It's Many Chinese Communities Not One Chinese Community

from NYC student publication, Harmony, 1970


On October 21, 1970, Professor Robert Chin of Boston University spoke before a group of students from New York.  Professor Chin, a Jook Shing from New York, had this to say about the Chinese community:
 
"One of the issues all of us have is relating to something called the Chinese Community - is the fact that it’s many Chinese communities - not one Chinese Community - it's a series of different communities; second, that like in any relationship you will be engaging in, whether in education or in social work or in medicine, there's a problem of social entry that is the relationship between you and the other, that has to be watched.
 
In addition, Professor Chin had this piece of advice for those who are interested in doing community work:
"There's a kind of authentic relationship you can establish, rather you coming in from outside being a do-gooder saying, ‘I, from my lofty heights, will tell you what to do for contracts or grants.' So that's a two way bargaining social contract that needs to be worked out. So I would urge you to look at that issue as you get active, as some of you are active or want to be active in youth groups or various organized points of action in
Chinese Communities. And then the other question is what kind of spec1a11zed talents, what kind of specialized backgrounds can be brought to bear ... We are forced into one channel.
 
Chinese American Means
 
Professor Irene Chin, a noted researcher on the topic of Asian -American identity and professor of MIT, spoke on the subject of the identity of the Chinese American to a group of New York college students on October 21,1970 at Boston University. Mrs. Chin defines identity of the Chinese American as:
"Identity of the Chinese American means that you are looking - focus1ng your attention - on how people feel about being Chinese and being American ... It's a subjective approach by the subjective data to being Chinese Americans. And eventually the subjective feeling, needs, attitudes and so on get expressed into objective behavior such as your joining a task force on health needs... ."
 
Later on Mrs. Robert Chin (her husband is Professor Robert Chin of Boston University) ended her speech with the following message:
 
"Let us, while we are in college, have the desire and the companionship to sort of detach ourselves a little and study the process, including ourselves, study ourselves. Let us on the one end study the process, on the other, plunge into action the way your heart moves you, but let us keep your mind aside working at the same time.