Reporter, (Chicago, IL,) April 2001
By Stephanie Williams
People of Asian descent play a significant role in shaping the American
experience, although the mainstream media have been slow to acknowledge
it, writes William Wong in his new book, „Yellow Journalist: Dispatches
from Asian America.š The 60-year-old journalist uses essays, columns
and commentaries to provide an insider‚s view of the mosaic of experiences
of Asian Americans.
who has written for the San Francisco Examiner, The Wall
Street Journal and Asian Week, reflects on the intricacies
and breadth of contemporary Asian Americans. „The overriding theme
of this collection is the courage, forbearance, tenacity, survival
skills, and humanity shown by people from east and southeast Asia
who never allowed racism and hatred to deter them from winning a
rightful place in the American sun,š he writes.
one essay, Wong, an Oakland, Calif., native of Chinese descent,
discusses the impact of Tiger Woods‚ victory in the 1997 Masters
golf tournament. „Little was made of the fact he was the first person
of Asian descent to break the Masters‚ color barrier,š he writes.
Woods identifies himself as „Cablinasian,š a mix of African American,
Asian, Native American and Caucasian. Wong explains that „Within
Asian American circles, in fact, there is an unspoken burning desire
among some to capture the attention and respect of the American
public.∑ To do so would mean validation of one‚s worth in this society,
which has had a history of excluding and disrespecting people of
victory meant „someone who had even a partial Asian background had
triumphed in an endeavor that had heretofore been the province of
well-to-do white men, most of whom are so used to their station
in life they figure it‚s a birthright,š writes Wong. „Yellow Journalist:
Dispatches from Asian Americaš is published by Temple University
Press in Philadelphia.
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