Oral Histories: Arkansas Chinese Heritage Project

Project Overview

The Arkansas Chinese Heritage Project seeks to collect, preserve, and showcase the rich history of Chinese communities in Arkansas and surrounding states by sharing the lived experiences of Chinese communities past and present with students, scholars, and community members, while also educating the broader public about the ethnic and cultural diversity of Arkansas.

Project in Action

This oral history project in progress is conducting interviews with Chinese Americans in Arkansas whose families immigrated to the state prior to the passage of the 1965 Immigration and Nationalities Act, many of whom operated small cash grocery stores serving predominantly Black communities in the deeply segregated rural towns of the Mississippi and Arkansas Delta regions.

Project Methodology

This work is conducted with the collaboration and input of the Chinese Association of Arkansas and with community members in Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

Oral history interview with Ms. Susie J. Tonymon, June 7, 2023.