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Asian Americans in DixieRace and Migration in the South$
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Jigna Desai and Khyati Y. Joshi

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037832

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037832.001.0001

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Segregation, Exclusion, and the Chinese Communities in Georgia, 1880s-1940

Segregation, Exclusion, and the Chinese Communities in Georgia, 1880s-1940

(p.107) Chapter 4 Segregation, Exclusion, and the Chinese Communities in Georgia, 1880s-1940
Asian Americans in Dixie

Daniel Bronstein

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the impact of various state apparatuses, including exclusion laws, on the little remarked but fascinating Chinese American merchant communities in Atlanta, Augusta, and Savannah, Georgia. Federal Chinese Exclusion laws established a highly selective exemption system designed to prevent most Chinese from entering and reentering the United States. The law explicitly barred the first-time entry of laborers but allowed Chinese to come over as merchants, students, government officials, teachers, and U.S.-born citizens. Since most Chinese in Augusta were in the grocery business, they were allowed to travel under the exempted merchant category and their wives and children as merchant dependents. As such, Augusta's Chinese community grew in size and became one of the largest Chinese communities in the South before 1965.

Keywords:   Chinese American merchants, Federal Chinese Exclusion laws, Chinese community, exemption system, Chinese community, merchant communities

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