Writing the Excluded Back into the Histories of the Americas: The Asian Experience in Nuestra América


  • Robert Adams Jr.


This article introduces the third set of articles in the Transforming Anthropology series entitled "Interrogating Race and National Consciousness in the Diaspora." The two articles—John Howard's "Gendered Interventions: Americanization and Protestant Evangelism under Japanese American Incarceration" and Kanji Sato's "Formation of La Raza and the anti-Chinese Movement in Mexico"—originate from a research workshop held at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2003. The two articles revisit episodes of anti-Asian sentiment and violence in the first half of the twentieth century. Each article bears witness to the long Asian presence throughout the Americas, recounts the significant Asian American contributions to national development in the hemisphere, and highlights the links between anti-Asian sentiment and nationalism in the region. My introductory essay explores the larger process that drove Japanese and Chinese migrants from their native countries in search of opportunity in the rapidly developing Americas. The Asian American presence and the hostile reaction to their immigration is another strong piece of evidence that demonstrates that hemispheric racial relations were not exclusively determined by Black—White and Indian—White encounters.