The Asian American Movement
By William Wei
Largely unexamined until recently, the Asian American Movement has been active for more than two decades. William Wei traces to the late 1960s the initial genesis of an Asian American identity, culture, and activism through which members of this pan-Asian group could assert their right to belong to and be respected as responsible members of this society. Although its antecedents were the civil rights and Black Power movements, the Asian American Movement actually resulted from the protests against the Vietnam War and the emergence of a generation of college-aged Chinese and Japanese Americans. In this definitive study of the Asian American Movement, Wei fills an important gap in our knowledge of ethnic social movements and the struggle to achieve American cultural democracy. His study concludes with an examination of Asian American involvement in electoral politics and the quest for political empowerment. Interviews with many of the key participants in the Movement and photographs of Asian American demonstrations and events enhance Wei's portrayal of the development and breadth of the Movement and the conflicts within it. Exploring regional differences; issues of ethnicity, class, and gender; and the transition from radical to electoral politics, Wei's comprehensive study is the first book to examine systematically the coming-to-consciousness and mobilization of Asian Americans.