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Book Displays

Contextualizing Anti-Asian Racism in the United States: Then and Now
On virtual display starting March 2021

The JMU Libraries stands in solidarity with our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) colleagues, students, neighbors, family members, and friends. We recognize the longstanding, deep roots and harmful impact of anti-Asian rhetoric, discrimination, and misinformation in our country, and are sorrowed by the rise of xenophobic harassment, violence, and fear we have seen since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. We also recognize the ways that Asian and AAPI women face a culture of objectification and violence, as do other women of color.

Members of our Libraries Council on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion prepared this virtual book display in response to the tragic murders in Atlanta this week and the recent increase in hateful acts against Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Asian people in the US. This resource includes digital media as well as print materials available from the JMU Libraries. Please use these resources to learn more about Asian American cultures, histories, and perseverance in the United States.

New resources added on April 7, 2021.

Ebooks

America is in the Heart: A personal history

First published in 1943, this classic memoir by well-known Filipino poet Carlos Bulosan describes his boyhood in the Philippines, his voyage to America, and his years of hardship and despair as an itinerant laborer following the harvest trail in the rural West.

America's Asia: Racial Form and American Literature, 1893-1945

What explains the perception of Asians both as economic exemplars and as threats? America's Asia explores a discursive tradition that affiliates the East with modern efficiency, in contrast to more familiar primitivist forms of Orientalism. Colleen Lye traces the American stereotype of Asians as a "model minority" or a "yellow peril"--two aspects of what she calls "Asiatic racial form"-- to emergent responses to globalization beginning in California in the late nineteenth century, when industrialization proceeded in tandem with the nation's neocolonial expansion beyond its continental frontier. From Progressive efforts to regulate corporate monopoly to New Deal contentions with the crisis of the Great Depression, a particular racial mode of social redress explains why turn-of-the-century radicals and reformers united around Asian exclusion and why Japanese American internment during World War II was a liberal initiative. In Lye's reconstructed archive of Asian American racialization, literary naturalism and its conventions of representing capitalist abstraction provide key historiographical evidence.

Asian Americans in Dixie: Race and Migration in the South

Extending the understanding of race and ethnicity in the South beyond the prism of black-white relations, this interdisciplinary collection explores the growth, impact, and significance of rapidly growing Asian American populations in the American South. Avoiding the usual focus on the East and West Coasts, several essays attend to the nuanced ways in which Asian Americans negotiate the dominant black and white racial binary, while others provoke readers to reconsider the supposed cultural isolation of the region, reintroducing the South within a historical web of global networks across the Caribbean, Pacific, and Atlantic.

Asian American Studies Now: A critical reader

This comprehensive anthology summarizes and defines the current shape of the rapidly changing field of Asian American studies, addressing topics such as transnationalism, U.S. imperialism, multiracial identity, racism, immigration, citizenship, social justice, and pedagogy.

Asian Americans on Campus: Racialized space and white power

While there are books on racism in universities, few examine the unique position of Asian American undergraduates. This new book captures the voices and experiences of Asian Americans navigating the currents of race, gender, and sexuality as factors in how youth construct relationships and identities. Interviews with 70 Asian Americans on an elite American campus show how students negotiate the sexualized racism of a large institution. The authors emphasize the students' resilience and their means of resistance for overcoming the impact of structural racism.

Asians in Colorado: A History of Persecution and Perseverance in the Centennial State

Providing the most comprehensive examination to date of Asians in the Centennial State, William Wei addresses a wide range of experiences, from anti-Chinese riots in late nineteenth-century Denver to the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans at the Amache concentration camp to the more recent influx of Southeast Asian refugees and South Asian tech professionals. Drawing on a wealth of historical sources, Wei reconstructs what life was like for the early Chinese and Japanese pioneers, and he pays special attention to the different challenges faced by those in urban versus rural areas. The result is a groundbreaking approach that helps us better understand how Asians survived--and thrived--in an often hostile environment. Offering a fresh perspective on how cycles of persecution are repeated, Wei reveals how the treatment of Asian Americans resonates with the experiences of other marginalized groups in American society.

