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and PBS’ documentary series Asian American, was expressed in a wide range of outlets.

On one hand, as the civil rights movement introduced new ways of thinking about justice and equality in the United States, Asian American leaders drew inspiration from—and provided support for—Black freedom fighters.

Activists like Yuri Kochiyama and Grace Lee Boggs not only pulled insights from Black radical frameworks for Asian American liberation, but were also strong and active advocates for Black social justice movements.

This idea posited that Asian Americans were more successful than other ethnic minorities because of hard work, education and inherently law-abiding natures.

“Before the model minority myth, Asians and Asian Americans were exploited for their labor, othered, seen as ‘Yellow Peril,’” says Bianca Mabute-Louie, an ethnic studies adjunct at Laney College.

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