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Definition of Asian American


The term 'Asian American' was mainly popularized by civil rights movement ... case of the Korean War, were war brides, who were soon joined by their families. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Definition of Asian American

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Definition of Asian American
  • The term "Asian American" was mainly popularized
    by civil rights movement activists in the 1960s.
  • This denomination underlined the common plight of
    all Asians in the United States and gave Asian
    Americans more prominence on the political scene.
  • In the United States, the term has widely
    supplanted "Oriental" to describe East Asian
    people regardless of nationality, upbringing, or
  • Some have argued that "Oriental" is politically
    loaded and referenced a colonial "other. To many
    people, the term "Oriental" is often seen as an
    unfriendly, even derogatory term.

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A Controversial Term
  • Asian American" is not a very precise or accurate
    term, and some people prefer it being replaced by
    the use of separate terms for each Asian cultural
    or geographical group.
  • Additionally, although the term "Asian" in the
    United States is most popularly used as a term to
    group peoples with physical or cultural
    characteristics resembling East Asian people,
    Asians from the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast
    Asia (including the Philippines, Indonesia, and
    Malaysia) are also included in the Asian American
    grouping for cultural studies and academic works,
    as well as for official government and census
  • To a lesser extent, some government agencies also
    classify Middle Easterners as "West Asians."
    Until recent times, South Asians were previously
    categorized in the white racial category together
    with immigrants from the Middle East. Lobbying by
    South Asian business groups resulted in their
    placement into the "Asian" category

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Metropolitan Areas with the Highest Proportion of
Asian Americans (2000 Census)
Early history
  • A large amount of Chinese and Japanese began
    immigrating to the U.S. in the mid 19th century.
    Many of these immigrants worked as laborers on
    the transcontinental railroad.
  • A surge in Asian immigration in the late 19th
    century gave rise to a fear from some, referred
    to as the "yellow peril."
  • In Hawaii, both Chinese and Japanese laborers
    were brought in during the 19th century to work
    on sugar plantations. Later, Filipinos were also
    brought in as laborers.

Push Factors
  • Most of these early Chinese workers were from the
    Guangdong (also called Canton) province in China.
  • The most important factor was economic hardship
    due to the growing British dominance over China,
    after Britain defeated China in the Opium War of

Pull Factors
  • the first large-scale immigration of Asians into
    the U.S. didn't happen until 1848. gold was
    discovered in America. Lured by tales and dreams
    of making it rich on "Gold Mountain" (which
    became the Chinese nickname for California),
  • The Gold Rush was one of the factors that led
    many Chinese to come to the U.S. to find their
    fortune and return home rich and wealthy.

Transcontinental Railroad
  • Chinese workers constructed the Central Pacific
    Railroad, the first railroad to traverse the
    Sierra Nevada, in six years (from 1863 until
    1869). This 335 m (1100 ft) trestle spans the
    Secretown Ravine, 108 km (64 mi) east of
    Sacramento, California.

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  • The speeches congratulated European immigrant
    workers for their labor but never mentioned the
    Chinese. Instead, Chinese men were summarily
    fired and forced to walk the long distance back
    to San Francisco -- forbidden to ride on the
    railroad they built. as Helen Zia points out in
    her excellent book Asian American Dreams The
    Emergence of an American People

Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882
  • the Chinese increasingly became the targets of
    racial attacks and discriminatory legislation
    because their labor was no longer needed and
    Whites began seeing them as an economic threat.
    This anti-Chinese movement, which was accompanied
    by numerous anti-Chinese riots, lynchings, and
  • Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. This act barred
    virtually all immigration from China and
    prevented all Chinese already in the U.S. from
    becoming U.S. citizens, even their American-born
    children. For the first time in U.S. history, a
    specific ethnic group was singled out and
    forbidden to enter the U.S.

China Town
  • Because they were forbidden from owning land,
    intermarrying with Whites, owning homes, working
    in many occupations, getting an education, and
    living in certain parts of the city or entire
    cities, the Chinese basically had no other choice
    but to retreat into their own isolated
    communities as a matter of survival. These first
    Chinatowns at least allowed them to make a living
    among themselves.
  • This is where the stereotypical image of Chinese
    restaurants and laundry shops, Japanese gardeners
    and produce stands, and Korean grocery stores

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Racial Discrimination
  • Ever since the first Asians arrived in America,
    there has been anti-Asian racism. This includes
    prejudice and acts of discrimination. For more
    than 200 years, Asian Americans have been denied
    equal rights, subjected to harassment and
    hostility, had their rights revoked and
    imprisoned for no justifiable reason, physically
    attacked, and murdered.

