Segments in this Video

Asian Americans Representation (02:39)


The media in the 1940s and 1950s provided little representation of Asian Americans. The few that existed, like Hop Sing from "Bonanza," reiterated stereotypes.

Asians Americans after World War II (04:52)

Asian American soldiers fought for freedom abroad. Many took advantage of the GI Bill to lift their families into the newly created middle class. It supported belief in the "American Dream" and started the idea of the "model minority.”

U.S. Mother of the Year (04:16)

Toy Len Goon won the title in 1952. She was nominated by an Americanization teacher who used her laundry services. The media played up the fact that she had eight successful, children and her late husband was a World War I veteran.

Housing Segregation (04:27)

Many realtors would not sell houses to Asian Americans in newly created suburbs. The few families that did move in had to deal with "being the only ones." As the "model minority," most families assimilated to survive.

Asian Americans during the Cold War (09:19)

When China became communist in 1949, Americans began to suspect Chinatowns of being places for Communist activity. All Asian Americans' loyalty to the U.S. was questioned. Chinese language newspapers were viewed as Communist.

Paper Sons and Daughters (06:20)

To get around the Chinese Exclusion Act, many people paid for new birth certificates. They claimed to be the children of Chinese Americans, which allowed them to immigrate. The Confessions Program was created in the 1950s, leading to legal citizenship.

Asian Americans in Hawaii (03:29)

In the 1950s, Asians were the majority population in the U.S. territory of Hawaii. In 1954, they gained political power for the first time.

Hawaiian Statehood (04:31)

Patsy Mink became a key figure in Hawaii's fight for statehood. The majority Asian population allowed the American government to claim it was not racist, helping its Cold War standing. Hawaii's previous status as a sovereign nation was ignored.

Asian American Political Power (06:46)

Hawaii's statehood gave a generation of Asian Americans a chance to run for office. Daniel Inouye became the first Japanese American and Hiram Fong the first Chinese American elected to Congress. Mink became a strong voice for civil rights and was elected to Congress in her second run.

Asian Immigration (08:48)

The 1965 Hart-Cellar Act ended the period of Asian exclusion from immigration. It gave preference to family reunification and then applicants with desirable skills. By the latter half of the 20th Century, 80% of immigration was from Latin America or Asia.

Credits: Good Americans (00:30)

Credits: Good Americans

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Episode 3: Good Americans (Asian Americans)

Part of the Series : Asian Americans
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During the Cold War years, Asian Americans are simultaneously heralded as a Model Minority, and suspected as the perpetual foreigner. It is also a time of ambition, as Asian Americans aspire for the first time to national political office.

Length: 57 minutes

Item#: BVL210660

Copyright date: ©2020

Closed Captioned

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