Little Manila Is in the Heart: The Making of the Filipina/O American Community in Stockton, California by Dawn Bohulano Mabalon
In the early twentieth century—not long after 1898, when the United States claimed the Philippines as an American colony—Filipinas/os became a vital part of the agricultural economy of California's fertile San Joaquin Delta. In downtown Stockton, they created Little Manila, a vibrant community of hotels, pool halls, dance halls, restaurants, grocery stores, churches, union halls, and barbershops. Little Manila was home to the largest community of Filipinas/os outside of the Philippines until the neighborhood was decimated by urban redevelopment in the 1960s. Narrating a history spanning much of the twentieth century, Dawn Bohulano Mabalon traces the growth of Stockton's Filipina/o American community, the birth and eventual destruction of Little Manila, and recent efforts to remember and preserve it.
Mabalon draws on oral histories, newspapers, photographs, personal archives, and her own family's history in Stockton. She reveals how Filipina/o immigrants created a community and ethnic culture shaped by their identities as colonial subjects of the United States, their racialization in Stockton as brown people, and their collective experiences in the fields and in the Little Manila neighborhood. In the process, Mabalon places Filipinas/os at the center of the development of California agriculture and the urban West.
Filipinos in Stockton BY DAWN BOHULANO MABALON & Rico Reyes
The first Filipino settlers arrived in Stockton, California, around 1898, and through most of the 20th century, this city was home to the largest community of Filipinos outside the Philippines. Because countless Filipinos worked in, passed through, and settled here, it became the crossroads of Filipino America. Yet immigrants were greeted with signs that read "Positively No Filipinos Allowed" and were segregated to a four-block area centered on Lafayette and El Dorado Streets, which they called "Little Manila." In the 1970s, redevelopment and the Crosstown Freeway decimated the Little Manila neighborhood. Despite these barriers, Filipino Americans have created a vibrant ethnic community and a rich cultural legacy. Filipino immigrants and their descendants have shaped the history, culture, and economy of the San Joaquin Delta area.