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With Each Step To Say, I Am Here

March 31, 2021

“She knew what it was to be invisible, and she knew what it was to be too visible.”

Writing Caroline’s character in THE BOHEMIANS was a pleasure—and also a challenge. As a mixed-race woman (the genteel term then was “Eurasian”), just stepping into the street in 1918 would have been a fraught experience for her, if not downright perilous.

Looking at these pictures of Chinese American women marching in a 1938 NYC parade fills me with awe. Imagine what it took for them to refuse invisibility, to take to the streets, singly and in pairs and in groups, to make themselves visible, to say with each step, I am here, I am here, I am here.

With many thanks to the Asian Fashion Archive and Dressed Podcast for showcasing these photographs.

📷 Peter Stackpole for Life Magazine