Antioch aims to make amends with Asian residents, past and present

"Antioch has chosen to rise from the ashes of a horrible past into a more inclusive future." The effort includes a direct apology for the terror imposed on Chinese immigrants over the past century.

Video Transcript

LAMAR THORPE: We know the pain of not having your government acknowledge and reconcile through forgiveness.

LAURA ANTHONY: It's a strong statement from the mayor of a small east-based city. An effort to acknowledge not only past wrongs, but also current injustices directed toward Asian-Americans.

LAMAR THORPE: So, therefore, we'll be advancing a resolution that officially apologizes on behalf of the city of Antioch for terrorizing Chinese immigrants in our community.

LAURA ANTHONY: Mayor Lamar Thorpe also announced a list of proposals designed to celebrate Asian-American history, like the building of the railroads and levees. But also expose darker realities like the underground tunnels where families took refuge or the burning of Antioch's Chinatown district in 1876.

TAMISHA TORRES-WALKER Antioch has chosen to rise from the ashes of a horrible past into a more inclusive future.

LAURA ANTHONY: City leaders want to create a new Chinatown historic district in this empty square, perhaps in the image of another delta town, Locke, which has preserved its historic district to this day. Another proposal would fund a permanent exhibit at the Antioch Museum.

JOY MOTTS: Memorializing difficult times and times of great celebration should be and frankly must be part of our story.

LAURA ANTHONY: One of the proposals involves getting young people in this community involved by having them help to paint murals on the sides of buildings like this one to commemorate the history of the Asian community.

ANDY LI: Now I hope we can treat each other equally, and we can be with the committee. We can all enjoy and feel safe.

LAURA ANTHONY: The money for the proposals would come from Antioch's general fund if the project is approved by the city council. In Antioch--