First Asian American Hollywood Star Has Long Been Misunderstood, A New Book Aims To Change That

In the vicinity of twenty years ago, Katie Gee Salisbury had a glimpse of a photograph that would remain in her memory for many years to come. The image, which was displayed in black and white, showed a large crowd of people encircling a convertible. There was a Chinese American woman sitting in the rear seat, and she was looking very stunning and gorgeous. This woman quickly charmed Salisbury, who is of Chinese American descent and has deep connections in Chinatown in Los Angeles.

He is of the fifth generation of Chinese Americans. A curator informed her that she was gazing at Anna May Wong, an internationally renowned actress from the 1920s and 1930s who is considered to be Hollywood’s first Asian American movie star. This was her first day working as an intern at the Chinese American Museum in Los Angeles. According to Salisbury, previous biographers portrayed Wong as a tragic person most of the time. They did this by exaggerating the stories that circulated about her sexuality, her battles with alcoholism, and her decision to never get married.

It was Salisbury’s intention to portray a different story with the piece titled “Not Your China Doll.” It is true that Wong’s existence was not devoid of difficulties; as a result of the bigotry that exists in Hollywood, she was frequently consigned to conventional, supporting roles, and she ultimately lost a great number of roles to white actors who wore yellowface. However, as Salisbury points out, she also achieved a great deal of success in her life. “The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong” was the first Asian American main role on television, and she played the title role in the show.

Additionally, the pioneering star won over the affections of both fans and critics, and in the end, she did so by forging her own way in an industry that was otherwise characterized by discrimination. As for me, I am a hybrid. I have a Chinese heritage and an Anglo Irish heritage. I was raised in a community that was predominantly Asian. However, on the other hand, people may not always recognize me as Asian, which means that I do not necessarily have the exact same experience that Anna May Wong and a lot of other Asian American women have.

The thing that I really attempted to accomplish was to just embody what I believed to be Anna May Wong’s experience by simply drawing from my own experiences as well as the experiences of my friends and family members that have been shared with me. When she was going through particular experiences, I tried to imagine myself in her position. During the time when she was working on “The Thief of Bagdad,” I provided a good example that I discussed in the book. It was said by Douglas Fairbanks, who is both the star of the film and the producer, that there was an incident in which Anna May Wong refused to put on the costume that was supposed to be a “Mongol slave.”

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