Is Yellow Black or White: Revisited
by Gary Okihiro

[October 18, 2002]


In my 1994 book, Margins and Mainstreams: Asians in American History and Culture, I wrote: "We are a kindred people, African and Asian Americans. We share a history of migration, interaction and cultural sharing, and commerce and trade. We share a history of European colonization, de-colonization, and independence under neo-colonization and dependency. We share a history of oppression in the United States, successively serving as slaves and cheap labor, as peoples excluded and absorbed, as victims of mob rule and Jim Crow. We share a history of struggle for freedom and the democratization of America, of demands for equality and human dignity, of insistence on making real the promise that all men and women are created equal. We are a kindred people, forged in the fire of white supremacy and struggle…."

That history, I maintained, provided the common ground upon which solidarities between African and Asian Americans were built, and I gave several examples of those unities.

Prof. Okihiro said that the interaction between Asians and Africans started
since the flourishing of trade between China and Africa in the fifteenth century.

Prof. Okihiro lamented that in the minds of the White majority, Black Peril
has led to Yellow Peril, and Brown Peril. He said that the binary pair of
White and Black has now evolved into White and Non-White.






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