TAAF, LAAUNCH and The Asian American Education Project launch Volume 1 of the new book, written by Amy Chu and Alexander Chang and illustrated by Louie Chin, that’s aimed at middle school kids to make AAPI history more accessible and provide curriculum support to educators, parents, and community groups.
The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) and Third State Books, in association with Leading Asian Americans to Unite for Change (LAAUNCH) and The Asian American Education Project have just released “Fighting to Belong! A History of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Vol. 1.” a graphic novel written by Marvel and DC comics veteran Amy Chu (Wonder Woman, Deadpool, Ant-Man, Iron Man) and Alexander Chang and illustrated by award-winning artist Louie Chin. The book shares an important and dynamic part of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) American history in an accessible and engaging comic book format aimed at children aged 8-13.
Volume 1 (available February 6 in hardback, paperback, and e-book from most major book retailers) covers early milestones from the “Manilamen” in New Orleans to the Gold Rush in California. Volume 2 (expected September 2024) and Volume 3 (expected January 2025) will cover moments and historical figures up to the present day. The graphic novels also include a comprehensive curriculum guide that educators, parents, and community groups can use to expand on the history illustrated in the book.
The release comes at a time that TAAF’s 2023 STAATUS Index uncovered that three of 10 Americans are unable to name a historical event/policy related to Asian Americans. Record levels of Anti-AAPI hate have not stopped and 19% of Asian Americans felt unsafe in schools. Finally, while organizations across the country fight tirelessly to pass mandates to teach this history in the classroom, they don’t have the curriculum or supplemental reading options to bring the mandates to life. Fighting to Belong! hopes to address these gaps in learning to increase understanding, empathy, and belonging everywhere.
“Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPI) history is American history,” said TAAF CEO Norman Chen. “However, today’s students aren’t exposed to our rich narratives and the contributions that helped build this country. In 2021, TAAF launched in response to rising Anti-AAPI Hate. We believe education is the long-term solution to fight hate, and our hope is that when students see themselves in history books and their peers learn about these stories in class, we can create a sense of belonging and shared humanity. We are honored to partner with Third State Books and are thankful for The Asian American Education Project’s partnership and LAAUNCH for their valuable expertise in bringing our history to life in a way that is as dynamic and appealing as the material itself.”
“Fighting to Belong!” is now available on Bookshop, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and at local retailers. For more information, visit Third State Books here.