Angel Island
  • A largest island in San Francisco Bay, W Calif.
    Explored by the Spanish in 1775, it came under
    U.S. control in 1851. The U.S. army used the
    island as a base from 1863 to 1946, and from 1955
    to 1962 a radar and missile site was there.
  • From 1910 to 1940 the island was also used to
    process mainly Asian immigrants to the United
    States, earning it the nickname Ellis Island of
    the West. During World War II, enemy prisoners
    of war were confined on Angel Island. The island
    is now a state park.

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War History
  • Asian participants in the American Civil War were
    not given citizenship, voting rights, or access
    to public schools because they were legally
    declared "neither black nor white."
  • The Japanese American Internment refers to the
    controversial, forcible relocation of
    approximately 112,000 to 120,000 Japanese and
    Japanese Americans, 62 percent of whom were
    United States citizens, from the west coast of
    the United States during World War II to hastily
    constructed housing facilities called War
    Relocation Camps in remote portions of the
    nation's interior. President Franklin Roosevelt
    authorized the internment with United States
    Executive Order 9066.

Japanese American Prison CampsDuring World War
  • Fresno, CAManzanar, CAMarysville, CAMerced,
    CAPinedale, CAPomona, CASacramento,
    CASalinas, CASanta Anita, CAStockton,
    CATanforan, CATulare, CATule Lake, CATurlock,
  • Amache, Colorado
  • Gila River, ArizonaHeart Mountain,
    WyomingJerome, ArkansasMayer, ArizonaMinidoka,
    IdahoPortland, OregonPoston, ArizonaPuyallup,
    WashingtonRohwer, ArkansasTopaz, Utah

Naturalized Citizens in the war
  • On the other hand, after the war began, Chinese
    Americans and to a lesser extent, those of
    Korean, Filipino, and South Asian descent, were
    beginning to be portrayed in a much more positive
    light. For example, a 1942 Gallup poll
    characterized the Chinese as "hardworking,
    honest, brave, religious, intelligent, and
    practical." The U.S. was feeling so charitable
    that in 1943, it revoked the provisions of the
    Chinese Exclusion Act passed 61 years earlier.
  • This finally gave Chinese residents the right to
    be naturalized citizens. Because the U.S.
    government decided to portray them that way since
    China was now the U.S.'s wartime ally.

After the War
  • After the war finally ended in 1945, the U.S.'s
    attitudes towards the Japanese and Chinese once
    again flip-flopped.
  • After the communists took control, China became
    the evil enemy while Japan, rebuilding under the
    direction of the U.S. military, was seen as
    hardworking, friendly, and intelligent.
    Reflecting this change of opinion, Japanese
    Americans officially received the right to become
    naturalized U.S. citizens in 1952.

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965
  • represents a significant watershed moment in
    Asian American history.
  • Reversing decades of systematic exclusion and
    restrictive immigration policies, the Act
    resulted in unprecedented numbers of immigrants
    from Asia, Mexico, Latin America, and other
    non-western nations entering the U.S.
  • In the process, these new arrivals, particular
    from Asia, have transformed the demographic,
    economic, and cultural characteristics of many
    urban areas, the larger Asian American community,
    and mainstream American society in general.

New Immigrants
  • First, in the wake of World War II, immigration
    preferences favored family reunification. This
    may have helped attract highly skilled workers to
    meet American workforce deficiencies.
  • Secondly, the end of the Korean War and Vietnam
    War or so-called "Secret Wars" in Southeast Asia
    brought a new wave of Asian American immigration
    as people from Korea, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia
    arrived. Some of the new immigrants, as in the
    case of the Korean War, were war brides, who were
    soon joined by their families.
  • Others, like the Southeast Asians, were either
    highly skilled and educated or part of subsequent
    waves of refugees seeking asylum. Some factors
    contributing to the growth of sub-groups such as
    South Asians and mainland Chinese are higher
    family sizes, higher use of family-reunification
    visas, and higher numbers of technically skilled
    workers entering on H-1 and H-1b visas.

