather unknown community of Chinese-Americans who've lived in the Mississippi Delta for more than a hundred years. They played an important role in the segregated South in the middle of the 20th century. Join us as we get a taste of Southern Chinese food and learn about the unique history of the Delta Chinese."

This the second part of a 3-part AJ+ series of short docs on Chinese-American food hosted by Dolly Li.

Part 1: How Chop Suey Saved San Francisco's Chinatown

Part 3: Inside The Chinese Food Mecca Of Los Angeles

Previously: Chinese Americans in the time of Jim Crow
posted by TheGoodBlood (8 comments total) 62 users marked this as a favorite
I'm loving this. Thanks for sharing, TheGoodBlood.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 11:10 AM on October 12, 2017

This is a fantastic documentary. My mom's family is Chinese and it was a real blast listening to people who look like my relatives speaking with Southern accents, just from the incongruity (to my brain).

At one point one of the women says something like, "Are we always foreigners? Because of our appearance, we look like we just got here?" and I found that very moving. It's like, these people have been there a long, long time with a long history and that long history is negated every time someone makes that assumption that they're brand new to the area because of how they look.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:58 AM on October 12, 2017 [6 favorites]

posted by Bee'sWing at 12:18 PM on October 12, 2017

I watched this last month and concur that it's fabulous! Btw the Youtube playlist for this series has a fourth video.
posted by XMLicious at 12:58 PM on October 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

Re: Part 3. My wife is Chinese and born/raised in the SGV (or the "6-2-6" as it's also commonly known) and we just returned from a trip there for her sister's wedding. I love visiting there! The food is great (and boba too - shout-out to TenRen and Coco Tea), the people are friendlier than you'd assume for an LA suburb, and the 99 Ranch Market mentioned in the video really is a good one.
posted by mystyk at 1:35 PM on October 12, 2017

For another interesting (and relatively unknown) Southern community, see the Delta Italians, who settled at Sunnyside Plantation post-Civil War as part of an arrangement with the Italian gov't.

My in-laws believe Sunday dinner (I believe y'all might call it 'lunch') should feature Fried Chicken andspaghetti.
posted by grimjeer at 5:17 PM on October 12, 2017 [3 favorites]

I visited Clarksdale in the spring and I'm really sad that I missed out on this piece of it!
posted by raccoon409 at 7:07 PM on October 12, 2017

So when you all said “Southern Chinese” and southern accents, I automatically presumed a Cantonese accent. Didn’t realize you meant a Southern-as-in-US accent until I heard that lady speak in the video :) Mind officially blown.
posted by the cydonian at 7:38 AM on October 14, 2017

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