Martin Wong. Stanton near Forsyth Street. 1983. Acrylic on canvas, 48 × 64" (121.9 × 162.6 cm). Gift of the Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art; Steven Johnson and Walter Sudol; and James Keith Brown and Eric Diefenbach. Courtesy of the Estate of Martin Wong and P.P.O.W Gallery, New York, NY

Racism against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders has a long and painful history. In light of the recent increase in hate crimes, this history has become all the more urgent, even as “model minority” myths obscure a clear picture of this persistent struggle. This evolving list, compiled by multiple contributors across departments at MoMA, brings together readings and films as well as links to grassroots organizations and community businesses that you can support immediately to make sure the history we’ve inherited is not the future we perpetuate.
–Simon Wu

With special thanks to La Frances Hui, Michelle Kuo, Theodore Lau, Mia Rubin, and Simon Wu for their contributions.

Some Readings

Gordon H. Chang, Ghosts of Gold Mountain: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad (Mariner Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020)

Gordon H. Chang, “Whose ‘Barbarism’? Whose ‘Treachery’? Race and Civilization in the Unknown United States-Korea War of 1871,” The Journal of American History 89, no. 4 (2003): 1331-365.

Iris Chang, The Chinese in America: a Narrative History (New York: Penguin Books, 2003)

Ronald Takaki, Strangers from a Different Shore (Hachette Book Group, 1989)

John Kuo Wei Tchen and Dylan Yeats, Yellow Peril! An Archive of Anti-Asian Fear (Verso, 2014)

Cathy Park Hong, Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning (New York: Penguin Books, 2020)

Yên Lê Espiritu, Lisa Lowe, and Lisa Yoneyama, “Transpacific Entanglements,” Flashpoints for Asian American Studies Cathy J. Schlund-Vials, ed (New York: Fordham University Press, 2018), 175-89.

Robert G. Lee, Orientals: Asian Americans in Popular Culture (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1999)

Mae M. Ngai, “Three. From Colonial Subject to Undesirable Alien: Filipino Migration in the Invisible Empire,” in Impossible Subjects (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014) 91-126.

Chia Youyee Vang, Hmong America: Reconstructing Community in Diaspora (Urbana, Ill: University of Illinois Press, 2010)

Viet Thanh Nguyen, Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2016)

Miliann Kang, The Managed Hand: Race, Gender, and the Body in Beauty Service Work (University of California Press, 2010)

Some Recent Films to Watch

Minari. 2020. Directed by Lee Isaac Chung
Lingua Franca. 2019. Directed by Isabel Sandoval
The Farewell. 2019. Directed by Lulu Wang
Minding the Gap. 2018. Directed by Bing Liu
Searching. 2018. Directed by Aneesh Chaganty
Gook. 2017. Directed by Justin Chon
Linsanity. 2013. Directed by Evan Leong
The Namesake. 2006. Directed by Mira Nair
The Motel. 2005. Directed by Michael Kang
Take Out. 2004. Directed by Sean Baker and Shih-Ching Tsou
Better Luck Tomorrow. 2002. Directed by Justin Lin
The Wedding Banquet. 1993. Directed by Ang Lee
Mississippi Masala. 1991. Directed by Mira Nair
Who Killed Vincent Chin? 1987. Directed by Christine Choy and Renee Tajima-Peña
Chan Is Missing. 1982. Directed by Wayne Wang

Some Listening

Hear David Henry Hwang discuss Martin Wong’s Stanton Near Forsyth Street with curator Michelle Kuo, as part of the MoMA and BBC Series The Way I See It


With thanks to Mia Rubin, you can also access an extensive, continually updated list from which the below has been selected.

Keep Our Communities Safe

Protect Chinatown
Request a chaperone or volunteer as a chaperone
Center for Anti Violence Education
Hosts free de-escalation and defense classes for AAPI and allies
Welcome to Chinatown
A grassroots project supporting NYC Chinatown businesses

Heart of Dinner
Delivering love to elders in NYC, one meal at a time
Grassroots organization dedicated to organizing NYC’s Asian immigrant communities towards racial, gender, and economic justice
Mekong NYC
Community-based organization that serves the Southeast Asian community in the Bronx and throughout New York City

Queer and trans AAPI Resources and Organizations

The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance, a federation of LGBT AAPI organizations
Empowering queer and trans Asian Pacific Islanders to create positive change since 1990

Acknowledge Harm: Black/Asian Solidarity

Watch: A Conversation between Grace Lee Boggs & Dr. Angela Davis
Support: Black and Asian Feminist Solidarities Project

Take Care: Mental Health and Wellness

Asian Mental Health Collective