Virtual Camp: That Chinese Girl: How Mamie Tape Won the Right to Go to School
Provider: Anneliese Meck – Manager of Community Lifeways at the Genesee Country Village & Museum in Mumford, NY
The United States has often been described as a nation of immigrants, promising freedom and opportunity to those who arrived in America – but not everyone was welcomed. As early as the 1850s, Chinese immigrants were treated unfairly, with laws that made it difficult to enter the country, and restrictions on where they lived, worked, and educated their children.
In this presentation, students will learn about the lives of Joseph and Mary Tape, who were Chinese immigrants living in San Francisco; as well as the struggles of their daughter, Mamie Tape, in getting to attend a public school in 1884. Referred to as “that Chinese girl” in the newspapers, Mamie Tape’s perseverance, and the winning decision in the Tape v. Hurley (1885) case, made history in the rights of all children to public education. Several primary sources, including court documents, a letter from Mrs. Tape, and photographs of the family, will be used to explore how the Chinese community fought for their civil rights and equality.
All participants are invited to join in the interactive journal activity and group reflection, which will follow the presentation. We recommend that you have paper and writing utensils nearby!
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