  • It seems that whenever there are problems in
    American society, political or economic, there
    always seems to be the need for a scapegoat --
    someone or a group of people who is/are singled
    out, unjustifiably blamed, and targeted with
    severe hostility. Combined with the cultural
    stereotype of Asian Americans as quiet, weak, and
    powerless, more and more Asian Americans are
    victimized, solely on the basis of being an Asian

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  • Two incidents have energized some Chinese
    Americans and other Asian Americans, particularly
    American-born Chinese in recent years -- the
    murder of Vincent Chin by white automotive
    workers in 1982
  • The unsubstantiated charges of spying against
    Chinese American nuclear scientist Wen Ho Lee at
    Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1999, whom many
    believe was a victim of racial stereotyping.

Vincent Chin
Wen Ho Lee
Model Minority
  • The reference to Asian Americans as "model
    minorities" has to do with the work ethic,
    respect for elders, and high valuation of family
    and elders present in their culture. Despite the
    fact that this concept seems to valorize Asian
    Americans, it comes with an underlying notion of
    their apoliticality.
  • Moreover, such a label one-dimensionalizes Asian
    Americans as having those traits and no other
    human qualities, such as vocal leadership,
    negative emotions, or intolerance towards
  • Asian Americans are labeled as model minorities
    because they have not been as much of a "threat"
    to the U.S. political establishment as blacks,
    due to a smaller population and less political
    advocacy. This label seeks to suppress potential
    political activism through euphemistic
  • (Reference Asian Americans and Politics
    Perspective, Experiences, Prospects by Gordon H.

Model Minority Myth
  • Due to popular labeling of Asian Americans as
    model minorities, the critical issues of poverty
    and low educational attainment among southeast
    Asian immigrants and their Asian American
    children do not receive the attention that such
    issues receive in the African American and
    Hispanic communities

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Asian American Status in Affirmative Action
  • Because of their high degree of success as a
    group, Asian Americans do not generally benefit
    from affirmative action policies the way other
    minority groups do. In fact, some schools
    routinely choose lower-scoring applicants from
    other racial groups, even European American, over
    Asian American, in an attempt to promote racial
    diversity and to maintain some proportion to the
    society's racial demographics.
  • According to a 2005 Princeton University study,
    if affirmative action were eliminated in college
    admissions, nearly four out of every five spots
    lost by African Americans and Hispanic Americans
    would be given to an Asian American

Chinese Holidays
Spring Festival (The Chinese New Year)
  • Chinese New Year, pronounced in Chinese as "xin
    nian", always falls on the date of marking the
    beginning of the spring and thus it is also
    called the "Spring Festival".
  • "xin" means "new" and "nian" means "year". There
    are many stories told about the origin of "nian",
    which actually is a name of animals.

Spring Festival (The Chinese New Year)
  • The celebration of the Chinese New Year may last
    only a few days including the New Year's Eve.
  • The New Year season actually starts on the 15th
    of December and ends at the 15th of January.
  • By tradition, Chinese will be busy in buying
    presents, decorating their houses, preparing food
    and making new cloths for the New Year.
  • During that period, all transportation, in
    particular railway, will be busy in bringing
    Chinese back to their own home town for a family
    reunion on the Chinese New year Eve.

Spring Festival (The Chinese New Year)
  • Supper is a feast, and all the Family member
    return just for this Holiday.
  • Chinese food, especially during the New Year, is
    rich with symbolism and is a very important part
    of Chinese social culture.
  • The Chinese people shop for seasonal specialties
    and typical New Year favorites.

Spring Festival (The Chinese New Year)
  • You will see a lot of Chinese New Year Cake,
    sesame balls, almond cookies and other
    irresistible sweet and other treats.
  • Some other foods that our served during this
    special event are dim sum, noodles, seafood,
    Chinese Herbs and medicinal products, B.B.Q.
    meats, Bubble Teas and other treats.

Mid-Autumn Festival (Moon Festival )
  • This is the second most important holiday other
    then the New Year in.
  • The moon on this day is the fullest and largest
    to the eye. Viewing it by the whole family while
    feasting on good wine, fruits and moon-cakes
    features the night event.
  • There is also a story behind this, children are
    told that there's a fairy on the moon living in a
    open but cold crystal palace with her sole mate,
    a jade rabbit.
  • A heavenly general and friend would occasionally
    pay her a visit, bringing along his fragrant
    wine. She would then dance a beautiful dance and
    the shadows on the moon made the story all the
    more credible to the young imaginative minds.

