Chinese migrant laborers Discussion Question

Answer just one of the four questions below in a paragraph or more, and then include the REFLECTION (another paragraph or more) described below them. The questions relate to the material the are uploaded. Question 3 and the REFLECTION are examples of what is called “comparative race and ethnicity,” that is, looking at how the history and culture of two or more ethnic groups are connected or interrelated.

  1. Based on what you’ve learned from the Ronald Takaki reading , what were the earliest origins of indentured labor in the U.S. colonies, and who were the original indentured laborers? How did indentured labor develop into chattel slavery?
  2. Based on what you’ve learned from the Ronald Takaki reading , what was the social experience of Chinese migrant laborers like in the U.S.? How were they treated by businesses and politicians? How were they pitted against other ethnicities in the labor market?
  3. In what ways was the history of the introduction of Chinese migrant labor connected to the end of African-American chattel slavery in the United States? In what ways were their experiences of labor, servitude, or exploitation similar or different?
  4. Based on what you’ve learned from the Ronald Takaki reading on the history of Mexican-Americans, or Chicanxs, how is their experience of becoming a part of U.S. labor different from the experiences of African-Americans and Chinese-Americans? (Hint: Think about geography).

REFLECTION: Based on which question you chose to answer, how does what you’ve learned differ from or present a different perspective than what you may have been taught before in school (i.e. K-12 education in the U.S. or primary/secondary school in other countries)? Do you see any historical parallels between the experience of African-American slaves or Chinese laborers in the past with the experiences of Chicanx and Latinx migrants in the U.S. in the present?


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