Reenactment: 22 Lewd Chinese Women
Time & Location
About the Event
In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, CABA and the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois (HLAI) are excited to collaborate on a trial re-enactment of Chy Lung v. Freeman, telling the story of 22 Chinese women through narration, discussion, and historic photographs.
The history of Asian-American womanhood can be found in the Page Act of 1875, which prohibited Chinese women from entering the United States by classifying them as “prostitutes” and casting them as a threat to American morality. Chy Lung v. Freeman was a case born out of such sentiment. Upon the arrival of a ship from China in 1874, a San Francisco state official determined that 22 Chinese women traveling alone were “lewd”—or prostitutes—and placed a bond of $500 on each woman in order to disembark. The women were detained and legal proceedings followed, including a trial and appeals to the United States Supreme Court, where issues of immigration, federalism, and human rights were raised. Special thanks to AABANY for providing the script and powerpoint for the reenactment.
Please sign up for a role here.