Asian American History

  • The Forgotten History of Japanese Internment in Hawaii

    by Olivia Tasevski

    Although Hawaii is associated with the United States being victimized by foreign attack, the history of internment of Japanese Americans on the islands should also remind us of the U.S. government's human rights abuses. 

  • Cash Reparations to Japanese Internees Helped Rebuild Autonomy and Dignity

    by Morgan Ome

    Many recent proposals for African American reparations prescribe particular uses for compensation, such as securing housing. But the lesson of the $20,000 payments made to Japanese-American internees and their descendants is that restoring dignity and autonomy means letting recipients decide how to spend any payment for themselves. 

  • Professor Helps Rescue "Lost" Asian American Silent Film

    Denise Khor's research on film culture seemed to show that the prints of the 1914 film "The Oath of the Sword" had been lost. But one museum had a decaying copy in a vault, and a restored version has premiered as the oldest known Asian American film. 

  • Onoto Watanna, the First Asian American Screenwriter

    by Ben Railton

    Under the pen name of Onoto Watanna, a woman named Winnifred Eaton of British and Chinese descent became a literary prodigy, penning romance novels, ethnic cookbooks, and screenplays—and a searing critique of the treatment of writers in Hollywood that rings true today. 

  • "Generation Connie": A News Anchor and Her First-Generation Namesakes

    The practice of choosing American names for immigrant children coincided with the peak of Connie Chung's career as the national face of CBS News. Adopting her name symbolized mobility and potential for a generation of Asian American women recently come of age. 

  • The Power and Betrayal of Cross-Ethnic Solidarity in the 1903 Oxnard Beet Strike

    by Frank P. Barajas

    The Japanese Mexican Labor Association overcame the deliberate ethnic division of the farm labor force in Oxnard, California to win a major strike in the sugar beet fields in 1903, overcoming violent repression. Anti-Asian prejudice in the broader labor movement ended this successful experiment to the detriment of generations of workers. 

  • Violence and the Unmaking of Asian-American Exceptionalism

    by Gaiutra Bahadur

    A series of violent anti-Asian attacks in the author's community during the 1990s underscores the debt Asian Americans owe to the African American movements for emancipation and civil rights, and the need for cross-racial solidarity in the face of racist oppression. 

  • Is Harvard Actually Discriminating Against Asian Applicants?

    by Julie J. Park

    The data supporting the charge that Harvard's affirmative action policies amount to discrimination against Asian American students isn't as clear-cut as has been reported, says an education researcher who's investigated the policies. Blaming race-based affirmative action conceals the preferences given to legacies, athletes, and donors' children. 

  • What American Dream did Asian Immigrants Find in the Southern California Suburbs?

    by James Zarsadiaz

    Asian-American suburbs grew east of Los Angeles in part because developers catered to a growing market and in part because Asian Americans embraced some of the anti-urban tropes common in postwar America. Today conflict still surrounds how much diversity the suburban ideal can accommodate.

  • The Forgotten Violence of the US-Philippines Relationship

    by Adrian De Leon

    By declaring a relationship of "friends, partners, and allies" between the United States and the Philippines, and embracing the regime of Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., the United States concealed its violent conquest of the islands and its ongoing support for authoritarian rule there.