Third-generation Seattleite, historian, journalist, and museum visionary Ron Chew spent more than five decades fighting for Asian American and social justice causes in Seattle. In My Unforgotten Seattle (University of Washington Press), a deeply personal memoir, he documents the tight-knit community he remembers, describing small family shops, chop suey restaurants, and sewing factories now vanished. He untangles the mystery of his extended family’s journey to America during the era of the Chinese Exclusion Act. Intimate profiles of his parents—a waiter and garment worker—and leaders like Bob Santos, Ruth Woo, Al Sugiyama, Roberto Maestas, and Kip Tokuda are set against the familiar backdrop of local landmarks such as Sick’s Stadium, Kokusai Theatre, Shorey’s Bookstore, Higo Variety Store, Hong Kong Restaurant, and Chubby & Tubby. He highlights Seattle’s unsung champions in the fight for racial inclusion, political empowerment, American ethnic studies, Asian American arts, Japanese American redress, and revitalization of the Chinatown-International District. Chew himself led a successful campaign to transform a historic hotel into the Wing Luke Museum’s permanent home.
Presented by the Seattle Public Library Foundation.