See our Photo of the Week (and archive of more)

Art Changes
Opinion Advertize Permission
To be notified of new articles Survey Store About Us

"It is a place the old meets the new, where the American
and foreign born mix, and change takes place every day."

The Untold Chinatown
(A Photo Essay)

By Bruce Takeo Akizuki
Oakland, California

This photo essay consists of ten photos. Click on any photo on this page to see a full-size version.

Dragon Boy
Dragon Boy ... (click on any photo to see a large version)
This has been a long time project of mine that focused on the Chinatowns in San Francisco and Oakland. It is a way to photograph my favorite type of photography -- street photography.

This is the real Chinatown. It is not only of martial artists, beauty pageants, politicians, Chinese New Years Parade, or dim sum that the mainstream media projects. The real heroes are the produce workers, store owners, restaurant workers, or newspaper sellers. It is always a place where a race of people can come together as community and share a common culture and feel comfortable and safe.

It is a place the old meets the new, where the American and foreign born mix, and change takes place every day. This mix makes Chinatown dynamic and vibrant. Chinatown has existed since the Chinese arrived in America and will continue to evolve and change for the better for all new future generations.

It is also a place where people struggle to make their lives better for themselves and their families. It is a place where parents work hard to send their children through school. This community is where most people are optimistic and positive toward the future and where people are continuing to struggle to make their children lives better.

For it is a place where the people make Chinatown for what it is ... a community.

Also see: Community Images

Bruce Takeo Akizuki: Founder, coordinator, and photographer for Community Images a community based photographic organization in San Francisco, participated in Asian Pacific Student Union (APSU), National Coalition for Redress and Reparations (NCRR), Bay Area Asians for Nuclear Disarmament (BAAND), Chinese Progressive Association (CPA), Jesse Jackson Presidential Campaign 1984 and 1988, labor support, and photographer and assistant editor for Unity Magazine.

A Long Day

Selling Her Wares
A Long Day ... (click) Selling Her Wares ... (click)

Waiting Newspaper Vendor
Waiting ... (click) Newspaper Vendor ... click

A Moment in Time At the Park
A Moment in Time ... (click) At the Park ... (click)

Future of Chinatown Working
Future of Chinatown ... (click) Working ... (click)

Shopping ... (click)

Published in In Motion Magazine May 3, 2000.