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Tsang takes the Wickberg Prize

May 21st, 2024

Visual & media artist, Henry Tsang has won the 2024 Dr. Edgar Wickberg Book Prize for the Best Book on Chinese Canadian History for his book of essays and photographs documenting the 1907 anti-Asian riots in Vancouver in the context of contemporary anti-Asian sentiment, White Riot: The 1907 Anti-Asian Riots in Vancouver (Arsenal, 2023). Tsang has also been shortlisted for this year’s Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Prize (BC and Yukon Book Prizes).

White Riot explores the conditions leading up to and the impact of a demonstration and parade in Vancouver organized by the Asiatic Exclusion League and the ensuing mob attack on the city’s Chinese Canadian and Japanese Canadian communities. Emblematic of a systemically racist era, White Riot reveals the social and political environment of the time, when racialized communities were targeted through legislated as well as physical acts of exclusion and violence.

It features photographs of the riots colourized by Tsang as well as those of contemporary Vancouver where the riots took place. Essays by Tsang and others speak to the colonial times that preceded and followed the 1907 riots, as well as issues that Chinese and Japanese communities (and other racialized communities) in North America are facing today. White Riot poses the question: in the current ethos of anti-racism and decolonization, what does it take to reconcile our collective histories within the legacy of white supremacy?

Includes essays by the Asian Canadian Labour Alliance, Paul Englesberg, Melody Ma, Angela May and Nicole Yakashiro, Jeffery R. Masuda, Aaron Franks, Audrey Kobayashi and Trevor Wideman, and Andy Yan, with a foreword by Patricia E. Roy.


This prize, sponsored by the Chinese Canadian Historical Society of British Columbia, is to recognize an important book pertaining to Chinese Canadian history published in the calendar year or previous year of the annual prize presentation. The prize will be decided annually, with the possibility of more than one book being recognized in a given year.

Professor Emeritus, University of British Columbia, and Founding President of CCHSBC, Ed taught in UBC’s Department of History from 1969 to 1992 and published numerous research on the overseas Chinese. He was a coordinator of the team which published the first major research on the Chinese in Canada – China to Canada: A History of the Chinese Communities (McClelland & Stewart, 1982). In gratitude for his vision and his hard work as the Founding President, CCHSBC created the Edgar Wickberg Scholarship and book prizes to honour his lifetime of passion for Chinese Canadian history.

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