Petition to Co-Name Mosco Street as Corky Lee Way in Chinatown, NYC
Asian American Arts Alliance (A4)
On January 27, 2021, we lost renowned Asian American activist, community organizer, photographer, and journalist Corky Lee to COVID-19. Self-proclaimed as the unofficial Asian American Photographer Laureate, his work has had a profound impact on shaping Asian American representation in U.S. history. Born in 1947 in Queens and raised by immigrant parents from China, Corky taught himself photography, and strived to capture the underrepresented and largely ignored world of Americans of Asian descent.
Corky documented a range of subjects from the everyday life of residents on the Lower East Side, shop owners at work, to major historical movements, such as protests during the height of the civil rights movement in the 1970s in Chinatown. His recreation of the historic photograph commemorating the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, but, in his version, including Asian faces, is among his notable works. Beyond his photography, he worked as a community organizer and a mentor to many generations of Asian American students and fellow activists. In recognition of Corky Lee’s contribution to Asian American communities, the then New York City Mayor David Dinkins, proclaimed May 5, 1988 to be “Corky Lee Day”.