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Anna May Wong, Heritage Owl Spotlight


Chinese American actress, considered to be the first Chinese American movie star. She appeared in over 50 films such as "The Toll of the Sea" (1922), "Shanghai Express" (1932) and "Daughter of the Dragon" (1931).


Wong was not known to be an activist in the traditional sense, but her very presence in Hollywood during the early 20th century was a form of activism. She became an important trailblazer for Asian American actors in Hollywood—advocating for more nuanced and complex roles for Asian actors.


She spoke out against the practice of casting white actors in yellowface to play Asian characters, and she turned down roles that she felt were offensive or perpetuated stereotypes.


Wong was also a fashion icon, known for her unique style and elegance. Her fashion choices were also a way of challenging the notion that Asian people were not fashionable.


In 2022, Anna May Wong became the First Asian American To Be featured on a U.S. Coin as part of the American Women Quarters Program


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