cover image Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White

Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White

Frank H. Wu. Basic Books, $26 (288pp) ISBN 978-0-465-00639-7

Beginning with a recap of his childhood bewilderment with the paltry selection of appealing Asian characters in 1970s American pop culture, Frank H. Wu, associate professor at the Howard University School of Law, describes the alienation experienced by Asian-Americans in the 20th-century in Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White. An activist and journalist (the Washington Post, the Nation, the L.A. Times, etc.), Wu discusses key moments and phenomena in Asian-American history: the WWII internment camps, the 1992 L.A. riots, the ""model minority myth,"" the virulent anti-Asian sentiment in the U.S. during the 1980s' recession (exemplified by the murder of a Chinese American engineer by two white auto workers, fined $3,780 for the crime) and periodic fads involving ""Asian-ness"" in American media. His sobering, astute, compelling investigation locates the particulars of Asian-American experience with racism in this country's spectrum of ethnic and cultural prejudice. (Jan.)