Angry Reader of the Week: Ellen Wu

"I scour the ends of the continent (and beyond) for archival traces to tell the untold stories of Asian/Pacific America."

Hey, everybody. It's time. Once again, it's time to meet the Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Ellen Wu.

Who are you?

I'm Ellen Wu: one of the many Asian American "Children of 1965" (to use literary critic Min Song's term). If you want to get technical, I'm a second-generation American, daughter of China-born immigrants. Shanghainese-ish by way of Taiwan on my dad's side, Cantonese by way of Hong Kong and Canada on my mom's side.

What are you?

Boba enthusiast. Matcha addict. Compulsive hot-water imbiber.

Practicing mom, wife, sister, friend, teacher, thinker.

Where are you?

Sitting on my couch, typing this out.

I'm also to be found on the interwebs (Twitter mostly) here: @ellendwu.

Where are you from?

I'm a card-carrying Hoosierchino. My parents moved to Indianapolis in the 1970s. I was born and raised in "Naptown," and I've also lived in West Lafayette and Bloomington (twice). Indiana University is both my alma mater and my employer. So yeah, I guess that makes me a bona fide local, even if I don't get "read" that way when people see me on the street.

Shout out BTW to all Asian Americans in "unexpected places" -- as historian Philip Deloria might say.

Oh, I also want to mention that I am now Director of IU's Asian American Studies program. We're starting up an exciting new partnership with the Indiana Historical Society to gather archival material and oral histories to document the lives of Asian Hoosiers. So please get in touch if you have any stuff, leads, or ideas!

What do you do?

By day (and sometimes night) I'm an Asian American History Detective. I scour the ends of the continent (and beyond) for archival traces to tell the untold stories of Asian/Pacific America.

I wrote a book (recently out) called The Color of Success: Asian Americans and the Origins of the Model Minority. It's the first in-depth look at the history of the model minority stereotype. Contrary to popular belief, it was NOT created by William Petersen/New York Times Magazine and US News Report in 1966. My book reveals the not-so-flattering truth that Asian Americans had as much to do with its invention (and perpetuation) as the forces of white supremacy.

I'm now at work on a sequel, kind of, to The Color of Success.

Meanwhile I've been writing little blog posts and essays for various venues, including Densho, Nikkei Chicago, Race Files, History News Network, Los Angeles Times, and NPR's Code Switch. Asian/Pacific American history needs to accessible to everyone, because it's everyone's history.

What are you all about?

In no particular order: Inclusiveness. Community building. Social justice. Paying it forward. Appreciation for creativity. #modelminoritymutiny.

And—need I even say it?—FOOD. All kinds, all the time. Still dreaming about the killer fatty ramen I had in December at Tsujita Annex on Sawtelle in LA. Handmade noodles and over-the-top broth to die for.

What makes you angry?

Racism in its many, terrible guises. People that don't think and act like BlackLivesMatter, for one.

Media distortions, especially with regard to racism in its many, terrible guises.

The devaluing of humanities.

Rape culture in our country and the role of college campuses in exacerbating the violent degradation of women.

Lack of regard and respect for other people's time, energy, labor, etc. I'm often guilty of this but trying hard to be mindful.

People who water their lawns in the midst of droughts.

Bad meals at Chinese (or "Chinese") restaurants.

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