By Ibrahim Hirsi, MinnPost
Amid a heated debate among presidential candidates over immigration reform, Minnesota historian Erika Lee chronicles the long, challenging journey of Asian-Americans in her latest book, “The Making of Asian America: A History.”
Today (Wednesday, Oct. 14) at 4 p.m., Lee will be featured at a book event at the University of Minnesota Bookstore in Coffman Memorial Union. The U of M professor will share glimpses of the lives and legacies of the first wave of Asian immigrants as well as the challenges and contributions of their American-born descendants and the Southeast Asians who have made Minnesota home over the last four decades.
Among other things, the discussion will also explore the seemingly forgotten dark pages of U.S. history, including the Anti-Chinese Movement, which barred the Chinese from coming to live in the country and prevented those who were already here from becoming naturalized citizens.
‘Considered to be threats’
“They were considered to be threats to the American family, a danger to American civilization,” said Lee, the granddaughter of Chinese immigrants. “They were massacred in some of the worst episodes of racial violence in our history.”
Lee came of age in the 1980s in the San Francisco Bay area after that fateful history she now writes and talks about had passed — a history she would discover as a college student.
Ibrahim Hirsi reports on immigrant communities, social issues, marginalized groups and people who work on making a difference in the lives of others. A graduate from the University of Minnesota, he interned for Newsday and has written for multiple publications in Minnesota.
Follow Ibrahim Hirsi on Twitter: @IHirsi.
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