My Unforgotten Seattle
- PUBLISHED: October 2020
- SUBJECT LISTING: Asian American Studies, Biography, Autobiography, and Memoir, Pacific Northwest
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 704 Pages, 6 x 9 in, 100 color illus., 75 b&w illus.
- ISBN: 9780295748412
Third-generation Seattleite, historian, journalist, and museum visionary Ron Chew spent more than five decades fighting for Asian American and social justice causes in Seattle. In this deeply personal memoir, he documents the tight-knit community he remembers, describing small family shops, chop suey restaurants, and sewing factories now vanished. He untangles the mystery of his extended family’s journey to America during the era of the Chinese Exclusion Act. Intimate profiles of his parents—a waiter and garment worker—and leaders like Bob Santos, Ruth Woo, Al Sugiyama, Roberto Maestas, and Kip Tokuda are set against the familiar backdrop of local landmarks such as Sick’s Stadium, Kokusai Theatre, Shorey’s Bookstore, Higo Variety Store, Hong Kong Restaurant, and Chubby &Tubby. He highlights Seattle’s unsung champions in the fight for racial inclusion, political empowerment, American ethnic studies, Asian American arts, Japanese American redress, and revitalization of the Chinatown-International District. Chew himself led a successful campaign to transform a historic hotel into the Wing Luke Museum’s permanent home.
Authors & Contributors
Ron Chew served as editor of the International Examiner and as executive director of the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience. His books include Reflections of Seattle’s Chinese Americans: The First 100 Years and Remembering Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes: The Legacy of Filipino American Labor Activism.
Readers interested in Asian/Pacific American studies, the history of Seattle, and community activism will enjoy Chew's thoughtfully written memoir, which shares how his journey has always centered on community and social activism work.- Booklist
In our midst are a few incredible people who witness events, take notes, keep journals and hoard letters...If we’re lucky, they bring it all together for the rest of us before it disappears into time. Chew is one of those people...He tells of the ordinary people he saw do extraordinary things.- UW Magazine
Seattle would not have been the same without Ron Chew. This book will add to that legacy by deepening our understanding of the city.- from the foreword by Carey Quan Gelernter
A compelling fact-rich memoir describing the youthful, idealistic activism of the 1970s and the political rise of the city’s Asian American community. As writer then editor of the influential community-based International Examiner and later, as the director of the nationally acclaimed Wing Luke Museum, Chew was both a participant and a chronicler of those heady times. This should be required reading for those interested in an important part of the tapestry that is modern day multicultural Seattle. This is also a case study in how a numerically small group was able to organize and form important multi-ethnic alliances, allowing Asian Americans to effectively support social justice initiatives and to consistently "punch above their weight.”- Peter Bacho, author of Uncle Rico's Encore: Mostly True Stories of Filipino Seattle