Becoming Yellow: A Short History of Racial Thinking

In their earliest encounters with Asia, Europeans almost uniformly characterized the people of China and Japan as white. This was a means of describing their wealth and sophistication, their willingness to trade with the West, and their presumed capacity to become Christianized. But by the end of the seventeenth century the category of whiteness was reserved for Europeans only. When and how did Asians become "yellow" in the Western imagination? Looking at the history of racial thinking, Becoming Yellow explores the notion of yellowness and shows that this label originated not in early travel texts or objective descriptions, but in the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century scientific discourses on race. Demonstrating how a racial distinction took root in Europe and traveled internationally, Becoming Yellow weaves together multiple narratives to tell the complex history of a problematic term.

Closing the Gate: Race, Politics, and the Chinese Exclusion Act

The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which barred practically all Chinese people from American shores for ten years, was the first federal law that banned a group of immigrants solely on the basis of race or nationality. By changing America's traditional policy of open immigration, this landmark legislation set a precedent for future restrictions against Asian immigrants in the early 1900s and against Europeans in the 1920s. This book traces the origins of the Chinese Exclusion Act, the era's most racist legislation.

Criminalization/Assimilation: Chinese/Americans and Chinatowns in Classical Hollywood Film

This book traces how Classical Hollywood films constructed America's image of Chinese Americans from their criminalization as unwanted immigrants to their eventual acceptance when assimilated citizens, exploiting both America's yellow peril fears about Chinese immigration and its fascination with Chinatowns. Philippa Gates examines Hollywood's responses to social issues in Chinatown communities, primarily immigration, racism, drug trafficking, and prostitution. Looking at over 200 films, Gates reveals the variety of racial representations within American film in the first half of the twentieth century and brings to light not only lost and forgotten films but also the contributions of Asian American actors whose presence onscreen offered important alternatives to Hollywood's yellowface fabrications of Chinese identity and a resistance to Hollywood's Orientalist narratives.

Culture Shock and Japanese-American Relations: Historical Essays

Ever since Commodore Perry sailed into Uraga Channel, relations between the United States and Japan have been characterized by culture shock. Now a distinguished Japanese historian critically analyzes contemporary thought, public opinion, and behavior in the two countries over the course of the twentieth century, offering a binational perspective on culture shock as it has affected their relations. In these essays, Sadao Asada examines the historical interaction between these two countries from 1890 to 2006, focusing on naval strategy, transpacific racism, and the atomic bomb controversy. For each topic, he offers a rigorous analysis of both American and Japanese perceptions, showing how cultural relations and the interchange of ideas have been complex--and occasionally destructive.

A Different Shade of Justice: Asian American Civil Rights in the South

In the Jim Crow South, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, and, later, Vietnamese and Indian Americans faced obstacles similar to those experienced by African Americans in their fight for civil and human rights. Although they were not Black, Asian Americans generally were not considered white and thus were subject to school segregation, antimiscegenation laws, and discriminatory business practices. As Asian Americans attempted to establish themselves in the South, they found that institutionalized racism thwarted their efforts time and again. This book tells the story of their resistance and documents how Asian American political actors and civil rights activists challenged existing definitions of rights and justice in the South. Drawing from legislative and legal records as well as oral histories, memoirs, and newspapers, Hinnershitz describes a movement that ran alongside and at times intersected with the African American fight for justice, and she restores Asian Americans to the fraught legacy of civil rights in the South.

Disoriented: Asian Americans, Law, and the Nation-state

Does "Asian American" denote an ethnic or racial identification? Is a person of mixed ancestry, the child of Euro- and Asian American parents, Asian American? What does it mean to refer to first generation Hmong refugees and fifth generation Chinese Americans both as Asian American? In this book, Robert Chang examines the current discourse on race and law and the implications of postmodern theory and affirmative action--all of which have largely excluded Asian Americans--in order to develop a theory of critical Asian American legal studies. Demonstrating that the ongoing debate surrounding multiculturalism and immigration in the U.S. is really a struggle over the meaning of "America," Chang reveals how the construction of Asian American-ness has become a necessary component in stabilizing a national American identity--a fact Chang criticizes as harmful to Asian Americans.

The Exquisite Corpse of Asian America: Biopolitics, Biosociality, and Posthuman Ecologies

This book addresses the question: if race has been settled as a legal or social construction and not as biological fact, why do Asian American artists, authors, and performers continue to scrutinize their body parts? Engaging novels, poetry, theater, and new media from both the U.S. and internationally, Rachel C. Lee teases out the preoccupation with human fragments and posthuman ecologies in the context of Asian American cultural production and theory. She unpacks how the designation of "Asian American" itself is a mental construct that is paradoxically linked to the biological body. Lee establishes an intellectual alliance and methodological synergy between Asian American studies and Science and Technology Studies (STS), biocultures, medical humanities, and femiqueer approaches to family formation, carework, affect, and ethics.

