NBC News: Books that show Asian Americans have never been silent

These biographies, memoirs, novels and collections of poetry show the ways Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have long organized and fought back against oppression.

Traces for the first time the rise of the radically antiracist and antiwar Asian American movementAs the long-standing xenophobia and racism against Asian Americans reached the national consciousness after the recent surge of anti-Asian attacks and the Atlanta area shootings, there were countless calls for the community to “break our silence.”

But Asian Americans have never been silent. They have long been vocal about injustices — from resistance to racist immigration laws, anti-Chinese purges and lynchings to fighting against Japanese American incarceration, organizing labor strikes, advocating for civil rights and protesting against war, imperialism and police brutality. 

“Chains of Babylon: The Rise of Asian America” traces the rise of the radically antiracist Asian American movement. The book demonstrates how Asians of numerous ethnicities united in racial solidarity under the “Asian American” umbrella and how the Black Power and antiwar movements influenced activists to band together and oppose racism in the U.S., as well as imperialism abroad.

The first biography of a courageous and inspiring champion of freedom and equalityThe first biography of Yuri Kochiyama, who famously cradled Malcolm X in her arms as he died inside the Audubon Ballroom in 1965, “Heartbeat of a Struggle” surveys the legendary civil rights activist’s life, from her “all-American” childhood to her family’s forcible incarceration during the war.

Article at NBC News.