Chinese American Heroes and AsianWeek have honored Jean Pfaelzer for her book Driven Out: The Forgotten War Against Chinese Americans, which revealed the pogroms and ethnic cleansing that targeted Chinese Americans in the Pacific Northwest between 1850 and 1906.
During her early teaching career, when she was working at Humboldt State University, Pfaelzer was shocked to learn that Chinese Americans had been rounded up and purged from many cities in California and the Pacific Northwest, in a systematic and organized movement known among Chinese Americans as the Pai Hua, or the Driven Out. Investigating further, she learned that for each instance of routing and violence, Chinese Americans fought back, defending themselves against racist legislation and the vigilantes who organized roundups to expel them from their homes. “The stories are ugly, but needed to be told. That is why we are honoring Dr. Jean Pfaelzer for her research to uncover that buried history’, said AsianWeek.
In this Commonwealth Club talk on FORA.tv, Pfaelzer chronicles the long-concealed history of the Driven Out and the Chinese American resistance movement, which included the first lawsuit for reparations, that continually fought for justice.