For some immigrant families in the U.S., Connie Chung — the first Asian and second woman to be an anchor of a major news program — was a symbol of success and the American dream. Connie Wang and her family came to the U.S. in the early ’90s when she was a little girl, and at 3, she told them what name she wanted to choose for herself in this new country: Connie, named after the woman — the “pretty auntie” — on TV. In this piece for The New York Times, Wang recounts how she discovered many other Connies like her — an entire generation of American-born Asian women named after the journalist — and shares bits of their families’ stories, as well as insights from the “original” Connie herself on her path to journalism in a white- and male-dominated field.
But the names these parents gave their children represented so many different approaches to handling this shock: holding on, letting go, diving in, reaching out for a lifeline. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that all the Connies I spoke to describe their mothers in similar terms: as leaders, brave, athletic, creative, successful, idealistic, capable. These moms were architects, editors and medical professionals, who’d often had to abandon their careers and reinvent themselves upon moving to a new country, who looked at the television and saw how things might be different for their daughters.