This blog provides updates about other fascinating experiences I had while researching, writing, and speaking about my books on Chinese American history and ethnic identity after the publication of A CHINESE AMERICAN ODYSSEY in 2014.
|Posted by John Jung on November 13, 2017 at 3:10 PM||comments (0)|
Growing up in Macon, Georgia, with its hot and humid summers, as a kid, I relished any opportunity to drink an ice cold bottle of Coca Cola. I actually enjoyed other soft drinks such as Nehi Orange and Grape, Dr. Pepper, 7 Up, and Pepsi Cola, as long as they were ice cold, but Coke was Number 1.
Imagine my excitement decades later when I was invited to return to the South in 2014 to speak on a panel during Asian American Month to employees about the relationship between Coke and Chinese in the South at the national corporate headquarters of Coca Cola in Atlanta where Coca Cola had its origins.
After our well-received panel presentation, we were treated a lunch and served, what else, but Coke, to drink followed by a guided tour of an historic archive of Coca Cola memorabilia that is not available to the public. Any thing with reference to Coke was stored in this huge archiveincluding ads, old bottles, Coke bric a brac, toys.
The event brought back happy childhood memories of drinking Coke while reading comic books or playing checkers on hot summer days!
|Posted by John Jung on February 5, 2017 at 3:45 PM||comments (0)|
Over the past decade, I have had more than100 opportunities to speak about the Chinese experience in America. The response has been very positive especially from audience members who have personal or indirect exposure to the mistreatment and lack of recognition Chinese have generally encountered. Despite this positive reception, I have wanted to have opportunities to "preach beyond the choir," so to speak.
My audiences have been predominantly Chinese Americans, and most of them have been from older generations. But awareness of Chinese American history is of great value to younger Chinese Americans and to non-Chinese of all generations.
Opportunity to speak to a large mostly non-Chinese audience called this year when John Gee arranged an invitation for me to speak at part of a semester long lecture series at Laguna Woods Village sponsored by the Saddleback College Emeritus Insittute in Orange County, California.
Over 400 attended for a 9:30 a.m. talk on a morning despite a threat of rain. More importantly to me, probably 98% of the audience were not Chinese or Asian. After the talk, many complimented me for teaching them about many aspects of American history they never knew and others shared their own experiences with Chinese laundries and restaurants.
CLICK THIS LINK TO SEE SCENES FROM THE TALK
Below: I am with Rob Henry, Program Faculty Coordinator, Dan Predoehl, Director of Emeritus Institute, and Gordon Hom, President of the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California.
|Posted by John Jung on July 1, 2016 at 8:00 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted by John Jung on June 10, 2016 at 7:45 PM||comments (0)|
I was pleased to have not one, but two, opportunities to speak again in Portland in May, 2016. My prior visits arranged by the late Bruce Wong, a long time Portland Chinese community leader, enabled me to develop strong connections with the Portland Chinese.
My visit conicided with two outstanding exhibits at the Oregon Historical Society, one about Portland's rich Chinatown history and the other, an outstanding visiting exhibition from the New York Historical Society, Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion, a comprehensive exhibit of interactive displays, personal stories, documents and artifacts related to the negative impact of the Chinese Exclusion laws from 1882-1943, followed by the positive attitudes toward Chinese in the following years. This outstanding exhibit attracted a visit all the way from Seatlle of about 10 members of their Chinese American Citizens Alliance and I had the opportunity to meet briefly with them and explain how I "reinvented myself" after retiring.
My first talk, focused on Chinese identity and based on my memoir, Southern Fried Rice, was held at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCAM) not far from the historic old Chinatown.
The next evening I spoke about my latest book, "A Chinese American Odyssey" to the Chinese Scientists, Engineers, and Professionals Association at a Chinese restaurant in the other "Chinatown" on 82nd Street. One unexpected surprise was that among the attendees were several librarians from Fujian universities. They were visiting their counterparts in Portland, their "sister city." The Portlanders generously purchased sets of all of my books to donate to these Fujian libraries.
|Posted by John Jung on October 24, 2015 at 7:35 PM||comments (0)|
BELOW: H.T. Chen and Dian Dong on the left with the cast of SOGM and the post performance panel speakers.
|Posted by John Jung on October 24, 2015 at 3:05 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted by John Jung on October 11, 2015 at 8:15 PM||comments (0)|
Along with coming up with a memorable and relevant title for a book, there is the matter of designing an eye-catching artistic and appropriate cover. The adage that you can't judge a book by its cover is still valid, but the cover is part of what gets someone to be interested in reading, and evaluating, a book.
I was ever so lucky that Marina Bang, a "web-friend" now living in England took an interest in Odyssey. This talented artist and writer generously volunteered to design my book cover. I sent her some images and she selected one of me at about age 9 or 10 and skillfully and artistically created the cover.
Thanks, Marina, for your beautiful cover and supportive interest in my work!
I showed the cover to several friends who all admired the 'minimalist' simplicity, and one friend, Mike Revzin, suggested that I try to tie the baseball image to the content of the book. At first, that seemed to me to be a very difficult task, but it inspired me to come up with: How a Retired Psychologist Makes a Hit as a Historian.
It's great to have such talented and encouraging friends like Marina and Mike!
|Posted by John Jung on September 27, 2015 at 12:50 AM||comments (0)|
Well, not THE Carnegie Hall, but still a pleasure to speak to students at Lake Forest College in their Carnegie Hall just a short distance from my alma mater, Northwestern University.
A week or two before my visit to speak at the Chinese American Museum of Chicago (CAMOC), Professor of Chinese, Ying Wu, learned that I would be in Chicago and invited me to speak to her classes at Lake Forest College, about 30 miles north of Chicago.
Good fortune smiled on me because the President of CAMOC, Soo Lon Moy, and her husband Ram live in Lake Forest and came to hear my talk. And, I didn't have to worry about transportation to Lake Forest. Anita Luk, the Executive Director of CAMOC, lived near Evanston, where I was staying with friends from my graduate school days, and volunteered to pick me up and chauffeur me to Lake Forest.
This was a great way to end my Chicago weekend following my talk on Odyssey at CAMOC. The event also allowed Lake Forest College and CAMOC leaders to meet and form a network connection for future joint endeavors.
|Posted by John Jung on September 27, 2015 at 12:40 AM||comments (0)|
Got an e-mail from a librarian today that was exciting! She noted that:
"A lady checked out Chinese American Odyssey then came back and checked out all your other books the next day. She said you had such an engaging way of writing that she wanted to read all your books."
Hopefully, some other readers of one of my books will also be motivated to read the other four!
|Posted by John Jung on August 22, 2015 at 4:45 PM||comments (0)|