Another AMWF from the Past: Stanley and Emily Ah Foo.

In 1912, Chinese seaman Stanley Ah Foo arrived in Liverpool to start a new life. He soon fell in love with a British woman named Emily, but laws at the time meant that his bride was only able to marry if she gave up her British nationality and became a so-called alien herself. Stanley enjoyed a wonderful and free life in this family life, cooking Chinese foods when he was home from the often long periods of time he spent away from his family for work. Although, outside their home life, Stanley faced much discrimination such as being labeled as a “foreign devil”, and including the fact that he was forced to register with police and carry a picture ID photograph with him.

When I see stories like this, I am often reminded of how lucky we are to live today in a world where it makes no difference what race you are when it comes to finding that special someone to share your life with. I look at couples like Stanley and Emily and think, wow, how brave they must have been. How much they must have loved each other, to go against the social norm and to face discrimination together. To me that’s an amazing love!



7 Responses to Another AMWF from the Past: Stanley and Emily Ah Foo.

  1. Jeff says:

    Thanks for sharing this story and your insights. I thought I had to go through a lot of paperwork and trouble to marry my Chinese wife – but it sure pales in comparison to this story from 100 years ago. What a powerful love!

  2. Jeff says:

    Hmm, did you hear about this from the BBC? We’ve just started watching the series “Mixed Britannia” on British TV, although there are a few articles on the BBC website for everyone outside. Apparently, Stanley wasn’t just forced to carry ID (fair enough) and register with the police… there were RIOTS to oust the “Chinamen” out, and government officials (“doctors” and “geneticists”) came to his house to measure their children’s head sizes, length between eyes etc… they interviewed 2 of the daughers and it was pretty heartbreaking to hear of it, despite Stanley being a “jolly person” at home he suffered when in public. It also explained how near Britain was to adopting anti race mixing laws. Ironically WW2 and Hitler’s ideology made them see sense.

    I’m just thinking about that and comparing it to how it is now, and also in the Far East… I hear of no violence, and certainly no riots, against white men with local women… with the shortage of women in China, you would expect such things to happen… yet the only case of that is here, in our wonderful, free, democratic West… makes me wonder which is the more liberal society.

  3. Jeff says:

    What is it with white guys coming into these types of blog posts and articles and hogging the limelight? It’s a pattern I’ve noticed for a while now. A few years ago there was an article by OCWeekly about Yellow Fetish i.e. the “fascination” of white men pairing off asian women and its frequency. Almost immediately a comment chimes in, asking “what about the asian men fantasising about white women? It’s getting increasingly common over there in Asia.”…erm, no it isn’t. And certainly nowhere near on the scale as white men with asian women, here and in Asia.

    Then recently in this article by the Daily Mail re: mixed race relationships :–families-werent-Mixed-race-couples-generations-tell-stories.html As 3 of the 4 couples featured were non white men with white women, soon enough we had white men protest the “biased” coverage – “well I’m a white man in a relationship with a black woman…. why don’t you cover them?” etc. It’s like they can’t handle interrracial relationships that don’t feature white men!

    And now there’s the post below. A post about an AMWF relationship in darker times, and soon enough, we hear a white man chiming in with his contribution that always seems to start with “well I have a Chinese/Asian wife/girlfriend…” stop the attention seeking.

    • Jeff says:

      I do realise I have used the word chime a few too many times.

      • Lonnie says:

        I noticed that, too. It’s like they can’t stand seeing stories about Asian Men/White Women, so they just try to get attention for themselves. It happens at, as well. Even though that blog is about Asian Men/Chinese Women, attention seeking whores, oops, I mean white men will start posting there.

        The fact is, there are more and more Asian Men/White Women relationships nowadays. And with less Asian women available, Asian men will journey west and marry Western women. In fact, Western women are going to Asia, themselves. It’s already happening. There’s nothing white men can do about it.

  4. Juke says:

    I can only imagine how daunting his life must have been. Providing for a family, loving a wife and kids, trying not to step on too many toes while doing it, and doing it in a culture/society that is foreign to you. I think the strain on his face says a lot. I would imagine back in those days a mob could lynch you for something like dating a white woman. In today’s world lynching isn’t done with a rope anymore. Thanks for sharing, the kids are beautiful.

  5. Thank you for sharing this. 🙂

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