Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) History, Identity, and Anti-Asian Racism Resources

As shared by the PEW Research Center, “the  U.S. Asian population is a diverse one.  A record 20 million Asian Americans trace their roots to more than 20 countries in East and Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent, each with unique histories, cultures, languages and other characteristics.” Furthermore, the population of Asian immigrants to the U.S. grew more than any other racial or ethnic group from 2000-2015 (72% growth).  It is projected that by 2055, Asians will be the largest immigrant group to the U.S.  Asian American identity is complex and often suffers from the model minority stereotype, lumping the entire Asian diaspora together in broad categorizations that ignore the diversity of the race and the various struggles of different ethnic groups and communities.  Coupled with the current climate of anti-Asian hate and violence (NYCPD reported an 1900% spike in 2020), we can see a greater need for learning, awareness, and understanding of the vast identities within the race.  Below is only a sampling of resources to begin examining Asian American identity, including historical experiences, current perspectives, and intersectionality within the community.  To share recommendations to add, please email  -Maricor Chang


Teaching for Justice

FACEismMission: Expose our often ignored history, erase stereotyping and move towards a better understanding of each other. 

Specific videos of interest for group or class discussions:

FACEism: A Panel Discussion of History and Accountability (recommended program for reflection on the National Day of Remembrance) - National Museum of American History. February 19, 2021

Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Chicago

  • Support the TEAACH Act in Illinois

    • The TEAACH Act will amend the Illinois School Code to include an Asian American History Curriculum in every public school in Illinois, ensuring that crucial stories and lessons, like the wrongful incarceration of Japanese Americans in the 1940s, are elevated.  It pairs PBS Series (linked below) with a  K-12 curricula, compliant with Common Core and National Standards, designed to be easily adopted into lesson plans and curricula.

  • Bystander Intervention Training

Stop AAPI Hate

Stop AAPI Hate has been collecting data on anti-Asian hate incidents since March 2020 after the “alarming escalation of bigotry resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic...The center tracks and responds to incidents of hate, violence, harrassment, discrimination, shunning, and child bullying against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.”  

“This report covers the 3,795 incidents received by the Stop AAPI Hate reporting center from March 19, 2020 to February 28, 2021. The number of hate incidents reported to our center represent only a fraction of the number of hate incidents that actually occur, but it does show how vulnerable Asian Americans are to discrimination, and the types of discrimination they face.”

National Museum of American History

Viral Histories: Stories of Racism, Resilience, and Resistance in Asian American Communities 

Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center 

Library of Congress
Immigration and Relocation in U.S. History through primary sources


Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) 

South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA) 

National Park Service

Densho Encyclopedia 

A free on-line resource about the history of the Japanese American WWII exclusion and incarceration experience.

Chicago Day of Remembrance 

“Righting Historical Wrongs: Connecting Black Reparations and Japanese American Redress.”  Chicago Day of Remembrance 2021.  


  • Asian American Advocacy Fund - "A grassroots 501(c)4 social welfare organization dedicated to building a politically-conscious, engaged, and progressive Asian American base in Georgia"

  • Japanese American Citizens League - A national organization whose mission is to secure and safeguard the civil and human rights of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans and all communities who are affected by injustice and to promote and preserve the heritage and legacy of the Japanese American Community".

Get Informed

Resources for the AAPI Community


As in any racial category, one book will never fully examine all the identities within the APIA community. These books offer insight into the nuance and intersectionality of various APIA voices.  

Adult Non-Fiction

The Karma of Brown Folk by Vijay Prashad

Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White by Frank H. Wu

Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong

Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversation by Mira Jacob

What About the Rest of Your Life by Sung Yim

The Making of Asian America: A History by Erika Lee

We Gon' Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation by Jeff Chang

Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People by Helen Zia

The Karma of Brown Folk by Vijay Prashad

Model-Minority Imperialism by Victor Bascara

Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White by Frank H. Wu

Serve the People: Making Asian America in the Long Sixties by Karen L. Ishizuka

Racial Melancholia, Racial Dissociation: On the Social and Psychic Lives of Asian Americans by David L. Eng

Yellow Peril!: An Archive of Anti-Asian Fear by John Kuo Wei Tchen and Dylan Yeats

Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics by Lisa Lowe

Margins and Mainstreams: Asians in American History and Culture by Gary Y. Okihiro

America Is in the Heart: A Personal History by Carlos Bulosan

Vestiges of War: The Philippine-American War and the Aftermath of an Imperial Dream 1899-1999 by Angel Velasco Shaw and Luis H. Francia

Virtual Orientalism: Asian Religions and American Popular Culture by Jane Naomi Iwamura

All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir by Nicole Chung

The Color of Success: Asian Americans and the Origins of the Model Minority by Ellen D. Wu

Driven Out: The Forgotten War Against Chinese Americans by Jean Pfaelzer

To Save the Children of Korea: The Cold War Origins of International Adoption by Arissa H. Oh

Contagious Divides: Epidemics and Race in San Francisco's Chinatown by Nayan Shah

Global Asian American Popular Cultures by Tasha Oren, Shilpa Davé, and LeiLani Nishime

YA+ Non-Fiction

They Called Us Enemy by George Takei (Graphic Novel Memoir)

Adult/YA Fiction

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang (Graphic Novel)

Internment by Samira Ahmed

Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay

We Are Not Free by Traci Chee

Ms. Marvel Vol. 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

America Is Not the Heart by Elaine Castillo

I Hotel by Karen Tei Yamashita


The BreakBeat Poets, Vol 3: Halal If You Hear Me by Fatimah Asghar

If They Come for Us by Fatimah Asghar


APIA Voices and Perspectives in Social Media

Often not covered by mainstream media or in history books, these APIA voices and/or allies act to bring awareness and are a great starting point for further research.


@stopaapihate Asian Americans Demand Action

@michellekimkim Excerpts from On Anti-Asian Hate Crime: Who Is Our Real Enemy? (See full article link above)

@teachandtransform Anti-Asian Racism and Discrimination Did Not Start with COVID-19 (Part I Historical Court Cases)

@teachandtransform Anti-Asian Racism and Discrimination Did Not Start with COVID-19 (Part II: Historical AAPI Struggle)

@dearasianamericans on The Importance of Black History in Asian American History

@dearasianyouth on Black and Asian History and Solidarity

@beyonka Writing a New Story: Asian and Black Solidarity
@myles.tho on Recent attacks on Asian Americans, solidarity, resources, and activism

@amandangocnguyen on Apathy toward Violence Against Asian Americans on MSNBC

@racismisavirus Interview with @danieldaekim on anti-Asian hate and mutual allyship

@morethanyellowblog quoting Jeremy Lin on this generation’s views on anti-Asian hate

@ckyourprivelge on Activist Grace Lee Boggs

@aapiwomenlead on The History of Asian American Activism

@asianlitforkids on Who tells a story and #ownvoices

@tonyrosaspeaks on The Brown Asian American Movement and Colorism in Asian American Representation