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Immigrants Of The Day: Bette Bao Lord (China), Salma Hayek Jimenez (Mexico), and Isabel Allende (Peru)

by Kevin R. Johnson

Bette Bao Lord (China)

Lord Bette Bao Lord (November 3, 1938) is a writer and civic activist. She was born in Shanghai and came to the United States at the age of eight when her father, a British-trained engineer, was sent here in 1946 by the Chinese government. In 1947 Ms. Bao Lord and her family were stranded in the United States when Mao Zedong won the civil war in China. Ms. Bao Lord has written eloquently about her painful childhood experiences as a Chinese immigrant in the post-World War II United States in her autobiographical children's book In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson. In this book she describes her struggle to learn English and to become accepted by her classmates. Today, Ms. Bao Lord is a distinguished novelist and writer, and serves as chair of the Board of Trustees of Freedom House. Established by Wendell Wilkie and Eleanor Roosevelt in 1941, Freedom House is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting democracy around the world. President Clinton has hailed Ms. Bao Lord as "someone who writes so powerfully about the past and is working so effectively to shape the future."  Ms. Bao Lord received an MA from Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and graduated with her BA from Tufts University. She married Winston Lord, later an Ambassador to China, in 1962 and they have a grown son and daughter.

May 23, 2007 | Permalink

Salma Hayek Jimenez (Mexico)

220pxsalma_hayek_in_cannes Salma Hayek Jiménez (born September 2, 1966) is an Academy Award-nominated actress, Daytime Emmy-winning director, and a film and television producer. Hayek has appeared in more than thirty films and performed as an actress outside of Hollywood in Mexico and Spain. Hayek's charitable work includes increasing awareness on violence against women and discrimination against immigrants. Hayek was born in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico.  She moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1991 to study acting.  Hayek was nominated for an Academy Award as "Best Actress" for her role in the 2003 film "Frida."

May 22, 2007 | Permalink

Isabelle Allende (Peru)

Allende World renowned author Isabel Allende was born in 1942 in Lima, Peru to diplomat Tomás Allende, who was the Chilean ambassador there. Tomás Allende was the brother of Salvador Allende, the President of Chile from 1970 to 1973. In 1945, Allende's parents separated, and her mother relocated with their three children to Chile, where they lived until 1953, when they moved to Bolivia, then Lebanon. They returned to Chile in 1958 so that Allende could complete her secondary education. During a visit to California in 1988, Allende met her second husband, attorney Willie Gordon; they currently live in San Rafael. In 1994 she was awarded the Gabriela Mistral Order of Merit- the first woman to receive this honor. In 2003, Allende obtained United States citizenship. In 2006, she was one of the eight flag bearers at the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics.

Allende is a world renowned author and has taught literature at the University of Virginia, Montclair College, and UC Berkeley.  Click here for Allende's website.

May 24, 2007 | Permalink

These posts were orginally posted on the ImmigrationProf Blog here, here and here.

About The Author

Kevin R. Johnson is currently Dean, Professor of Law and Chicana/o Studies, and the Mabie-Apallas Public Interest Law Chair holder at the University of California at Davis. He is also one of the editors of ImmigrationProf Blog .

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.