On Tuesday, July 12, 2016, Professor Jai Gi Kim of Chonnam National University gave a talk titled "People of Korean Ancestry in Cuba: Immigrants' Participation in the Korean Independence Movement and the Present-Day Lives of Their Descendants" at KCS (Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York). This event was part of our regular seminar series. Professor Kim is one of our research center's visiting scholars for 2015-2016. Approximately 50 people attended the talk, which was given in Korean.

At present, there are approximately 1,000 people of Korean ancestry residing in Cuba. They are the descendants of roughly 300 Korean immigrants who migrated from Mexico to Cuba in 1921. Based on his recent visit to Cuba, Professor Kim's talk focused on two main topics: (1) Korean Cuban immigrants' participation in the Korean independence movement in the early 20th century and (2) the present-day lives of their Korean Cuban descendants. Professor Kim also gave a brief history of Cuba, talked about Cuban culture, and shared some videos that he recorded during his visit.

Jai Gi Kim is a Professor of Political Science at Chonnam National University in Gwangju, Jeollanam-do, South Korea. He has done research on a broad range of issues concerning overseas Koreans, including Koreans in China, the former Soviet Union, and the United States. He arrived at the Research Center for Korean Community at Queens College as a visiting scholar in September 2015 and will return to Korea this coming August. During his tenure as a visiting scholar here, he has actively conducted research and traveled around the eastern United States. In particular, by analyzing archives of Sinhan Minbo newspapers from the early 20th century, he found extensive evidence of how actively involved Korean Americans were in the Korean independence movement.


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