Flushing Immigration History

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The city of New York has been a place of immigration since the beginning and is the most diverse area in the country. Looking closer we find that Queens is the most diverse borough of the city (Starr, 2015), with Astoria as the most diverse neighborhood. There are multiple immigrants from multiple origins and many of those immigrants in Queens originate from Asia, more specifically China. The highest concentration of Chinese immigrants is in Main Street, Flushing, often called the other Chinatown of New York.
A brief history of the area shows that the population was predominantly White in the 1950’s, then changed to being more diverse while being predominantly Black, and is now packed with Asian culture. The diversity in 1950 was 67.7% White, 32.3% Black, and 0.7% Other (1950 Decennial). Then in 1980 it changed to 38.6% White, 42.8% Black, and 4.9% Asian (1980 Decennial). Now the recent statistics about Main Street are 9.3% White, 29.4% Black, and 40.6% Asian (2014 American Community Survey).
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The flood of Asian culture in Flushing came because Exclusion Acts granted entry and “Asian arrivals gradually made up almost half of Flushing’s population” (Cooke, 1995, p.363). During the economic panic of the 1970s, people left allowing immigrants to take their place. Urban planner, Wellington Chen, best said, “It was the town looking at it as half-empty that caused the new arrivals to come in and look at it as half-full” (Chen, 2009) and Urban Planning Graduate student, Jefferson Mao, described the change by saying, “It was in the midst of its complete commercial, residential and industrial collapse that Asian immigrants came to Flushing” (Mao, 2013). The population of Main Street, Flushing changed a surprising amount in a short period of time, changing the neighborhood’s culture
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