by Sally Park

“Asian Americans cannot win by winning.”

Frank H. W
Race in America Beyond Black and White, p68

This was one of the first books I found when I was researching about Asian American studies. It was such an informative and eloquent presentation of the basics of Asian race relations in the U.S that even since reading other books on this topic, I think it to be the best aggregate of Asian American issues.

Unsurprisingly, Wu goes into depth about the model minority stereotype, the history of Asian Americans as perpetual foreigners, and the idea of intermarriage and the mixed race movement. However, he also talks about more controversial issues like affirmative action and the unique problem in which Asian Americans experience racial discrimination but are excluded from racial remedies. He also addresses our society’s dilemma between diversity and assimilation.

(Do Asians eat dogs? At the risk of sounding like click-bait, Wu gives a response that I won’t be able to do justice to by summarizing. You should read the book). I also really respect that Wu does not defend his views for the sake of argument but really delves into these problems and draws from a motley of legal, historical, cultural information.

I’m a quote enthusiast and I have many saved from this book that effectively convey how I feel about the present situation of Asian-America and our future. The book stays true to its title of Race in America Beyond Black and White, a discussion that I didn’t know I was missing and needed.