A project of Brooklyn Historical Society

Lenge Hong

Interviewed by


Lenge Hong was born and raised in Miami, Florida. Both of her parents immigrated to the United States; her father from China and her mother from Scotland. She moved to New York City to attend New York University, where she received a B.F.A in film and video production. She worked as a film researcher and as an archivist at the New York Historical Society.

Interview Highlight

"When I would say Eurasian, nobody would know what I was talking about. So I would go I’m half Chinese, and half Scottish - which I actually still do. I went through stages in my life of different emotional reactions to that question: What are you?"

Selected Clips

INTERVIEWER JEN CHAU:            I want to talk a little bit about your thoughts about mixed-heritage identity now [2012]. 

NARRATOR LENGE HONG:          It’s interesting, because I’ve seen it go from being something freakish, or, I think it started freakish, then it went to this archetype of the sort of tormented half-breed.  I told a friend of mine, who was a cinema studies major, I said, if I ever was insane enough to get a cinema studies degree on top of everything else, that my thesis would totally have been the figure of the half-breed of film and television in the 20th century.  Because the one thing that drove me nuts was that they always die. (laughter)  Always!  Up until there was some character on [Star Trek] Deep Space Nine in the mid-‘90s, predictably died.  Even Spock died [The Wrath of Khan,1982], but by popular demand, they brought him back.  But there was always this -- with women, especially, they were considered sexually desirable, but they weren't the girl you married, they were the hot blooded mistress, you know?  The World of Suzie Wong [1960].  What’s that movie with Jennifer Jones as literally, the hot blooded half-breed that the brothers fight over? [Duel in the Sun, 1946]  And the male ones were always sort of tragic -- which can give you a little bit of a complex, you know?  (laughter)  But it’s been interesting to see that change to where I’ve actually heard people say it’s very fashionable to be mixed now -- like we had a choice.

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Identifier: 2011.019.014
Date: January 19, 2012
Duration: 1:35:22
Citation: Oral history interview with Lenge Hong, 2012, 2011.019.014; Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations Oral History Collection, 2011.019; Brooklyn Historical Society.
Language: English
Interview Abstract:
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