The American Dream of success for many Asian Americans includes the highest levels of education. But what does it mean to live that success? In Straight A's Asian American students at Harvard reflect on their common experiences with discrimination, immigrant communities, their relationships to their Asian heritage, and their place in the university. They also explore the difficulties of living up to family expectations and the real-world effects of the "model minority" stereotype. While many of the issues they face are familiar to a wide swath of college students, their examinations of race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality, and culture directly speak to the Asian American experience in U.S. higher education. Unique and revealing, intimate and unreserved, Straight A's furthers the conversation about immigrant histories, racial and ethnic stereotypes, and multiculturalism in contemporary American society.
In an extraordinary blend of narrative history, personal recollection, & oral testimony, the author presents a sweeping history of Asian Americans. He writes of the Chinese who laid tracks for the transcontinental railroad, of plantation laborers in the canefields of Hawaii, of "picture brides" marrying strangers in the hope of becoming part of the American dream. He tells stories of Japanese Americans behind the barbed wire of U.S. internment camps during World War II, Hmong refugees tragically unable to adjust to Wisconsin's alien climate & culture, & Asian American students stigmatized by the stereotype of the "model minority." This is a powerful & moving work that will resonate for all Americans, who together make up a nation of immigrants from other shores.
Dr. Pyong Gap Min and Rose Kim present a compilation of narratives on ethnic identity written by first-, 1.5-, and second-generation Asian American professionals. In an attempt to reconcile the dichotomies long associated with being both Asian and American, these narratives trace the formation of each author's ethnic identity and discuss its importance in shaping his or her professional career. The narratives touch upon common themes of prejudice and discrimination, loss and retention of ethnic subculture, ethnic versus non-ethnic friendship networks, and racial and inter-racial dating patterns. When coupled with Dr. Min's comprehensive introductory chapter on contemporary trends in the study of ethnicity, these narratives prove that constructing one's ethnicity is truly a dynamic process and serve as an invaluable resource for anyone interested in teaching or studying the concepts of ethnic identity.
A Time to Rise is an intimate look into the workings of the KDP, the only revolutionary organization that emerged in the Filipino American community during the politically turbulent 1970s and '80s. Overcoming cultural and class differences, members of the KDP banded together in a single national organization to mobilize their community into civil rights and antiwar movements in the United States and in the fight for democracy and national liberation in the Philippines and elsewhere.
These personal accounts document recruitment, organizing, and training in the KDP. More than two-thirds of the stories are by women, reflecting the powerful role they played in the organization and its leadership. Also included are chapters on the struggle for justice for murdered KDP and union leaders Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes. These memoirs offer political insights and inspiring examples of personal courage that will resonate today.
A Time to Rise was made possible in part by a grant from 4Culture's Heritage Program.
The Chinese in turn-of-the-last-century New York were mostly immigrant peasants and shopkeepers who worked as laundrymen, cigar makers, and domestics. They gravitated to lower Manhattan and lived as Chinese an existence as possible, their few diversions--gambling, opium, and prostitution--available but, sadly, illegal. It didn't take long before one resourceful merchant saw a golden opportunity to feather his nest by positioning himself squarely between the vice dens and the police charged with shutting them down.
Tong Wars is historical true crime set against the perfect landscape: Tammany-era New York City. Representatives of rival tongs (secret societies) corner the various markets of sin using admirably creative strategies. The city government was already corrupt from top to bottom, so once one tong began taxing the gambling dens and paying off the authorities, a rival, jealously eyeing its lucrative franchise, co-opted a local reformist group to help eliminate it. Pretty soon Chinese were slaughtering one another in the streets, inaugurating a succession of wars that raged for the next thirty years.
Scott D. Seligman's account roars through three decades of turmoil, with characters ranging from gangsters and drug lords to reformers and do-gooders to judges, prosecutors, cops, and pols of every stripe and color. A true story set in Prohibition-era Manhattan a generation after Gangs of New York, but fought on the very same turf.
Beyond the gilded gates of Google, little has been written about the suburban communities of Silicon Valley. Over the past several decades, the region's booming tech economy spurred rapid population growth, increased racial diversity, and prompted an influx of immigration, especially among highly skilled and educated migrants from China, Taiwan, and India. At the same time, the response to these newcomers among long-time neighbors and city officials revealed complex attitudes in even the most well-heeled and diverse communities.
Trespassers? takes an intimate look at the everyday life and politics inside Silicon Valley against a backdrop of these dramatic demographic shifts. At the broadest level, it raises questions about the rights of diverse populations to their own piece of the suburban American Dream. It follows one community over several decades as it transforms from a sleepy rural town to a global gateway and one of the nation's largest Asian American-majority cities. There, it highlights the passionate efforts of Asian Americans to make Silicon Valley their home by investing in local schools, neighborhoods, and shopping centers. It also provides a textured tale of the tensions that emerge over this suburb's changing environment. With vivid storytelling, Trespassers? uncovers suburbia as an increasingly important place for immigrants and minorities to register their claims for equality and inclusion.
Juxtaposing short stories, poetry, painting, and photographs, Troubling Borders showcases the creative work of women of Vietnamese, Cambodian, Lao, Thai, and Filipino ancestry. This thematically arranged collection interrupts borders of categorization and gender, in what preface author Shirley Geok-Lin Lim describes as a "leap over the barbed fences that have kept these women apart in these, our United States of America."
The sixty-two contributors have been shaped by colonization, wars, globalization, and militarization. For some of these women on the margins of the margin, crafting and showing their work is a bold act in itself. Their provocative and accessible creations tell unique stories, provide sharp contrasts to familiar stereotypes--Southeast Asian women as exotic sex symbols, dragon ladies, prostitutes, or "bar girls"--and serve as entry points for broader discussions about questions of history, memory, and identity.
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. In recovering this opposition, Kurashige explains the rise and fall of exclusionist policies through an unstable and protracted political rivalry that began in the 1850s with the coming of Asian immigrants, extended to the age of exclusion from the 1880s until the 1960s, and since then has shaped the memory of past discrimination.
In this first book-length analysis of both sides of the debate, 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.