Culture

Asian Americans

Asian Americans is a five-hour film series that delivers a bold, fresh perspective on a history that matters today, more than ever. As America becomes more diverse, and more divided while facing unimaginable challenges, how do we move forward together? Told through intimate personal stories, the series will cast a new lens on U.S. history and the ongoing role that Asian Americans have played.

Good Americans

54m 11s

During the Cold War years, Asian Americans are simultaneously heralded as a Model Minority and targeted as the perpetual foreigner. It is also a time of bold ambition, as Asian Americans aspire for the first time to national political office and a coming culture-quake simmers beneath the surface.

Episodes

  • Moving soon to WETA Passport

    Breaking Through: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Breaking Through

    S2020 E5 - 53m 34s

    At the turn of the new millennium, the national conversation turns to immigration, race, and economic disparity. As the U.S becomes more diverse, yet more divided, a new generation of Asian Americans tackle the question, how do we as a nation move forward together?

  • Moving soon to WETA Passport

    Generation Rising: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Generation Rising

    S2020 E4 - 54m 11s

    During a time of war and social tumult, a young generation fights for equality in the fields, on campuses and in the culture, and claim a new identity: Asian Americans. The war’s aftermath brings new immigrants and refugees who expand the population and the definition of Asian America.

  • Moving soon to WETA Passport

    Good Americans: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Good Americans

    S2020 E3 - 54m 11s

    During the Cold War years, Asian Americans are simultaneously heralded as a Model Minority and targeted as the perpetual foreigner. It is also a time of bold ambition, as Asian Americans aspire for the first time to national political office and a coming culture-quake simmers beneath the surface.

  • Moving soon to WETA Passport

    A Question of Loyalty: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    A Question of Loyalty

    S2020 E2 - 54m 1s

    An American-born generation straddles their country of birth and their parents’ homelands.

    CORRECTION: Certain errors in a previous version of this program have been corrected, including the statement that the Core Civic South Texas Family Residential Center separates children from their families, which is not the case, and the erroneous use of a photo of a different facility.

  • Breaking Ground: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Breaking Ground

    S2020 E1 - 54m 11s

    In an era of exclusion and U.S. empire, new immigrants arrive from China, India, Japan, the Philippines and beyond. Barred by anti-Asian laws they become America’s first “undocumented immigrants,” yet they build railroads, dazzle on the silver screen, and take their fight for equality to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Extras + Features

  • The Astonishing Story of the Men Who Built the Railroad: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Astonishing Story of the Men Who Built the Railroad

    2m 4s

    They were young men with dreams who began their lives in America building the Transcontinental Railroad. They blasted through mountains of granite and endured brutal conditions to lay tracks that connected the Pacific to the Atlantic. Some, like Lee Wong Sang, became forebearers of Asian American families that thrive to this day.

  • ‘I Was Trying to Figure out Who I Was’: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    ‘I Was Trying to Figure out Who I Was’

    3m 10s

    Laureen Chew grew up the sheltered daughter of immigrant parents in San Francisco’s Chinatown. But when she enrolled at San Francisco State College in 1968, it was a stunning awakening. The campus was afire with new ideas and a growing movement for ethnic studies and educational equity.

  • Satsuki Ina Was Born American but Looked Like the Enemy: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Satsuki Ina Was Born American but Looked Like the Enemy

    4m 34s

    What is the meaning of loyalty when you look like the enemy? Satsuki Ina was born in a prison camp during World War II. Her family was among 120,000 Japanese Americans, most of whom were U.S. citizens, who were forced from their homes on the west coast and incarcerated without due process or a trial. When her parent’s loyalty was questioned, the family was torn apart.

  • ‘If You Were in That Circle, You Are Going to Be Arrested’: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    ‘If You Were in That Circle, You Are Going to Be Arrested’

    1m 35s

    Laureen Chew joined the Third World Liberation Front to fight for ethnic studies and educational equity. In 1968, they mounted the longest campus strike in U.S. history. Laureen and a generation of young Asian Americans, many who were first-generation college students, were forever changed.

  • For Susan Ahn, WWII Was a Fight for America and Korea: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    For Susan Ahn, WWII Was a Fight for America and Korea

    1m 48s

    In the lead up to WWII, Korean Americans were united by loyalty to America and resistance to Japanese rule of their homeland. Susan Ahn Cuddy was the US-born daughter of Dosan Ahn Chang-ho, a legendary community leader who died while imprisoned by Japan. She vowed to join the war effort and became the first Asian American woman to enlist in the U.S. Navy, and its first female gunnery officer.

  • Asian Americans Preview: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Asian Americans Preview

    1m

    Asian Americans is a five-hour film series that will chronicle the contributions, and challenges of Asian Americans, the fastest-growing ethnic group in America. Personal histories and new academic research will cast a fresh lens on U.S. history and the role Asian Americans have played in it.

  • He Fought in Vietnam, but He Had the Face of the Enemy: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    He Fought in Vietnam, but He Had the Face of the Enemy

    1m 10s

    Asians Americans have fought for the U.S. military since the War of 1812. During the Vietnam conflict, thousands served. But many, like Mike Nakayama, soon discovered that their fellow GI’s looked at them and saw the face of the enemy.

  • Learning Their Asian American Roots at San Quentin Prison: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Learning Their Asian American Roots at San Quentin Prison

    2m 26s

    Across the bay from San Francisco State University, where students launched a historic strike for ethnic studies in 1968, Thanh Tran is the graduation speaker in his own Asian American studies class. ROOTS: Restoring Our Original True Selves is a program at San Quentin prison that addresses intergenerational trauma under the motto: “If you know history, you know yourself.”

  • Tereza Lee Was the Inspiration for the Dream Act: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Tereza Lee Was the Inspiration for the Dream Act

    39s

    Tereza Lee was a promising young pianist who grew up with a secret. Her family was undocumented, and they feared that if discovered the family could be separated and face deportation. When a U.S. Senator heard her story, he introduced the 2001 DREAM Act, a bipartisan bill to provide a pathway to legal status for undocumented youth who immigrated as children. Tereza was the first “dreamer.”

  • Hari Kondabolu Recalls the Perilous Days After 9/11: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Hari Kondabolu Recalls the Perilous Days After 9/11

    38s

    Hari Kondabolu is a comedian by trade, born and bred in Queens, New York. But he recalls that in the xenophobic atmosphere after the attacks of 9/11, he and other South Asian Americans were targeted as foreigners, even terrorists.

Schedule

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