Asian Americans

II. Related Materials: Outside the Classroom

If teachers want to expand upon the materials offered here, or study a particular topic or theme in greater depth, the following bibliography suggests several useful books. Additionally, the suggested videos are another way to engage students with Asian American history. Some are documentaries while others are fictional accounts. All are suitable for middle and high school students. Several suggestions for outside materials or outings beyond the classroom conclude this section.

Bibliography: Selected Books

Chan, Sucheng. Asian Americans: An Interpretive History (Boston: Twayne, 1991).

A solid general survey of Asian Americans, with a strong focus on Chinese, Japanese, and Filipino communities. Good discussion of gender and immigrant communities, but not as rich as Takaki for anecdotes and quotations.

Chin, Doug and Art Chin. Up Hill: The Settlement and Diffusion of the Chinese in Seattle, Washington (Seattle: Shorey Book Store, 1973).

One of the first works on the Chinese community in Seattle. While difficult to find in many libraries, it contains good information on the 19th century.

Cordova, Fred. Filipinos: Forgotten Asian Americans: A Pictorial Essay, 1763-1963 (Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt, 1983).

A general survey of Filipinos in the United States, with special focus on the Pacific Northwest and West Coast. Good for anecdotes, pictures, and quotations.

Daniels, Roger. Asian America: Chinese and Japanese in the United States since 1850 (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1988).

Based on archival records and secondary literature, this is one of the better historical surveys available. Useful charts and maps show demographic changes and immigrant characteristics. Concentrates on the West Coast, with good material on Washington and the Pacific Northwest; but nothing on Filipinos in America. One of the first major works to dispel earlier scholarship characterizing Asian Americans as victims.

Daniels, Roger. Prisoners Without Trial: Japanese Americans in World War II (New York: Hill and Wang, 1993).

One of the best short histories of Japanese internment. Probably suitable for upper-division high school classes.

Erickson, Edith E. From Sojourner to Citizen: Chinese of the Inland Empire (Colfax, Wash.: E. E. Erickson and E. Ng, 1989).

Locally-written history of Chinese on the Columbia River Plateau. Good anecdotal information and sources, but best used alongside one of the more scholarly surveys listed here.

Friday, Chris. Organizing Asian American Labor: The Canned Salmon Industry 1870-1940 (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1992).

The best book available on this important Pacific Northwest industry that relied on Asian American laborers. Strong, vivid descriptions of canning work coupled with detailed analysis of cannery life and union activities during the 1920s and 1930s.

Kim, Hyung-Chun, ed. Dictionary of Asian American History (New York: Greenwood Press, 1986).

Useful reference book for major dates, names, and themes in Asian American history. Best used in conjunction with one of the surveys listed here.

Melendy, H. Brett. Asians in America: Filipinos, Koreans, and East Indians (Boston: Twayne, 1977).

One of the few general surveys of Filipino Americans (as well as Korean Americans and East Indian Americans). Some material on Filipinos in Washington state, but best used in conjunction with Cordova's book, which provides more anecdotes and visual material.

Nomura, Gail M. "Washington's Asian/Pacific American Communities," in Peoples of Washington: Perspectives on Cultural Diversity, edited by Sid White and S. E. Solberg. (Pullman: Washington State University Press, 1989), 113-156.

A very useful overview of Asian Americans in Washington state, commissioned for the centennial year celebration.

O'Brien, David J. and Stephen S. Fugita. The Japanese American Experience (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991).

A survey of Japanese immigration and Japanese American community building, with a strong focus on California. Some material on the Pacific Northwest and Washington state.

Okihiro, Gary. Margins and Mainstreams: Asians in American History and Culture (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994).

Okihiro argues that Asian American identity emerged from their position on the margins of American society. Their experience, he claims, has in turn shaped American notions of culture and democracy. Good for analysis of how Asian American identity emerged and changed over time.

Takaki, Ronald. Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans (Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1989).

Another useful historical survey that also includes information on Korean, South, and Southeast Asian immigrants. Takaki quotes extensively from literature and oral interviews, making the book useful for anecdotes and examples.

Taylor, Quintard. The Forging of a Black Community: Seattle's Central District from 1870 through the Civil Rights Era (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994).

