A ‘History of Exclusion, of Erasure, of Invisibility.’ Why the Asian-American Story Is Missing From Many U.S. Classrooms

A ‘History of Exclusion, of Erasure, of Invisibility.’ Why the Asian-American Story Is Missing From Many U.S. Classrooms

Scholars agree that one of the reasons a full history of Asian Americans has not been incorporated into core U.S. History curricula in K-12 schools is because it doesn’t portray America in a positive light.

“K-12 American history texts reinforce the narrative that Asian immigrants and refugees are fortunate to have been ‘helped’ and ‘saved’ by the U.S.,” Jean Wu, who has taught Asian American Studies for more than 50 years and is a senior lecturer emerita at Tufts University, said in an email to TIME. “The story does not begin with U.S. imperialist wars that were waged to take Asian wealth and resources and the resulting violence, rupture and displacement in relation to Asian lives. Few realize that there is an Asian diaspora here in the U.S. because the U.S. went to Asia first.”