Yellow: Race In America Beyond Black And White

by Frank H. Wu

Hardcover, 2001




Basic Books, (2001)


Writing in the tradition of W. E. B. Du Bois, Cornel West, and others who confronted the "color line" of the twentieth century, journalist, scholar, and activist Frank H. Wu offers a unique perspective on how changing ideas of racial identity will affect race relations in the twenty-first century. Wu examines affirmative action, globalization, immigration, and other controversial contemporary issues through the lens of the Asian-American experience. Mixing personal anecdotes, legal cases, and journalistic reporting, Wu confronts damaging Asian-American stereotypes such as "the model minority" and "the perpetual foreigner." By offering new ways of thinking about race in American society, Wu's work dares us to make good on our great democratic experiment.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member autumnesf
Very hard to read. Book an race/racial relations and where Asians fit it. I think it is worth reading to open your eyes on some issues our children will face - but check it out of the library - dont buy it.

**** I have now referred back to this book several times in race discussions. I change my
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mind about not buying it -- BUY IT. As your mind opens to the racism your child will face and you learn more and more, this becomes an important book to help you (the white parent) to understand and grow. Please read this book if you are adopting an Asian child of any race.
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LibraryThing member fxm65
I really enjoyed reading this book. He starts out talking about watching Giant Robot and Johnny seeing his first Asian actor on t.v. I also had personal experiences as his. I think what is funny that people are always suspeciouse on who you are which people always ask where are you from or who are
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you. It's funny which his book he talks about placing the tail on the donkey... Yes, I have done this with people which you let them guess who you are and where you come from.. It's fun..
This is a great book and it has helped me become a much better person today...
Yes, I have grown reading this book..
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LibraryThing member
A good introduction to Asian America. I will say however, that Frank H. Wu's background is in law, which definitely shows throughout the book. A particularly long list of stereotyped caricatures of Asians in media sticks out in my mind, though I do remember thinking simultaneously that his list was
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'way too long' but also 'really interesting.' He seems to have a gift at moving you along and getting you through to the end. A bit dense to read at times (from what I recall as an undermotivated undergrad), but definitely recommended reading for anyone interested in learning more about the Asian American experience.
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LibraryThing member kchung_kaching
Professor Wu clearly dissects the reasons why the "model minority" label does more damage than good for Asians and Asian Americans.
LibraryThing member simchaboston
Much too pedantic for my tastes, and much less convincing than I'd hoped (both for my sake and for other Asian-Americans). Wu clearly is invested in his topic, but often constructs his arguments with overstuffed or just awkward sentences that end up obscuring his points instead of supporting them.
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Other times he makes sweeping generalizations and even once refers to himself in stereotypical terms (despite denying that such stereotypes have validity). I was even appalled by his epilogue, in which he extols a small college for balancing universality and individuality -- a college whose enrollment consists of 26 MEN -- but doesn't really support his claims with any real details about how they manage to stay individuals.

It may have been silly of me to expect that any one book could've taken on the whole gamut of race relations for all the different Asian American communities. But that is what this book promises, and fails to deliver. I did learn some things, but I feel like I would've learned more from a memoir in which Wu describes his own specific experiences and relations with race, rather than a work more given to principles and vague pronouncements about the importance of coalitions and community.
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