A line of five Asian American dancers, each wearing a tutu, kicking out their left legs as they perform the can-can at the Forbidden City nightclub in San Francisco, California, circa 1945.

Americanism, Exoticism, and the “Chop Suey” Circuit

Asian American artists who performed for primarily white audiences in the 1930s and ’40s both challenged and solidified racial boundaries in the United States.
John Cho

Why #StarringJohnCho Is Not Enough for Asian American Cinema

Filling more movie roles with Asian American actors may be the wrong goal if such visibility promotes stereotypes or buys into Hollywood's fantasies of power.
Wat Thai in Los Angeles, 2008

Thai American Life in Los Angeles

Or, what the Wat Thai temple tussle in the San Fernando Valley teaches us about public space in America.

The Blu’s Hanging Controversy

Some have argued that the 1997 novel Blu's Hanging perpetuates East Asian racism against Filipinos while undermining criticism through violent sexuality.

The Tricky Sentimentality of Lan Cao’s Monkey Bridge

The Vietnamese American literary classic undermines the readers’ expectations of a redemptive narrative of immigration and memory.
The food court in Lion Plaza, San Jose, CA

The Asian American History of Silicon Valley Shopping Malls

Shopping centers in East San Jose that originally served working-class immigrants have been transformed by the influx of transnational tech professionals.
Anna May Wong

Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Our best stories about the vast histories and cultures of Americans with ancestry in Asia and the Pacific.
Photograph: Chinese workers  on the Oregon and California Railroad, circa 1888.  

Source: Getty

The Chinese Exclusion Act: Annotated

The passing of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882 marked the first time the United States prohibited immigration based on ethnicity and national origin.
Two Filipino men in Los Angeles

1930s Filipinos Were Hip to American Style. There Was Backlash.

Filipinos, newly arrived to West Coast cities, displayed a mastery over American cultural life thanks to their knowledge of Hollywood films.
A poster for the Asian American Jazz Festival, 1984, by Zand Gee

Out of Black Liberation, Asian American Jazz

Inspired by Black artistic and political movements, musicians from diverse communities began expressing pan-Asian cultural belonging and freedom.