Over four weeks since a police officer killed George Floyd on video in Minneapolis, a nationwide reckoning with anti-Black racism is showing no signs of slowing.
But in reality, these calls to action only scratch the surface of the long history of Asian identity in America.
While many people—myself included—first looked to the phrase as a symbol of Black and Asian solidarity, more information came to light about the slogan’s complicated history.
In the ’60s, “Yellow Peril Supports Black Power” had two primary purposes: Reclaiming “yellow peril” as a derogatory phrase against Chinese laborers in the 1800s, and showing support for the Black community.
Many activists today also take issue with the term, pointing out that the term “yellow peril” reduces the Asian American experience exclusively to East Asians while mistakenly equating Black and Asian struggles.