Oakland Chinatown Oral History Project

Evangeline Buell, Chinatown elder

Sakura Huang, youth interviewer


Mission: To capture and preserve the living history of Oakland Chinatown by facilitating an ongoing community dialogue across generations and cultures.


Project Links

Phase 1 (Intergenerational interviews conducted in 2007 and transcribed in 2008)
Phase 2 (Digital Archive Phase currently in 2009)

For more information about how to participate in this project, contact Roy Chan at (510) 637-0463 or rchan(at)oacc.cc

About Oakland Chinatown

About the Project

Some of this early forgotten history resides in the memory of community elders still alive today. However, this older generation is passing away along with their stories.  As a response, in 2007, the Oakland Asian Cultural Center (OACC) launched the first ever inter-generational oral history project to collect and preserve the ongoing narrative of community life in Oakland Chinatown. 

Phase 1 of the project in 1997, eleven high school youth interviewed community elders who's memories represent a critical era in Chinatown from WWII through the 1960's. See the Phase 1 web page for video excerpts from Phase I's intergenerational interviews.

Phase 2 is the current Community Memory Mapping Phase in which a series of community memory mapping events will occur and a place-based digital archive will be created for public access. 

Community Advisory Committee

A Community Advisory Committee was formed in Phase I and is continuing on in Phase II.  These advisors meet monthly to ensure the project's process is community-based and include local residents, scholars, and past youth/ elder participants.

Current Committee members include:
Teresita Bautista, Ted Dang, Dr. David Der, David Joseph-Goteiner, Dr. Anne Huang,
Derek Lang, Darlene Lee, Sandy Liao, Nancy MacKay, William Wong, Angela Zusman


Phase 1 was supported in part by the Clorox Foundation, San Francisco Foundation, City of Oakland, and individual donors.

Phase 2 is supported in part by the California Council for the Humanities, a community partnership with Storycorps and individual supporters.