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    Asian American Histories of the South

    Resource Guide

    Though there are many narratives of Asian American experience within the American South, few of these experiences are centered in our curriculums nor are Asian Americans frequently featured as historical actors within Southern history as a whole. Here, we have created a resource guide to remedy this issue. By assembling a collection of diverse Asian American histories of the South, this guide will serve as a tool for students and educators alike who wish to recover these experiences.

    The following is a list of authors, scholarly work, literature, databases of primary source documents, and audiovisual narratives.


    Resource Highlights 

    Mississippi Delta Chinese Taylor PangThe Mississippi Delta Chinese: An Audiovisual Narrative

    Photographed and recorded by Emanuel Hahn and Andrew Kung, this compilation of images and oral testimony documents the faces, voices, and experiences of a uniquely underrepresented group of Chinese Americans, the Mississippi Delta Chinese. The earliest recorded Chinese migrants to the Mississippi Delta came as laborers during Reconstruction, but their community grew larger in the 1800s when many left their work as agricultural laborers and opened grocery stores that largely served the local Black community. 
    For more information on the Chinese Migrants of the Mississippi Delta.



    Rohwer Vegetable GardenRohwer Reconstructed

    For over 3 years, from 1942 to 1946, 8,500 Japanese Americans were relocated and incarcerated in a camp built by the United States government in the Mississippi Delta flatlands of Southeast Arkansas. This camp has since vanished and in an effort to preserve the memory of its existence and in tribute to the community of people who lived within its walls, the Rohwer Reconstructed Project was created. The purpose of this website is to create an online, immersive digital environment that aims to bring the camp "back to life." The website is comprised of a digital archive of objects and historical documents house in Arkansas institutions; an interactive timeline that places events at Rohwer in the larger historical context of World War II; a series of interactive thematic maps that illustrate the physical, social, and functional context of the Rohwer site as it evolved between 1942 and 1945; and a 3D visual reconstruction of one of the residential barracks blocks as it might have appeared in the later years of the camp.

    Manila MenSt. Malo, Manila Men, and Filipino-Louisiana History

    In 1763, a group of Filipino men escaped from a Spanish trade vessel and formed the beginnings of the first permanent Asian-American settlement in the United States, St. Malo, a fishing village thirty miles east of New Orleans in present-day St. Bernard Parish. The above link is to "Filipino La," a nonprofit organization dedicated to archiving resources on the history of Filipinos in Louisiana. These archives include resources and information on St. Malo, as well as generations of Filipino community well-established in this southern state.
    For more information on the commemoration of Filipino history in Louisiana.

    I Voted StickersHow Asian Americans are Changing the South

    The following article, released by The Pew Charitable Trust, an independent nonprofit nongovernmental organization, summarizes data on the growing Asian American population in the Southern United States, as well as the possible reasons for and consequences of this trend, both economic and political. "Between 2000 and 2010, Asian-Americans were the fastest-growing ethnic group in the South, increasing by 69% during that period, according to an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data by the group Asian Americans Advancing Justice... State by state, the growth is even more striking. Some states saw their Asian American populations nearly double between 2000 and 2010: in both North Carolina and Georgia, the increases top 80 percent."

    Drawing RohwerEncyclopedia of Arkansas: Race and Ethnicity - Asian American

    The Central Arkansas Library System: Encyclopedia of Arkansas is a free, authoritative source of information about the rich history, geography, and culture of the Arkansas state. Text and media galleries as well as links to external historical resources on Arkansas are available to you through this website. Above, you will find a link to the list of resources available on Asian American history in Arkansas. These resources include information on Chinese, Hindu, Hmong, Marshallese, and Indochinese migration to the state as well as biographies of Asian American people relocated to Arkansas during the Japanese-American internment program of World War II.







    Author Highlights

    Nuevo South

    Dr. Perla M. Guerrero
    Twitter: @LaPhDiva

    Dr. Perla M. Guerrero is Associate Professor of American Studies and Director of the U.S. Latina/o Studies Program at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is also affiliate faculty with the Asian American Studies Program, the Center for Global Migration Studies, and the Latin American Studies Center. Her research and teaching interests include relational and comparative race and ethnicity with a focus on Latinas/os/xs and Asian Americans, space and place, immigration, labor, U.S. history, and the U.S. South.
    Guerrero has written extensively on Asian American migration and history with the South, specifically in Arkansas. These writings include:

    "Nuevo South: Asians, Latinas/os, and the Remaking of Place."
    "Yellow Peril in Arkansas: War, Christianity, and the Regional Racialization of Vietnamese Refugees."
    "A Tenuous Welcome for Latinas/os and Asians: States Rights' Discourse in Late 20th Century Arkansas."




    Leslie BowDr. Leslie Bow

    Dr. Leslie Bow is Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor and Mark and Elisabeth Eccles Professor of English and Asian American Studies at the University of Wisconsin- Madison. Her award-winning book, Partly Colored: Asian Americans and Racial Anomaly in the Segregated South, explores the experiences of interstitial ethnic groups of the Jim Crow South and how they were accommodated or how they refused to accommodate to the binary racial caste system.

    Partly Colored: Asian Americans and Racial Anomaly in the Segregated South.

    Academic Reviews: JSTOR.






    Monique Truong 2

    Monique Truong

    Monique Truong is the author of the best-selling books, The Book of Salt, Bitter in the Mouth, and The Sweetest Fruits, as well as an essayist, lyricist/librettist, and intellectual property attorney. Born in 1968 in Saigon, Vietnam, she came to the United States as a refugee and settled with her family in Boiling Springs, North Carolina in 1975.

    Her essay, Southern, Reborn, details her experience of moving to Boiling Springs, how it influenced her novels, and how a regionally Southern novel written by a Vietnamese American author was received skeptically by Northern publishers.




    Who We Are

    Housed within the Asian Studies Program at the University of Central Arkansas, the Arkansas NCTA aims to empower elementary and secondary school teachers to center East Asian art, literature, history, and culture in their classrooms.

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