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Munson A. Kwok: Community Leader And Activist

One cannot mention Chinatown without referencing one of its most ardent advocates and community leaders, Munson A. Kwok. Throughout his years of public service, he has presided over every imaginable Chinese American organization, including the Chinese Citizen Alliance, the Chinese Historical Society, the Chinese Benevolent Consolidated Association, the Chinese American Museum, to name just a few. In fact, it was Kwok who gave us the key to understanding the rich, varied and contradictory history of Chinatown by introducing us to those who have made it their lifeblood. It was only appropriate that we sat down with Munson A. Kwok at the Chinese Citizens Alliance (the first Chinese civil rights organization in the country) to discuss the ways citizenship and property rights have affected the Chinese American community since the turn of the twentieth century.

 

The Chinese Citizen Alliance
Munson A. Kwok discusses the fights for immigrant rights and family unification that directly stem from the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.

 

Property Rights in New Chinatown
Munson A. Kwok discusses the differences in land ownership rights between the Old and New Chinatown inhabitants.

 

The Birth of Cathay Bank
Munson Kwok depicts the beginning of Cathay Bank and its role in Chinese American history in Los Angeles.