Nora Lum, also known as Awkwafina, shared a heartfelt message on her Instagram account during Thanksgiving in honor of her great-grandfather.
The “Crazy Rich Asians” star shared a picture of a menu card she found at her family’s old restaurant, which was founded by her great-grandfather, Jimmy Lum, who lived through the Chinese Exclusion Act
The 29-year-old rapper and actress said that her great-grandfather came to the United States in the 1940s through a “loophole in the Chinese Exclusion Act.”
“He slept on concrete floors and worked in kitchens and laundromats from the Bronx to Manhattan, without a penny to his name,”
Awkwafina continued in her post
. “But by what can only be described as the dankest hustle mentality ever, my great-grandpa managed to open his own restaurant: the first and most well-known Chinese-American joint in the five boroughs.”
Lum went on to describe the growth of her family in America through the 1960s.
“Moving into the 1960s, and with JFK newly in office – the Chinese Exclusion Act was lifted, and with his newfound financial success, Jimmy Lum was able to bring my grandma, Grandpa and Lil ones to the US,” she continued. “To this day, I meet people who remember Lum’s, and it makes me proud that his legacy is still remembered.”
The actress also noted her dislike for the politics of the holiday.
“Thanksgiving (while historically and politically kind of fucked up…) is an American tradition and an amazing excuse to eat a Christmas ham and drink Mikes hard lemonade,” she said.
“But this year, I wanted to give thanks to my great-grandpa, a true self-made man who beat out the odds. Thank you for bringing us to New York City.”