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Finding Cleveland: How the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 separated a family

Edwin Chiu, Charles Chiu, Caliya Chiu and Baldwin Chiu visit the gravesite of Charles’ father, KC Lou. Photo courtesy of Finding Cleveland.


Alhambra , CA United States

The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was the only law signed by the United States that prohibited a group of people of a specific nationality from immigrating to the U.S. It wasn’t repealed until Dec. 17, 1943.

On Dec. 17, 2018, San Gabriel Valley community leaders and local elected officials commemorated the 75th anniversary of the repeal. Rep. Judy Chu joined leaders from Alhambra, Monterey Park and San Gabriel in remembering the repeal of this ostracizing Chinese Exclusion Act.

To celebrate and highlight the importance of this anniversary, the next episode of the Alhambra Source Podcast showcases the documentary film project of Baldwin Chiu and Larissa Lam. The film, Finding Cleveland, uncovers the history of Chiu’s family as early Chinese American settlers in the Mississippi Delta and how the Chinese Exclusion Act shaped their tragic history.

Chiu and Lam are working on a full length documentary followup to Finding Cleveland that is set to be completed in 2019. For more information about the film Finding Cleveland or Chiu and Lam’s podcast Love, Discovery & Dim Sum, visit their website:



This episode was produced and edited by Phoenix Tso and Dominic Tovar. Music by Ralph Chavez: @suprsn. Support comes from the Tow Center for Journalism at Columbia University.

Listen on Soundcloud or Apple Podcasts. If you like what you hear, please rate and subscribe to the Alhambra Source Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts.

Independent journalism is a bedrock of democracy--and it's in crisis. Here at the Alhambra Source, we're committed to covering the local stories that matter most to you. We don’t have advertisers and we don’t have pay walls, but we do have bills. You read to the end of this story. That's great. But this kind of journalism will end without public support. Join us! Support the work and the democratic values it serves. Donate now!

The Alhambra Source encourages comment on our stories. However, we do not vet comments for accuracy or endorse links to posts in the comment section. The thoughts and opinions expressed belong solely to the author of the comment.

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1 thought on “Finding Cleveland: How the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 separated a family”

  1. […] Baldwin Chiu and Larissa Lam were guests on a recent episode of Alhambra Source’s Podcast discussing the history of the Mississippi Delta Chinese and the impact of the Chinese Exclusion Act on Baldwin’s family. Take a listen here. […]