Black Women Asian Men United

To support, encourage, & promote interaction between Asian Men & Black Women.

Black Women’s History (Kissing the Asian Guy): Chinese and African American Marriages in the Mississippi Delta FEBRUARY 18, 2015 | ** GUEST AUTHOR ** | By Stan Solomillo

"Following the end of the Civil War, various immigration schemes were developed by Euro American business interests to employ Chinese contract laborers instead of newly freed African American slaves.  They were hired for a number of endeavors including building railroads, felling forests, draining swamps, and cultivating rice, sugarcane, tobacco, and cotton.

Chinese laborers were initially classified as “Negro,” and arrived from Southern China (Guangdong Province), the Philippines, Cuba and other Caribbean islands, as well as New York, Philadelphia, and California.  Brought under the auspices of Euro American and Chinese contracting companies or individual labor agents, they proved to be hard workers but were far from docile.  Many left the fields as soon as the terms of their contracts were either completed or arbitrarily changed by an employer as well as for non-payment.  This prompted such endeavors to be regarded as complete failures.

Chinese workers opted to either out-migrate from the South altogether, continue to work as individual contractors (including sharecroppers), or pool their resources to establish small businesses—mostly groceries—locating them in isolated African American enclaves in the Delta.  This created two cohorts of Chinese—one rural and one urban.  A majority of the rural Chinese appear to have married while the storeowners are purported to have largely remained bachelors (which has not been thoroughly investigated).  Of those who married, the Chinese identities of the rural cohort were lost through successive generations by the changing of surnames and by census takers who altered racial classifications, while the identities of storekeepers remained largely intact."


Please note that there is a large amount of material that is posted on-line about the Delta (Mississippi) Chinese but very little about inter-racial marriages between them and African American women.  The best sources for this information are Cohen (1984), which includes photographs of Afro-Chinese families, and Loewen (1971).     

China Whisper.  “Chinese in Africa: Chinese Men Marry African Wi[ves].”  Accessed 16 2015

Cohen, Lucy M.  Chinese in the Post-Civil War South: A People Without History.  Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1984.

Loewen, James W.  The Mississippi Chinese: Between Black and White.  Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1971.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  “T.V. Preview: Famous Faces, DNA Reveal African-American Ancestry.”  Accessed February 14, 2015.

Quan, Robert Seto, and Julian B. Roebuck.  Lotus Among the Magnolias: The Mississippi Chinese.  Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 1982.

Sardonic Sistah Says. “No Sweet Lip for Asian Men.”  Accessed 06 February 2015.

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