Black History Month: Then, Now, Us


The published article can be found here.

For Black History Month 2018, the Civic Engagement committee released an article reflecting on the history of Asian American solidarity with Black liberation, in contrast to anti-Black racism in our community. Snippets of the article can be found below:

One must also look at the portrayal of Asians in society and how ideas like “The Model Minority” further contributes to anti-blackness. Historian Ellen D. Wu’s book, The Color of Success, breaks down how Asians were once seen as “The yellow Peril”, a danger to the Western World during colonialism starting in the late 19th century into the 20th century; and argues perspective changed once the general population, starting with the government accepted Asians as functioning members of society to gain convenience in situations or other events. For instance, the Chinese Exclusion Act barred entry into the U.S. in fear jobs would be taken away. The Act was repealed in 1943 with the urge from President Roosevelt, because more allies were needed to win World War II. The Japanese had to continuously prove their allegiance with accounts of combat during World War II even though civil liberties were taken away as Japanese U.S. citizens were put in internment camps. These examples are not meant to compare what atrocities were worst, but a parallel that people of color are treated unfairly and Asians under the “Model Minority” are used as a wedge to further divide people of color.. The Washington Post’s article, The Real Reasons The U.S. Became Less Racist Towards Asian Americans, sheds light to Asians only seeing success once “white politicians who saw it as a tool to win Allies in the Cold War”, and “1960’s anxieties about the civil rights movement cause white Americans to further invest positive portrayals of Asian Americans.” It’s crucial to understand, the social health of an individual is interconnected with the social health of the collective and for this reason advocacy for other marginalized communities is crucial for the progression and health of society.

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February 28, 2018