The Good Immigrants: How the Yellow Peril Became the Model Minority

Conventionally, US immigration history has been understood through the lens of restriction and those who have been barred from getting in. In contrast, this book considers immigration from the perspective of Chinese elites who gained entrance because of immigration exemptions. Exploring a century of Chinese migrations, Madeline Hsu looks at how the model minority characteristics of many Asian Americans resulted from US policies that screened for those with the highest credentials in the most employable fields, enhancing American economic competitiveness. This book examines the shifts in immigration laws and perceptions of cultural traits that enabled Asians to remain in the United States as exemplary, productive Americans.

Growing up Asian American in Young Adult Fiction

Often referred to as the model minority, Asian American children and adolescents feel pressured to perform academically and be disinterested in sports, with the exception of martial arts. Many Americans remain unaware of the diversity of ethnicities and races the term Asian American comprises, with Asian American adolescents proving to be more invisible than adults. As a result, Asian American adolescents are continually searching for their identity and own place in American society. The contributors to this book focus on moving beyond stereotypes to examine how Asian American children and adolescents define their unique identities. Chapters negotiate the complex terrain of Asian American children's and teenagers' identities, covering such topics as internalized racism and self-loathing; hypersexualization of Asian American females in graphic novels; interracial friendships; transnational adoptions and birth searches; food as a means of assimilation and resistance; commodity racism and the tourist gaze; the hostile and alienating environment generated by the War on Terror; and more.

Immigrant Acts: On Asian American cultural politics

This book argues that understanding Asian immigration to the United States is fundamental to understanding the racialized economic and political foundations of the nation. Lowe discusses the contradictions whereby Asians have been included in the workplaces and markets of the U.S. nation-state, yet, through exclusion laws and bars from citizenship, have been distanced from the terrain of national culture. Rather than a sign of a "failed" integration of Asians into the American cultural sphere, this critique preserves and opens up different possibilities for political practice and coalition across racial and national borders.

Invisible Asians: Korean American Adoptees, Asian American Experiences, and Racial Exceptionalism

The first Korean adoptees were powerful symbols of American superiority in the Cold War; as Korean adoption continued, adoptees' visibility as Asians faded as they became a geopolitical success story--all-American children in loving white families. In Invisible Asians, Kim Park Nelson analyzes the processes by which Korean American adoptees have been rendered racially invisible, and how that invisibility facilitates their treatment as exceptional subjects within the context of American race relations and in government policies. Invisible Asians draws on the life stories of more than sixty adult Korean adoptees in three locations: Minnesota, home to the largest concentration of Korean adoptees in the U.S.; the Pacific Northwest, where many of the first Korean adoptees were raised; and Seoul, home adult adoptees who have returned to South Korea to live and work. This book offers an engaging account that makes an important contribution to our understanding of race in America, and illuminates issues of power and identity in a globalized world.

The Managed Hand

Two women, virtual strangers, sit hand-in-hand across a narrow table, both intent on the same thing--achieving the perfect manicure. Encounters like this occur thousands of times across the United States in nail salons increasingly owned and operated by Asian immigrants. This study looks closely for the first time at these intimate encounters, focusing on New York City. Drawing from rich and compelling interviews, Miliann Kang takes us inside the nail industry, asking such questions as: Why have nail salons become so popular? Why do so many Asian women, and Korean women in particular, provide these services? Kang discovers multiple motivations for the manicure. Contrary to notions of beauty service establishments as spaces for building community among women, this book finds that while tentative and fragile solidarities can emerge across the manicure table, they generally give way to even more powerful divisions of race, class, and immigration.

Model-Minority Imperialism

At the beginning of the twentieth century, soon after the conclusion of the Spanish-American War, the United States was an imperialistic nation, maintaining (often with the assistance of military force) a far-flung and growing empire. After a long period of collective national amnesia regarding American colonialism, in the Philippines and elsewhere, scholars have resurrected the power of "empire" as a way of revealing American history and culture. Focusing on the terms of Asian American assimilation and the rise of the model-minority myth, Victor Bascara examines the resurgence of empire as a tool for acknowledging--and understanding--the legacy of American imperialism. Model-Minority Imperialism links geopolitical dramas of twentieth-century empire building with domestic controversies of U.S. racial order by examining the cultural politics of Asian Americans as they are revealed in fiction, film, and theatrical productions.

