American Chinese United Association

ACUA Held Exhibition of Anna May Wong as First Chinese American Woman on US Coin

Report by MGM Media , Translate by Leon Wang

On February 19th, the American Chinese United Association held an exhibition and lecture on the life of Hollywood star Anna May Wong and commemorated her as the first Chinese American woman to be featured on a US coin. The event was warmly welcomed and supported by the community.

The presenter, Thomas Shoener, a local resident of Philadelphia, has studied Anna May Wong for many years. He used photos, books, and videos to review the legendary life of the first Chinese American female star in Hollywood, and discussed the experiences of Chinese Americans in US history. He covered topics such as Anna May Wong’s childhood, her family life, her roles as the main character in American and European films, her life in China, and her writing. The presentation also included related Chinese and English books and archival materials about Anna May Wong.

The Secretary-General of the American Chinese United Association, Liye Zhu, explained that on October 25, 2022, the US Mint released a “25-cent” coin design with the image of Anna May Wong, as part of the “American Women Quarters Program”. She will is the first Chinese American woman to be featured on a US coin.

Anna May Wong was Hollywood’s first Chinese American film star and left a rich legacy in the film industry. She appeared in more than 60 films during her entire career. In addition to her roles in silent films, television, and stage plays, she also appeared in the first Technicolor film. Despite the racism and discrimination against Chinese Americans in American society at that time, Anna May Wong still fought hard and won international recognition and considerable influence through her own efforts. In 1960, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and was remembered as an international film star, fashion icon, television pioneer, and representative figure for fighting for the recognition of Asian Americans in film. Today, her deeds continue to inspire actors and film producers. The “American Women Quarters Program” is a four-year series aimed at celebrating the achievements and contributions of women who have shaped American national history.

Starting in 2022 and lasting until 2025, the US Mint will issue five new 25-cent coin designs each year to recognize outstanding American women who have made significant contributions to government, humanities, science, space, and the arts.

Attendees at the event spoke enthusiastically and expressed that the American Chinese United Association’s promotion of cultural and historical lectures was very meaningful and necessary. They stated that it allowed them to learn more knowledge and encouraged them to be proud of their Chinese heritage, while also inspiring them to help the younger generation understand the history of Chinese immigrants and outstanding Chinese Americans. Each audience member in attendance received a commemorative Anna May Wong coin as a gift from the Association.