Primary Source Analysis

Part 1 of Tu-Anh’s Interview: Tu-Anh Nguyen. interview by Dan Lee, transcript, Adept Word Management, Inc., Office of Historic Alexandria, Alexandria, Virginia, 2015. https://www.alexandriava.gov/uploadedFiles/historic/info/Immigration/TuAnhNguyen1.pdf.

Part 2 of Tu-Anh’s interview: Tu-Anh Nguyen. interview by Dan Lee, transcript, Adept Word Management, Inc., Office of Historic Alexandria, Alexandria, Virginia, 2015. https://www.alexandriava.gov/uploadedFiles/historic/info/Immigration/TuAnhNguyen2.pdf.

Tu-Anh was a Vietnamese refugee among the famous crowds of Vietnamese Boat people who migrated to the United States when Saigon fell in 1975. At just nine years old, her family reunited in New Orleans and were later sponsored to move to Northern Virginia to live in government housing . Today, Tu-Anh is a successful fashion designer and resides in the City of Alexandria where she owns her own boutique.

As a successful female immigrant and Vietnamese American, Tu-Anh was interviewed for an oral histories’ initiative by the City of Alexandria called Immigrant Alexandria: Past, Present, and Future. The Office of Historic Alexandria (OHA) was given a grant by the 2015 Virginia Foundation for Humanities (VFH), permitting funds to conduct an initiative that fulfilled Alexandria’s objective to document and highlight the valued contributions of the immigrant community. 

Tu-Anh’s interview is only accessible on Alexandria’s government website as transcripts of two separate interviews: the first part documenting her childhood and the second part focuses on Tu-Anh in her adulthood. The interviewer of Tu-Anh’s oral history interview was Daniel Lee, the Historian of the OHA. Lee has only recently been hired has the OHA’s historian but has been a part of numerous projects—“Out of the Attic” and Alexandria’s fire carriage which won a statewide artifact contest last year. John Reibling is a volunteer for the City of Alexandria and was audio and video recorder for both interviews. Transcribing both interviews was Adept Word Management, Inc., a small online company who specializes in oral histories. 

Both interviews were conducted within several weeks of one another and in the same location at Tu-Anh’s Boutique. Lee’s questions circulated the topic of Tu-Anh’s acculturation in Northern Virginia and avoided subjects of Tu-Anh’s fond memories and other aspects of her life. He frequently interrupts Tu-Anh whenever she becomes distracted through tangents. Overall, Tu-Anh’s interview was conducted in a manner that echoed her achievements and conveyed value in her life as a successful Vietnamese American.