The Mississippi Delta Chinese

Since the 1900s, the Mississippi Delta has been home to a large number of Chinese Americans. Many Chinese immigrants moved to the Delta in search of better opportunities and opened up family-run grocery stores that mainly served black communities in these regions. At its peak, there were an estimated 2,500 Chinese people and hundreds of grocery stores in the Delta. Today, the Chinese community is dwindling as the younger generation search for opportunities in bigger cities.

In this photojournalism project, we interviewed and photographed 16 members of the Chinese American community in the Mississippi Delta to learn more about their experiences growing up in the Mississippi Delta. We delved into notions of cultural identity, regional identity, their outlook on life, political views and their understanding of citizenship.

All photos were taken on 35mm and medium-format film, in collaboration with Andrew Kung. Final project here.
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