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Asian Americans in Dixie

Race and Migration in the South

Jigna Desai

Publication Year: 2013

Extending the understanding of race and ethnicity in the South beyond the prism of black-white relations, this interdisciplinary collection explores the growth, impact, and significance of rapidly growing Asian American populations in the American South. Avoiding the usual focus on the East and West Coasts, several essays attend to the nuanced ways in which Asian Americans negotiate the dominant black and white racial binary, while others provoke readers to reconsider the supposed cultural isolation of the region, reintroducing the South within a historical web of global networks across the Caribbean, Pacific, and Atlantic.

Published by: University of Illinois Press

Series: The Asian American Experience

Title Page, About the Series, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 2-7


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pp. 8-9

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pp. ix-x

...We acknowledge those who have helped bring this volume to fruition. First, we thank our contributors whose patience and intellectual efforts are demonstrated on the subsequent pages. Our gratitude to you for having faith in the volume and us; we have enjoyed the journey together and learned much along the way...

“Honeysuckle, Georgia”

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pp. xi-xiv

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pp. 1-30

...while the South is perceived as an anachronistic and isolated region; this renders the two—the Asian American and the South—allegedly mutually exclusive and incongruous. In these imaginings, the South remains a space quintessentially American but one steeped in an antebellum...

Part I. Disrupting Race and Place

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Chapter 1. Selling the East in the American South

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pp. 33-53

...Over the past two decades, while South Asian American Studies has begun to coalesce as a field, the broad historical narrative of South Asian immigration to the United States has changed little. Most of the work in the field has focused on the decades of migration and settlement that unfolded after passage of the 1965...

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Chapter 2. Racial Interstitiality and the Anxieties of the "Partly Colored"

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pp. 54-76

...a feature about the Chow family of Clarksdale, Mississippi, titled “East Meets South at a Delta Table: Chinese-Americans bring the tastes of their ancestors down home.” The hook for the reader’s attention is based on simple juxtaposition— Crayfish? Woks?—that trades upon a stereotypical belief in the South’s lack...

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Chapter 3. Racism without Recognition

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pp. 77-104

...Far from the galvanizing figure of Vincent Chin sits another figure, that of Seung- Hui Cho. Vincent Chin was a Chinese American man beaten to death by two white men in what appeared to be a frenzy of anti-Japanese scapegoating and xenophobia in the economically depressed city of Detroit in 1982. The figure of...

Part II. Community Formation and Profiles

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Chapter 4. Segregation, Exclusion, and the Chinese Communities in Georgia, 1880s–1940

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pp. 107-130

...Between 1875 and 1943, the U.S. Congress passed several laws designed to curtail Chinese entry into the United States. Unregulated Chinese migration was deemed a threat to the employment opportunities of European American workers and the machinations of white labor groups who did not want employers to use Chinese...

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Chapter 5. Moving out of the Margins and into the Mainstream

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pp. 131-164

...With a focus on the South, this study investigates current demographic characteristics of Asian Americans. Statistical data are analyzed in regard to population sizes, geographic distribution, multiracial and ethnic diversity, socioeconomic characteristics, migration, and other basic demographic variables. Among the many...

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Chapter 6. Natives of a Ghost Country

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pp. 165-189

...The post–World War II economic and population boom of the Sunbelt states, particularly Texas, transformed Southern cities such as Houston into an attractive economic and geographical center for migrants, immigrants, and refugees to resettle. With ties to the oil refining industry, Houston experienced a dramatic...

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Chapter 7. Standing Up and Speaking Out

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pp. 190-216

...Chick-fil-A is one of the most popular fast food establishments in the Atlanta metropolitan area, the chain founded by a devout Christian named S. Truitt Cathy. Chick-fil-A offers a free sandwich on Mondays to any patron who brings in a church bulletin...

Part III. Performing Race, Region, and Nation

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Chapter 8. Southern Eruptions in Asian American Narratives

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pp. 219-244

...Meant to elicit laughter at the expense of ignorant white southerners, the exchange is an apt introduction to the ways in which Asian Americans in the South erupt in unpredictable ways. The conversation highlights the ethnic myopia of Hank and Bill, yet it also repeats (with a difference) a well-worn stereotype within Asian...

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Chapter 9. "A Tennessean in an Unlikely Package"

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pp. 245-263

...I first heard Henry Cho over ten years ago at a Seattle comedy club. When Cho, who is Korean American, started his set, I was doubly struck by the sound of his voice—first because of his thick southern accent, and second because of its very familiarity. The setup to his opening joke then revealed that we shared...

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Chapter 10. "Like We Lost Our Citizenship"

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pp. 264-288

...In a convocation speech given at Tulane University on April 23, 1975, President Gerald Ford tied the history of New Orleans to the history of Vietnam, pointing toward a postwar future in which the Crescent City could serve as “the beacon light of the past” and “illuminate a boundless future for all Americans and a...


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pp. 289-290


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pp. 291-300

Other Works in the Series, Production Notes

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pp. 301-306

E-ISBN-13: 9780252095955
Print-ISBN-13: 9780252037832

Page Count: 352
Publication Year: 2013

Series Title: The Asian American Experience