Program Six - Segment One: A Grocer's Life

Don Myoung runs the Trojan Market in Los Angeles.  Don immigrated to America in 1971 when he was 22.  A college student in Korea, he worked as a computer technician for a while.  But his English was limited so he left the job.  His wife, Floria, came a few years later.  She was a schoolteacher in Korea but didn’t speak English   well enough to get a job here.  So they bought a mom and pop store in 1982 in a low-income neighborhood. Most Korean immigrants after 1965 were college educated,  but because of language barriers they had to find new ways to support themselves in the U.S.  Today more than one million Korean Americans live in the U.S.  Los Angeles has the largest Korean population outside of Korea.  Nearly 30 percent are self-employed and businesses like Don and Floria Myoung’s market.   Forty-five percent are small grocery and liquor stores. 

Acknowledgements:

Don and Floria Myoung, Isaac Romero, and employees and customers of the Trojan Meat Market.   

Produced by Dmae Roberts with Contributor Miae Kim

Photos:

A Grocer's Life Slideshow

Music:

Jon Jang, Jazz Pianist is a jazz pianist who has studied at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and toured at major concert halls and music festivals in China, South Africa, Europe, Canada and the United States. He is featured on over ten albums and has composed commissions for many theater productions and major concert halls. Jon Jang bio online

Further Resources:

Bibliography:

Abelmann, Nancy & Lie, John, Blue Dreams: Korean Americans and the Los Angeles Riots, Harvard University Press, 1997

Light, Ivan Hubert & Bonacich, Edna Immigrant Entrepreneurs Koreans in Los Angeles, University of California Press, 1988

Min, Pyong Gap, Caught in the Middle: Korean Merchants in America's Multiethnic Cities, University of California Press, 1996

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