Daily Notes on Literature, Pop Culture & Media, and Academia

Asian Americans: “Missing in History”

Posted by litdaily on January 20, 2011

A new website Fuck Yeah Asian/Pacific Islander History takes to heart Helen Zia’s suggestion that Asian Americans have been rendered MIH or “Missing in History,” and seeks to secure their rightful place in American history through photographs. The website’s juxtaposition of pictures is compelling because it conveys the range and depth of Asian American contributions, from excellence in sports to struggles in labor movements. For example, the following photographs of California Sikh Community parade in Stockton, California on May 11, 1945, and that of Asian Pacific Sisters from 1994 highlight a sense of pride and community.

The photographs are an appropriate collage of Asian/Pacfic Islander (API) diversity, documenting various ethnic groups—Chinese, Filipino, South Asian, Hmong, Cambodian, Vietnamese—in a way that makes us think about why such distinct histories are also the basis of a connected racial experience as Asian Americans. I always feel the need to emphasize to students that we should not view Asian American history (or the history of minority racial groups) as just an add-on, and therefore external to “American history.” Instead, we should examine how analysis of Asian American experience fundamentally transforms our understanding of American history. In other words, Asian American history is not additive but transformative.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: