Untold Civil Rights Stories: Asian Americans Speak Out for Justice (2009)

New Releases

Editors: Stewart Kwoh and Russell C. Leong

Paperback: $20.00
ISBN-10: 0-934052-43-3

Product Details:
176 pp, 8.5 x 11 x .5 in

Categories: Activism; Asian American; Civil Rights; History; Immigration Migration; Internment; Law and Politics; Narratives; Race Relations; War and Peace Issues

Contributors: May Lee Heye, Bill Ong Hing, Stewart Kwoh, Irene Lee, Dale Minami, Karen Narasaki, Angela Oh, Mary Ellen Kwoh Shu, Cas Tolentino, Kent Wong, Eric Yamamoto, Helen Zia. Includes profiles, teachers' lessons plans, historical timeline, photographs.

Co-published with Asian Pacific American Legal Center



Untold Civil Rights Stories is the first educational textbook directed to U.S. high school students, high school teachers, and communities and the role of Asian Americans in today's Civil Rights and social justice struggles, before and after 9/11. Profiled in the book are Philip Vera Cruz, Lily Chin, the Ileto family, Beulah Kwoh, K.W. Lee, Fred Korematsu, Faustino Baclig, Amric Singh Rathour, and many others. The stories in the book are also useful for college and adult education classes.




"Nearly all American ethnic groups, particularly people of color, face a similar challenge - either sparse coverage of their community heroes or stereotyped coverage of their communities. We can all gain insights into real US history by learning of the contributions of individual Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, African Americans, Latinos, American Indians, and others. We can see the many ways lives and experiences parallel and touch each other.

The challenges faced by the heroes of my own youth are similar to those facing young people today. One of my reams has been to introduce young people to heroes who happen to be Asian Americans.

And today, with so many Americans losing their homes and jobs, these heroic struggles are an inspiration to all who fight for economic and social justice." - Stewart Kwoh, (Introduction to the book)


Table of Contents

Introduction / Stewart Kwoh


1. Workers for Justice Today
Freeing Ourselves From Prison Sweatshops: Thai Garment Workers Speak Out / Julie Su
United Farm Workers (UFW) Movement: Philip Vera Cruz, Unsung Hero / Kent Wong


2. Family Organize Against Hate Crimes
Lily Chin: The Courage to Speak Out / Helen Zia
A Family Educates to Prevent Hate Crimes / Stewart Kwoh


3. Crossing The Color Line And Building Racial Bridges In The Movies And In The Media
Breaking the Color Line in Hollywood: Beulah Ong Kwoh, Actor
Mary Ellen Kwoh Shu and Stewart Kwoh
Building Bridges Between Races: Kyung Won Lee, Investigative Journalist / Angela Oh


4. Fighting For Constitutional Rights During And After World War II
One Man Seeks Justice from a Nation: Korematsu v. United States
Eric Yamamoto, Dale Minami, & May Lee Heye
American Veteran in Exile: Manong Faustino "Peping" Bacling / Casimiro Urbano Tolentino


5. Americans After September 11, 2001
Who Took the Rap? A Call to Action / Russell C. Leong
Defending the Unpopular Immigrant / Bill Ong Hing
A Citizen Fights for His Civil Rights after 9/11: Amric Singh Rathour / Karen K. Narasaki


6. Lessons For Students
Student to Student: The Rose That Grew From Concrete / Irene Lee
Lesson Plan and Timeline / Esther Taira





"Untold Civil Rights Stories is a social milestone that recognizes the unsung contributions of Asian Americans to America’s Civil Rights Movement. It shows mothers, daughters, sons and fathers "ordinary Americans" organization around workplace, racial profiling and other issues that have affected all of us before and after 9/11. It has a broad multicultural experience and is solidly grounded in US history. A must-read and a must-have for educators and students alike."

- Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa, City of Los Angeles

"Untold Civil Rights Stories is an important contribution to a broader understanding of the contemporary struggle for democratic rights. It is essential reading in order to appreciate the contributions of Americans of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage to the fight to secure civil rights, union representation, social justice and the American Dream."

- Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Country of Los Angeles

Related Center Press Publications:

Louie, Steve & Omatsu, Glenn (2006). Asian Americans: The Movement and the Moment