The Myth of the Model Minority: Asian Americans facing racism

The second edition of this book adds important new research on how racial stereotyping is gendered and sexualized. New interviews show that Asian American men feel emasculated in America's male hierarchy. Women recount their experiences of being exoticized, subtly and otherwise, as sexual objects. The new data reveal how race, gender, and sexuality intersect in the lives of Asian Americans. The text retains all the features of the renowned first edition, which offered the first in-depth exploration of how Asian Americans experience and cope with everyday racism. The book depicts the "double consciousness" of many Asian Americans--experiencing racism but feeling the pressures to conform to popular images of their group as America's highly achieving "model minority."

National Abjection: The Asian American body onstage

This book explores the vexed relationship between "Asian Americanness" and "Americanness" through a focus on drama and performance art. Karen Shimakawa argues that the forms of Asian Americanness that appear in U.S. culture are a function of national abjection--a process that demands that Americanness be defined by the exclusion of Asian Americans, who are either cast as symbolic foreigners incapable of integration or Americanization or distorted into an "honorary" whiteness. She examines how Asian Americans become culturally visible on and off stage, revealing the ways Asian American theater companies and artists respond to the cultural implications of this abjection. 

Orientals: Asian Americans in popular culture

Sooner or later every Asian American must deal with the question "Where do you come from?" It is probably the most familiar if least aggressive form of racism. Confronting the cultural stereotypes that have been attached to Asian Americans over the last 150 years, this author seizes the label "Oriental" and asks where it came from. The idea of Asians as mysterious strangers who could not be assimilated into the cultural mainstream was percolating to the surface of American popular culture in the mid-nineteenth century, when Chinese immigrant laborers began to arrive in this country in large numbers. Lee shows how the bewildering array of racialized images first proffered by music hall songsters and social commentators have evolved and become generalized to all Asian Americans, coalescing in particular stereotypes.

Race, Nation, War: Japanese American Forced Removal, Public Policy and National Security

This book examines international post-9/11 policies by connecting them to the US violations of Japanese Americans' human rights during World War II. Analysing the policies of the United States, Race, Nation, War illustrates how ideas of race and masculinity shaped the indefinite leave policy which the government used to move Japanese Americans out of camps during the war. With attention to recent American and European policies, the author demonstrates that race, gender, and nation also converge in President Trump's policies on refugees and human rights, the German and European migrant crises, and related German policies and politics. Assayed from a unique city and regional planning perspective, Race, Nation, War will appeal not only to scholars of planning, but also to those with interests in American Studies, gender studies, race and ethnicity, sociology, history, and public policy.

Serial Fu Manchu: The Chinese Supervillain and the Spread of Yellow Peril Ideology

The evil mastermind--and master of disguise--Fu Manchu has long threatened to take over the world. In the past century, his dastardly plans have driven serialized novels, comic books, films, and TV. Yet this sinister Oriental character represents more than an invincible criminal in pop culture; Fu Manchu became the embodiment of the Yellow Peril. This book provides a savvy cultural, historical, and media-based analysis that shows how Fu Manchu's irrepressibility gives shape to--and reinforces--the persistent Yellow Peril myth. Tracing Fu Manchu through transnational serials in varied media from 1913 to the 1970s, Mayer shows how the icon evolved. She pays particular attention to the figure's literary foundations, the impact of media changes on his dissemination, and his legacy.

Serve the People: Making Asian America in the Long Sixties

The political ferment of the 1960s produced not only the Civil Rights Movement but others in its wake--women's liberation, gay rights, Chicano power, and the Asian American Movement. Here is a definitive history of the social and cultural movement that knit a hugely disparate and isolated set of communities into a political identity--and along the way created a racial group out of marginalized people who had been uncomfortably lumped together as Orientals. The Asian American Movement was an unabashedly radical social movement, sprung from campuses and city ghettoes and allied with Third World freedom struggles and the anti-Vietnam War movement, seen as a racist intervention in Asia. It also introduced to mainstream America a generation of now internationally famous artists, writers, and musicians. This definitive history is based on years of research and more than 120 extensive interviews with movement leaders and participants.

