Re-Exploring American Born Chinese nearly 1 year later

It has been almost a year since I was introduced to Gene Luen Yang’s book, “American Born Chinese” (or ABC for short). Today, I would like to re-explore the text, examining my thoughts through the perspective of a 21st century learner

One of the most memorable aspects of ABC was the presentation of an environment that is innately alien to its protagonist. As an individual who has grown up their entire life in Asia, I have never yet experienced what it means to be a true minority. In China, every other race that isn’t some Asian ethnicity is, to put it simply, the minority. As I am slowly being introduced to colleges and universities outside of Asia, I have slowly come to the realization that Asian’s a true minority in the US just as other people of color are in China. ABC presents these themes of unfamiliarity to the reader. On my first read through, I was oblivious to the obvious. Your physical appearance does matter, especially if you seem completely different to the people that you surround yourself with. This may bring several hardships that are difficult to overcome. Though not current, I find it much easier to understand the ideas of the book not just currently, but most likely in the future.

While this book does have a strong representation of Chinese culture and possibly experiences of living in an environment that you are unfamiliar with, I can most definitely see other people who are not Asians understanding and possibly relating to Jin and the hardships that he specifically goes through. Though stereotyping is common, this issue can be solved overtime as we introduce better awareness and diversity programs or forms of media to younger generations.

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