Asian-American history is the history of ethnic and racial groups in the United States who are of Asian descent. Spickard shows that "' Asian American ' was an idea invented in the s to bring together Chinese , Japanese , and Filipino Americans for strategic political purposes. These separate histories have often been overlooked in conventional frameworks of Asian American history. Since , shifting immigration patterns have resulted in a higher proportion of highly educated Asian immigrants entering the United States. The Chinese arrived in the U.
The coronavirus pandemic has unleashed a torrent of anti-Asian racism in America that shows no signs of abating. Asian-Americans have been spat on in the streets, harassed and insulted. Even children have been attacked as our fellow citizens blame us for a virus that threatens our families no less than any other household. This is not the first season of darkness for Asian-Americans in this country. Nearly 80 years ago, Japanese-Americans were forced from their homes into barren internment camps. It did not matter how long they had lived here or what they had contributed.
Within this broad range of cultural variation, there are differences in socioeconomic status, acculturation patterns, ethnic traditions and geographical region which shape the unique experiences of APAs. As American society becomes more diverse both in racial and economic terms, it is in the best interests of APAs to increase awareness about APA history, educate future APA generations about racial biases and injustices in American history, and develop alliances with other minorities to create a unified stance against racial prejudice and exclusion. We must influence public policy and fight against biased policies that negatively and unfairly affect the APA population.
Asian-origin populations have historically been in the territory that would eventually become the United States since the 16th century. The first major wave of Asian immigration occurred in the late 19th century, primarily in Hawaii and the West Coast. Asian Americans experienced exclusion, and limitations to immigration, by the United States law between and , and were largely prohibited from naturalization until the s. Since the elimination of Asian exclusion laws and the reform of the immigration system in the Immigration and Nationality Act of , there has been a large increase in the number of immigrants to the United States from Asia.