To Save the Children of Korea: The Cold War Origins of International Adoption

To Save the Children of Korea examines how and why the practice of international adoption began in Korea in the 1950s, and how it grew and spread to other sending and receiving countries around the world in the decades since.

Two Faces of Exclusion: The Untold History of Anti-Asian Racism in the United States

From the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 to the Immigration Act of 1924 to Japanese American internment during World War II, the United States has a long history of anti-Asian policies. But Lon Kurashige demonstrates that despite widespread racism, Asian exclusion was not the product of an ongoing national consensus; it was a subject of fierce debate. This book complicates the exclusion story by examining the organized and well-funded opposition to discrimination that involved some of the most powerful public figures in American politics, business, religion, and academia. Kurashige argues that exclusion-era policies were more than just enactments of racism; they were also catalysts for U.S.-Asian cooperation and the basis for the twenty-first century's tightly integrated Pacific world.

Yellow Perils: China Narratives in the Contemporary World

China's meteoric rise and ever expanding economic and cultural footprint have been accompanied by widespread global disquiet. Whether admiring or alarmist, media discourse and representations of China often tap into the myths and prejudices that emerged through specific historical encounters. These deeply embedded anxieties have shown great resilience, as in recent media treatments of SARS and the H5N1 virus, which echoed past beliefs connecting China and disease. Popular perceptions of Asia, too, continue to be framed by entrenched racial stereotypes. This interdisciplinary collection of original essays offers a broad view of the mechanics that underlie Yellow Peril discourse by looking at its cultural deployment and repercussions worldwide.

Books in print

Alien Nation: Chinese immigration in the Americas from the "coolie" era through World War II

This book traces the pivotal century of Chinese migration to the Americas, beginning with the 1840s at and ending during World War II. Chinese people came as laborers, streaming across borders and working jobs few others wanted, from constructing railroads in California to harvesting sugar cane in Cuba. Though nations were built in part from their labor, Young argues that they were the first group of migrants to bear the stigma of being "alien." Being neither black nor white and existing outside of the nineteenth century Western norms of sexuality and gender, Chinese people were viewed as permanent outsiders, culturally and legally. This book is the first transnational history of Chinese migration to the Americas. By focusing on the fluidity and complexity of border crossings throughout the Western Hemisphere, Young shows us how Chinese migrants constructed alternative communities and identities through these transnational pathways.

America for Americans: A history of xenophobia in the United States

The United States is known as a nation of immigrants. But it is also a nation of xenophobia. This book shows that an irrational fear, hatred, and hostility toward immigrants has been a defining feature of our nation from the colonial era to the Trump era. Benjamin Franklin ridiculed Germans for their "strange and foreign ways." Americans' anxiety over Irish Catholics turned xenophobia into a national political movement. Chinese immigrants were excluded, Japanese incarcerated, and Mexicans deported. Today, Americans fear Muslims, Latinos, and the so-called browning of America. Forcing us to confront this history, Lee explains how xenophobia works, why it has endured, and how it threatens America. Now updated with an afterword reflecting on how the coronavirus pandemic turbocharged xenophobia, America for Americans is an urgent spur to action for any concerned citizen.

Asian American Dreams: The emergence of an American people

This groundbreaking book is about the transformation of Asian Americans from a few small, disconnected, and largely invisible ethnic groups into a self-identified racial group that is influencing every aspect of American society. It explores the junctures that shocked Asian Americans into motion and shaped a new consciousness, including the murder of Vincent Chin, a Chinese American, by two white autoworkers who believed he was Japanese; the apartheid-like working conditions of Filipinos in the Alaska canneries; the boycott of Korean American greengrocers in Brooklyn; the Los Angeles riots; and the casting of non-Asians in the Broadway musical Miss Saigon. The book also examines the rampant stereotypes of Asian Americans.

The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir

An intimate and poignant graphic novel portraying one family's journey from war-torn Vietnam, from debut author Thi Bui. This beautifully illustrated and emotional story is an evocative memoir about the search for a better future and a longing for the past. Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family's daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s, and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves.

China Men

The author chronicles the lives of three generations of Chinese men in America, woven from memory, myth and fact. Here's a storyteller's tale of what they endured in a strange new land.

