Janet Pinkowitz was born in Chongqing, China during World War II and was raised in Canton, China and Springfield, Massachusetts. Her father was American and worked as a college professor. Her mother was Chinese and worked as a secretary and librarian. She attended Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts for an undergraduate degree in music. She later worked as a librarian.
"I never wanted my mother to wear her, her Chinese dresses, which, of course, were really beautiful... I wanted her to wear something like an American shirtwaist dress, that kind of thing. That was something I regretted later, that I didn’t embrace more of that part of my heritage. Because it was just trouble for me, feeling and looking different. I just wanted to look like everybody else".
Download Full Transcript (PDF)
Date: October 29, 2013
Citation: Oral history interview with Janet Pinkowitz, 2013, 2011.019.052; Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations Oral History Collection, 2011.019; Brooklyn Historical Society.
View Collection Finding Aid