Although there have been a number of readers published in the growing field of Asian American Studies, none approach the subject matter with more clarity, depth and understanding than Zhou and Gatewood’s Contemporary Asian America: A Multidisciplinary Reader. As one who is taking Asian American Studies courses I appreciate Contemporary Asian America for its commitment to providing historical readings on the birth and development of Asian American Studies, as well as articles on Asian American community formation, new immigrant and refugee populations, Asian American visual culture, multiethnic Asian Americans, and queer Asian America, among many other topics. I found the evidence to the claims that Asian Americans & Asian immigrants are either “white” or “beginning white" there.
Compared with other regions of the world, U.S. race relations are still largely characterized in Black and White terms, and that’s the way it should be to a large extent because of the history of this country and the persistent struggles. At the same time, given the rapidly changing demographic nature of American society, race relations have to be framed in broader terms. And here, I don’t mean it’s going to be White and Latino or White and Asian or White and American Indian. Race relations are so complex today that we need to think about race relations between peoples of color. And how that, in turn, informs us about Black/White relations. For example, some of us, in analyzing what happened in Los Angeles after the Rodney King verdict, the so-called Los Angeles uprising, realized that the conflict, which was ostensibly an intense one between Blacks and Asians, was much more complicated than that. To be sure, the stores of some two thousand Korean shopkeepers were looted and burned. But it would be too simplistic to leave it at that and read this as something between Blacks and Asians in Los Angeles. One needs to ask, why were the Koreans there and how …