A Blasian in Chinese History
I have a book that will be of interest to Black sinophiles, Chinese Blasians, and anyone else who wants to read about historical Black-Chinese interactions.
Return to the Middle Kingdom: One Family, Three Revolutionaries, and the Birth of Modern China by YuanTsung Chen follows the story of the Chen Family from China to the West Indies and back to China again, helping to shape the history of the country.
Eugene Chen, the son of Taiping Rebellion soldier, was born and educated in Trinidad. After getting a law degree in England he headed back to China. In China he started a newspaper which took on warlords, prime ministers, colonists and the emperor himself. Twice he was jailed and escaped a firing squad.
While living in Trinidad, Chen met and married Agatha Ganteaume, the biracial daughter of a rich white planter. Together they had several children including Percy Chen and Jack Chen (Yuan-tsung’s husband).
Percy followed the footsteps of his father and moved to China and Russia, meeting the major players of Asia in the early 20th century which he writes about in his book “China Called Me”.
Jack has also written books, including The Chinese of America and Inside the Cultural Revolution.
I meant to post this last fall when Ding Hui and Lou Jing were in the headlines about being Blasian in China, but better late than never right? Although it seems like China needs to get used to the creeping expansion of global multiculturalism the truth is it’s as old as human travel.
Pictures taken from the author’s website YuanTsungChen.com. Please visit her site to learn more about this remarkable family or pick up the book at your local library or bookseller.