Chinese Food
  • Chinese cuisine is one of the greatest methods of
    cooking. Many elements that have influenced its
  • They prepare all types of food, from fish to
    chicken to pork and Beef.
  • They also use a lot of vegetables in there meals,
    which helps to make a health dish for them to
  • They have all different types of soups to which
    they uses dumplings, vegetables, meat and

Chinese Foods
  • Seafood, goes from crabs to prawns, from fresh
    water fish to deep ocean fish, and from shark fin
    to squid.
  • Given the right ingredients and to the right
    cook, all these can be turned in to a tasty meal
  • seafood is considered a high end product that
    does not figure highly in the Chinese-American
    diet compared to other meats.
  • Such as pork and chicken products, these are the
    dominant sources of protein for Chinese-American

Chinese Food
  • Sweet and Sour Pork is one of the most known
    dishes to the American. Chinese actually have
    many very tasteful dishes with pork.
  • Barbecue pork is another one and Chinese will
    cook without the fats so that they can retain the
    taste of the pork. Which makes the dish very
    healthy and delicious
  • Also Chicken and Beef are pretty know in the
    American-Chinese culture. Most of the dish we
    know of have these types of meat. Which this
    makes them very tasty.

Chinese Foods
  • Soups have been a part of Chinese meals for a
    long time, which there are many different types
    of Chinese soups.
  • Sweet corn and hot/sour soups are the most
    popular soups to China.
  • Here in America, most of us are use to eating
    soups that have dumplings and different spices,
    which arent as healthy as the traditional soups
    from the home country.
  • Chinese make their soups with chicken, meat or
    vegetable stock.
  • Chinese soups are very tasteful and can be light
    in both texture and flavor. Yet some of the soups
    are filling enough to be a meal by themselves

Chinese Foods
  • Did you know the Fortune Cookie was invented by
    Americans, they never had cookies that told them
    if something was going to happen to them or today
    is there lucky day.
  • So you know its not an authentic Chinese dessert,
    but no restaurant meal at a North American
    Chinese restaurant would be complete without them.

Chinese Foods
  • Most of Dishes that our cooked in Chinese
    restaurants, are consider works of art just
    because they take their time and appreciate, what
    they are doing.

Asian-American Art
Asian-American Architecture
  • One prominent Asian-American art form is
    Architecture. There are several important figures
    in American Society, which included I.M. Pei and
    Maya Lin.

I.M. Pei
  • Leoh Ming Pei was born in Canton in1917.
  • Canton China that is!
  • Studied architecture at MIT and Harvard.
  • Between 1942 and 1945, he worked as a concrete
    designer for Stone and Webster.
  • In 1946 he began work in the office of Hugh Asher
    Stubbins, in Boston.
  • Pei worked as an instructor and then as an
    assistant professor at Harvard.
  • He joined Webb Knapp Inc. in New York in 1948.
  • In 1960 he founded his own architectural office,
    I. M. Pei Partners, New York.

Important Works
  • I.M. Pei has worked on many high scale projects
    in the United states including
  • Christian Science Center in Boston
  • East Wing, National Gallery in Washington D.C.
  • Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, New York
  • The Hancock Place in Boston
  • Javits Convention Center in New York
  • Johnson Museum of Art in Ithaca, New York
  • National Center for Atmospheric Research in
    Boulder, Colorado
  • Rock and Roll Hall of fame in Cleveland.

  • http//

Maya Lin
  • Maya Lin was born in Athens on October 10, 1959.
  • Athens Ohio that is!
  • Chinese-American woman.
  • BA, Architecture, Yale College, 1981.
  • Master's of Architecture from Yale, 1986.
  • Honorary doctorates from Yale.
  • Most famous work is the Vietnam Veterans
  • Interest in nature.

Maya Lins Works
Performing arts
  • There are many famous Asian actors and actresses
    that appear in American movies.
  • Some of these performers are
  • Bruce Lee
  • Jackie Chan
  • Jet Li
  • George Takei
  • Pat Morita
  • Victor Wong
  • Nancy Kwan
  • Anna May Wong
  • Daniel Dae Kim
  • Lucy Liu

Bruce Li Jet Li Jackie Chan
Pat Morita George Takei
Daniel Dae Kim Nancy Kwan Yunjin
Lucy Liu Anna May Wong
  • "I. M. Pei's Construction Innovation", by
    ArchitectureWeek, ArchitectureWeek No. 143,
    2003.0423, pN1.1.
  • Maya Lin. Maya Lin Public/Private. Distributed
    Art Publishers, October 1994
  • Michael T. Cannell. I.M. Pei Mandarin of
    Modernism. Clarkson Potter, October 1995
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  • Links to Pictures stated below them.