Oral History Center - UC Berkeley Library

Dorothy Eng: Rosie The Riveter World War II American Home Front Oral History Project

Interviewee(s):
Eng, Dorothy
Interviewer(s):
Li, Robin
Title:
Dorothy Eng: Rosie The Riveter World War II American Home Front Oral History Project
Abstract:
Dorothy Eng was born in San Francisco in 1923. In this interview, she discusses her childhood in the mostly white town of Emeryville, and then her family’s move to Oakland Chinatown and the sense of community she found there. Eng describes the important role played by churches of Chinatown both in terms of building community and supporting philanthropic endeavors. Eng was a founding member of the Young Women’s Chinese Society, an organization chartered to welcome and host Chinese American soldiers as they passed through the Bay Area on their way to the war in the Pacific. She describes their Saturday hospitality nights, as well as what the events meant for both the soldiers and the society volunteers. Eng offers vivid accounts of racial oppression and the fears of wartime life. A widow with two small children, Eng also recounts the struggles of postwar life, as well as the sense of purpose found in helping others, particularly through the reinvention of the Young Women’s Chinese Society as a scholarship organization helping Chinese girls attend college.
Subject area(s):
Community and Identity
Interview date(s):
2011
Project:
Rosie The Riveter World War II American Home Front
Rights:
Eng, Dorothy. "Dorothy Eng: Rosie The Riveter World War II American Home Front Oral History Project." Interview by Robin Li in 2011. Oral History Center, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, .