The Chinese Must Go: Violence, Exclusion, and the Making of the Alien in America

The American West erupted in anti-Chinese violence in 1885. Following the massacre of Chinese miners in Wyoming Territory, communities throughout California and the Pacific Northwest harassed, assaulted, and expelled thousands of Chinese immigrants. Beth Lew-Williams shows how American immigration policies incited this violence and how the violence, in turn, provoked new exclusionary policies. Ultimately, Lew-Williams argues, Chinese expulsion and exclusion produced the concept of the "alien" in modern America. As this book makes clear, anti-Chinese law and violence continues to have consequences for today's immigrants. The present resurgence of xenophobia builds mightily upon past fears of the "heathen Chinaman."

The Color of Success: Asian Americans and the Origins of the Model Minority

The Color of Success tells of the astonishing transformation of Asians in the United States from the "yellow peril" to "model minorities"--peoples distinct from the white majority but lauded as well-assimilated, upwardly mobile, and exemplars of traditional family values--in the middle decades of the twentieth century. Weaving together myriad perspectives, Wu provides an unprecedented view of racial reform and the contradictions of national belonging in the civil rights era. She demonstrates that the invention of the model minority took place in multiple arenas, such as battles over zoot suiters leaving wartime internment camps, the juvenile delinquency panic of the 1950s, Hawaii statehood, and the African American freedom movement. Together, these illuminate the impact of foreign relations on the domestic racial order and how the nation accepted Asians as legitimate citizens while continuing to perceive them as indelible outsiders. By charting the emergence of the model minority stereotype, this book reveals that this far-reaching, politically charged process continues to have profound implications for how Americans understand race, opportunity, and nationhood.

Contagious Divides: Epidemics and Race in San Francisco's Chinatown

Contagious Divides charts the dynamic transformation of representations of Chinese immigrants from medical menace in the nineteenth century to model citizen in the mid-twentieth century. Examining the cultural politics of public health and Chinese immigration in San Francisco, this book looks at the history of racial formation in the U.S. by focusing on the development of public health bureaucracies. Nayan Shah notes how the production of Chinese difference and white, heterosexual norms in public health policy affected social lives, politics, and cultural expression. Public health authorities depicted Chinese immigrants as filthy and diseased, as the carriers of such incurable afflictions as smallpox, syphilis, and bubonic plague. This resulted in the vociferous enforcement of sanitary regulations on the Chinese community. But the authorities did more than demon-ize the Chinese; they also marshaled civic resources that promoted sewer construction, vaccination programs, and public health management. Shah shows how Chinese Americans responded to health regulations and allegations with persuasive political speeches, lawsuits, boycotts, violent protests, and poems. Chinese American activists drew upon public health strategies in their advocacy for health services and public housing. Adroitly employing discourses of race and health, these activists argued that Chinese Americans were worthy and deserving of sharing in the resources of American society.

The Deathly Embrace: Orientalism and Asian American Identity

Asian American resistance to Orientalism -- the Western tradition dealing with the subject and subjugation of the East -- is usually assumed. And yet, as this provocative work demonstrates, in order to refute racist stereotypes they must first be evoked, and in the process the two often become entangled. Sheng-mei Ma shows how the distinguished careers of post-1960s Asian American writers such as Maxine Hong Kingston, Amy Tan, Frank Chin, and David Henry Hwang reveal that while Asian American identity is constructed in reaction to Orientalism, the two cultural forces are not necessarily at odds. The vigor with which these Asian Americans revolt against Orientalism in fact tacitly acknowledges the family lineage of the two.

Driven Out: The Forgotten War Against Chinese Americans

The brutal and systematic "ethnic cleansing" of Chinese Americans in California and the Pacific Northwest in the second half of the nineteenth century is a shocking--and virtually unexplored--chapter of American history. Driven Out unearths this forgotten episode in our nation's past. Drawing on years of groundbreaking research, Jean Pfaelzer reveals how, beginning in 1848, lawless citizens and duplicitous politicians purged dozens of communities of thousands of Chinese residents--and how the victims bravely fought back. In Driven Out, Jean Pfaelzer sheds a harsh light on America's past. This is a story of hitherto unknown racial pogroms, purges, roundups, and brutal terror, but also a record of valiant resistance and community.

