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Life as a Chinese Immigrant

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October 23, 1948

It's very cold outside. Working on the transcontinental railroad is very hard work. I miss my wife and my kids so much, yet I'm stuck here for years to come. I also work in the mining industry. Our work goes from sunrise to sundown. You hardly get much food at all. Oh the misery of it all. My back is causing a grueling pain. Having to suffer this racial discrimination is not easy. Sometimes I just want to run away from here, but it's not possible. You'd get caught. Everyone’s watching. I must continue my work before I get seen.

May 08, 1952

Nothing's really changed here. My stomach growls for food. I don't control when I eat. People here are referring to us as "Yellow Peril," or "Yellow Terror" as you will. To my kind it is a racial comment of our skin color. Some of us have to immigrate to California soon due to civil turmoil and poverty. I can't say whether or not I want to be one of those people. I'm pretty sure it's not much different.

August 14, 1956

It's pretty hot outside. I long for a drink of water. At least just a quench. I'm put on Labor Force now working on the Transcontinental Railroad. I find this much harder to bear. I'm getting paid $29 a month which isn't quite frankly much at all. Compared to others, it's good, but at the same time, it's bad. Some of the other Chinese immigrants are getting paid less and some are getting paid more than me. We get paid $26-$35 a month for a 12-hour day, 6-day week. We have to provide our own shelter. I got a tent. It's actually not fair, the white workers are provided with food and shelter, as for we are not. My people and I are saving up $20 a month so that we can eventually buy our own land. Time to work again. I hope that for not too much longer my people and I can go back to our families and our homes to where we belong.




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