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?
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.
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.
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.
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
Asian Americans Preview
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.
"It Reminds Me I Have a Legacy To Live Up To"
Annie Tan uncovers a dark moment in her family's history that has inspired her and many other Asian American activists to get involved and raise their voices.
Learning Their Asian American Roots at San Quentin Prison
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.”
‘If You Were in That Circle, You Are Going to Be Arrested’
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.
‘We Farmworkers Should Have an Organization of Our Own’
By 1965, the Filipino farmworkers in Delano, California’s grape fields had enough with low pay, no health benefits, and toxic working conditions.
For Susan Ahn, WWII Was a Fight for America and Korea
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 Immigrants Helped Build the Silicon Valley
Jerry Yang was part of the Asian American 1.5 generation, who were born in Asia but immigrated to the U.S. as children. With their bicultural experience and networks, he and other Asian immigrant entrepreneurs helped to establish Silicon Valley as the center of the global tech industry.
Tereza Lee Was the Inspiration for the Dream Act
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.”
The Astonishing Story of the Men Who Built the Railroad
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.
‘They Liked to Pit the Mexicans Against the Filipinos’
The Filipino farmworkers voted to strike, but they had to convince Cesar Chavez, the leader of the Mexican workers, to join them. The task was left to Larry Itliong. Together Filipino and Mexicans mounted a historic and victorious grape strike that electrified the world.
He Fought in Vietnam, but He Had the Face of the Enemy
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.
‘I Was Trying to Figure out Who I Was’
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.
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