Fateful Ties: A History of America's Preoccupation with China

Americans look to China with fascination and fear, unsure whether the rising Asian power is friend or foe but certain it will play a crucial role in America's future. This is nothing new, Gordon Chang says. For centuries, Americans have been convinced of China's importance to their own national destiny. Fateful Ties draws on literature, art, biography, popular culture, and politics to trace America's long and varied preoccupation with China. China has held a special place in the American imagination from colonial times, when Jamestown settlers pursued a passage to the Pacific and Asia. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Americans plied a profitable trade in Chinese wares, sought Chinese laborers to build the West, and prized China's art and decor. China was revered for its ancient culture but also drew Christian missionaries intent on saving souls in a heathen land. Its vast markets beckoned expansionists, even as its migrants were seen as a "yellow peril" that prompted the earliest immigration restrictions. A staunch ally during World War II, China was a dangerous adversary in the Cold War that followed. In the post-Mao era, Americans again embraced China as a land of inexhaustible opportunity, playing a central role in its economic rise. Through portraits of entrepreneurs, missionaries, academics, artists, diplomats, and activists, Chang demonstrates how ideas about China have long been embedded in America's conception of itself and its own fate.

The Making of Asian America: A History

The definitive history of Asian Americans by one of the nation's preeminent scholars on the subject. In the past fifty years, Asian Americans have helped change the face of America and are now the fastest growing group in the United States. But as award-winning historian Erika Lee reminds us, Asian Americans also have deep roots in the country. The Making of Asian America tells the little-known history of Asian Americans and their role in American life, from the arrival of the first Asians in the Americas to the present-day. An epic history of global journeys and new beginnings, this book shows how generations of Asian immigrants and their American-born descendants have made and remade Asian American life in the United States: sailors who came on the first trans-Pacific ships in the 1500s; indentured "coolies" who worked alongside African slaves in the Caribbean; and Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, and South Asian immigrants who were recruited to work in the United States only to face massive racial discrimination, Asian exclusion laws, and for Japanese Americans, incarceration during World War II. Over the past fifty years, a new Asian America has emerged out of community activism and the arrival of new immigrants and refugees. No longer a "despised minority," Asian Americans are now held up as America's "model minorities" in ways that reveal the complicated role that race still plays in the United States.

Shortcomings

This is the story of Ben Tanaka, a confused, obsessive Japanese American male in his late twenties, and his cross-country search for contentment (or at least the perfect girl). Along the way, Tomine tackles modern culture, sexual mores, and racial politics with brutal honesty and lacerating, irreverent humor, while deftly bringing to life a cast of painfully real antihero characters.

They Called Us Enemy

George Takei has captured hearts and minds worldwide with his captivating stage presence and outspoken commitment to equal rights. But long before he braved new frontiers in Star Trek, he woke up as a four-year-old boy to find his own birth country at war with his father's -- and their entire family forced from their home into an uncertain future. In 1942, at the order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, every person of Japanese descent on the west coast was rounded up and shipped to one of ten "relocation centers," hundreds or thousands of miles from home, where they would be held for years under armed guard. They Called Us Enemy is Takei's firsthand account of those years behind barbed wire, the joys and terrors of growing up under legalized racism, his mother's hard choices, his father's faith in democracy, and the way those experiences planted the seeds for his astonishing future. What is American? Who gets to decide? When the world is against you, what can one person do? To answer these questions, George Takei joins co-writers Justin Eisinger & Steven Scott and artist Harmony Becker for the journey of a lifetime.

Yellow: Race in America beyond black and white

In the tradition of W. E. B. Du Bois, Cornel West, and other public intellectuals who confronted the "color line" of the twentieth century, journalist, law professor, and activist Frank H. Wu offers a unique perspective on how changing ideas of racial identity will affect race relations in the new century. Often provocative and always thoughtful, this book addresses some of the most controversial contemporary issues: discrimination, immigration, diversity, globalization, and the mixed-race movement, introducing the example of Asian Americans to shed new light on the current debates. Combining personal anecdotes, social-science research, legal cases, history, and original journalistic reporting, Wu discusses damaging Asian American stereotypes such as "the model minority" and "the perpetual foreigner." By offering new ways of thinking about race in American society, Wu's work challenges us to make good on our great democratic experiment.

Streaming Films

American Experience: The Chinese Exclusion Act

Examine the origin, history and impact of the 1882 law that made it illegal for Chinese workers to come to America and for Chinese nationals already here ever to become U.S. citizens. Running time: 161 minutes.

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