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Graphic NewsHow Sensational Images Transformed Nineteenth-Century Journalism$
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Amanda Frisken

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042980

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042980.001.0001

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“Language More Effective than Words”

“Language More Effective than Words”

Opium Den Illustrations and Anti-Chinese Violence in the 1880s

Chapter:
(p.47) Chapter 2 “Language More Effective than Words”
Source:
Graphic News
Author(s):

Amanda Frisken

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5622/illinois/9780252042980.003.0003

This chapter explores how, in the late 1870s and early 1880s, the NationalPolice Gazette adapted its racialization of rape to characterize Chinese laborers as sexual predators. While family-based illustrated papers – such as Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, Harper’s Weekly, and the Daily Graphic – Orientalized the Chinese, The Police Gazette amplified rhetoric from anti-Chinese agitators, such as Denis Kearney, about Chinese sexual predators, a new rationale for federal exclusion legislation. Journalist Wong Chin Foo’s efforts to interject a more positive iconography of Chinese workers, in his paper The Chinese-American and other venues, had limited power to challenge the anti-Chinese movement’s pervasive stereotypes. Wong’s positive representations were no match for the mystique of the more sensational – and distorted – version of Chinatown.

Keywords:   Wong Chin Foo, Denis Kearney, Harper’s Weekly, Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, Daily Graphic, National Police Gazette, The Chinese American, anti-Chinese movement

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