While Taylor concentrates primarily on Seattle African Americans, the book has information on the connections between Blacks and Asians. Also a useful model for thinking about how communities are created and changed over time.

Bibliography: Selected Videos

A Personal Matter: Gordon Hirabayashi vs. the United States. (San Francisco: CrossCurrentMedia/National Asian American Telecommunications Association, 1992). 30 min.

Documents the 43-year struggle of Gordon Hirabayshi, a Japanese American who challenged the legality of the 1942 evacuation order and subsequent internment.

East of Occidental. (Seattle: Prairie Fire, 1986). 29 min

A visual history of Seattle's International District (formerly Chinatown) as told through interviews with local residents.

Dim Sum: A Little Bit of Heart. (Beverly Hills: Pacific Arts Video, 1987). 88 min.

Directed by Wayne Wang, this is a humorous look at how a contemporary Chinese American family in San Francisco negotiates living as Chinese in a white society.

Filipino Americans: Discovering their Past for the Future. (Seattle: Filipino American National Historical Society, 1988). 54 min.

Documentary survey of Filipino and Filipino American history in the United States. A good companion to Cordova's book on the Filipinos cited above.

Home from the Eastern Sea. (Seattle: KCTS Television, 1989). 58 min.

A brief survey of the history, culture, and accomplishments of the Asian Pacific Islander communities in Washington state. A good survey designed for classroom use.

The Great Pinoy Boxing Era. (San Francisco: National Asian American Telecommunications Association/CrossCurrent Media, 1995). 32 min.

Documentary of the golden age of Filipino boxing during the 1920s and 1930s. Discusses how Filipino boxers changed Western boxing techniques and styles; and how they served as role models for the mostly male Filipino American community.

Slaying the Dragon. (San Francisco: National Asian American Telecommunications Association/CrossCurrent Media, 1984). 60 min.

Discusses the historical and contemporary experiences of Asian American women in the workplace, at school, and in their communities.

Who Killed Vincent Chin? (New York: Filmmakers Library, 1988). 83 min.

Documentary of the 1982 murder of Vincent Chin, a 27-year old Chinese American who was the victim of a racially-motivated attack in Detroit. An effective classroom tool for discussions of prejudice generally or anti-Asian, especially anti-Japanese, sentiment.

With Silk Wings. (San Francisco: National Asian American Telecommunications Association/CrossCurrent Media, 1984). 120 min.

Discusses the historical and contemporary experiences of Asian American women in the workplace, at school, and in their communities.

Yellow Tale Blues. (New York: Filmmakers Library, 1990). 30 min.

Short documentary of Asians living in America through interviews with two families interspersed with images and stereotypes of Asians as portrayed in popular culture and film.

Community Resources (Seattle)

DENSHO: The Japanese American Legacy Project

A digital archive of video taped interviews, photos, maps and other historical documents on the pre- through post-war Japanese American experience.

Filipino American National Historical Society

Located in the Central District, FANHS holds the largest collection of Filipino and Filipino American documents, oral histories, and ephemera on the West Coast. A good source for materials and information on Filipinos in Washington state.

National Archives and Records Administration

Chinese Immigration and Chinese in the United States: Records in the Regional Archives of the National Archives and Records Administration. Compiled by Waverly B. Lowell. Reference Information Paper #99, 1996.

This document summarizes the various records available in the National Archives where information on the Chinese is found. Government agencies included are: District Courts, Bureau of the Census, U.S. Customs Service, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Public Health Service, United States Attorneys, U.S. Court of Appeals, and United States Marshals Service. Information on National Archives Chinese materials is also available on-line.

Seattle Asian Art Museum

Located in Seattle's Volunteer Park, SAAM, which was the original building for the Seattle Art Museum, has collections in East and South Asian painting, sculpture, textiles and other media. Superb tours and educational materials are available to interested teachers. Occasional exhibits by Asian American artists.

Wing Luke Asian Museum

The Wing Luke, named to honor the late Seattle City Councilman, is both museum and community center for the International District. "One Song, Many Voices: The Asian Pacific American Experience," a permanent exhibit, surveys the history of Asian Pacific Islanders in the Northwest. WLAM also offers tours, outreach kits for classroom use, and discounted lunches at neighboring restaurants for interested tour groups.

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