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Anti-Racism: Asian American Experience

This guide contains information on resources relating to anti-racism, including recommended books for further reading and films.

Internet Resources

Journals & Reference Materials (Log in Required)

A Bitter Legacy: The Treatment of Japanese Americans During WWII

This documentary examines issues before, during and after WWII, regarding the treatment of people of Japanese ancestry in America, most of them, American citizens. Many of these forces are still here and have repercussions today worldwide.

Source: Kanopy

I Am Not Your Asian Stereotype

Books & Films: Check Out at McKee Library

The Making of Asian America

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. 

Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning

As the daughter of Korean immigrants, Cathy Park Hong grew up steeped in shame, suspicion, and melancholy. She would later understand that these "minor feelings" occur when American optimism contradicts your own reality--when you believe the lies you're told about your own racial identity. Minor feelings are not small, they're dissonant--and in their tension Hong finds the key to the questions that haunt her.  With sly humor and a poet's searching mind, Hong uses her own story as a portal into a deeper examination of racial consciousness in America today. This intimate and devastating book traces her relationship to the English language, to shame and depression, to poetry and female friendship. A radically honest work of art, Minor Feelings forms a portrait of one Asian American psyche--and of a writer's search to both uncover and speak the truth. Praise for Minor Feelings "Hong begins her new book of essays with a bang. . . .The essays wander a variegated terrain of memoir, criticism and polemic, oscillating between smooth proclamations of certainty and twitches of self-doubt. . . . Minor Feelings is studded with moments [of] candor and dark humor shot through with glittering self-awareness."--The New York Times "Hong uses her own experiences as a jumping off point to examine race and emotion in the United States."--Newsweek "Powerful . . . [Hong] brings together memoiristic personal essay and reflection, historical accounts and modern reporting, and other works of art and writing, in order to amplify a multitude of voices and capture Asian America as a collection of contradictions. She does so with sharp wit and radical transparency."--Salon

Warrior Lessons

Interweaving narrative, interview, analysis, and confession into a seamless whole, "Warrior Lessons" becomes both guide and mentor, addressing the range of issues Asian American women face in the world of work and in their personal lives: dealing with family expectations: how to find power; what it means to be seductive in the face of the "geisha girl" stereotype; and more.

Asian American Dreams

This groundbreaking book traces 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 events that shocked Asian Americans into motion and shaped a new consciousness. Helen Zia, the daughter of Chinese immigrants, writes as a personal witness to the dramatic changes involving Asian Americans.

East Main Street

An interdisciplinary anthology of the rich Asian American influence on U.S. popular culture From henna tattoo kits available at your local mall to "faux Asian" fashions, housewares and fusion cuisine; from the new visibility of Asian film, music, video games and anime to the current popularity of martial arts motifs in hip hop, Asian influences have thoroughly saturated the U.S. cultural landscape and have now become an integral part of the vernacular of popular culture. By tracing cross-cultural influences and global cultural trends, the essays in East Main Street bring Asian American studies, in all its interdisciplinary richness, to bear on a broad spectrum of cultural artifacts. Contributors consider topics ranging from early Asian American movie stars to the influences of South Asian iconography on rave culture, and from the marketing of Asian culture through food to the contemporary clamor for transnational Chinese women's historical fiction. East Main Street hits the shelves in the midst of a boom in Asian American population and cultural production. This book is essential not only for understanding Asian American popular culture but also contemporary U.S. popular culture writ large.

Strangers from a Different Shore

A powerful and moving history of Asian Americans that spans centuries, from the acclaimed author of A Different Mirror.  In an extraordinary blend of narrative history, personal recollection, and 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 and culture, and Asian American students stigmatized by the stereotype of the "model minority." This is a powerful and moving work that will resonate for all Americans, who together make up a nation of immigrants from other shores.

Asian Americans in the Twenty-First Century

The collective term Asian American' comprises more than 20 distinct nationalities and ethnic groups. In this all-new collection of fascinating interviews with Asian Americans, Lee draws upon her skill and sensitivity as a journalist to reveal a rich mosaic of Asian identities.'

Home from the Eastern Sea

This is the story of the immigration of Chinese, Japanese, and Filipinos to America. The documentary explores the history of each nationality through the personal stories of representative families.

Source: Kanopy

Good Luck Soup: Growing Up Mixed Race in White Suburbia

When we think of Asian America, Cleveland is not the first place that comes to mind for most people. In GOOD LUCK SOUP, filmmaker Matthew Hashiguchi shows us why this often overlooked part of the country is as important as others in understanding the Asian American story. The journey for the Hashiguchi family begins with Matthew's grandmother, Eva, who moved to the Cleveland area following her family's internment during World War II. Though she and many other Japanese Americans were invited to the area, assimilating, working and living there was an ongoing struggle.

Source: Kanopy

Asian Americans

Explaining that many diverse cultures fall under the umbrella label of “15n American,” this program considers the immigration patterns that are making 15n Americans one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in the U.S. It presents a case study of the Korean community in the Chicago area.

Source: AVON