Inventing "Asian Americans"
Asian American Revolutionaries in the '60s and '70s

Socialism 2015

July 02, 2015

The aim of the talk is to bring out the history of Asian American revolutionaries and struggles during this time, which is often lost or distorted due to the purveying myth of the model minority. Taking inspiration from the movements of the time, specifically from the anti-colonial movements throughout the world including the anti-war movement in the US to both the Civil Rights and Black Power movements, radicals of Asian descent coined the term "Asian Americans" to unite all Asians and most importantly wanted to unite with all people fighting against oppression during this time. Through these lessons and by engaging in these movements, Asian American radicals started their own groups and helped to ignite what some historians call an Asian American movement during this time which encompassed multiracial struggles from the Third World Liberation Front that established ethnic studies programs across the country to struggles against evictions like the I-Hotel. With the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, we have much to learn from this history including building movements based on multiracial solidarity especially because it's become mainstream to pit "Asian-Americans" against other races primarily due to the myth of the model minority as we continue to see from Ferguson to Baltimore to the Charleston shootings.

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