APA_Essay_1 - Diana Browne Professor Musikawong February 4...

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Diana Browne Professor Musikawong February 4, 2007 APA 200 The Sojourner “Bonemeal, canvas, Japanese laborers, macaroni, a Chinaman (Takaki 24).” The first Asian Americans to immigrate to the United States were simply jotted down on a list of items to be obtained. Although a majority of the earliest Asians relocated to the U.S. to support the demand for labor, many of them also moved in hopes of creating a better life for themselves and their families . The journey to the United States for both the Chinese and the Japanese were similar in the fact that they both had dominating foreign forces present in their countries, however, they were different in the political and economic reasons as well as the means each ethnic group used to bring their families over to the U.S. A common misconception with early Asian American immigrants was that they were “sojourners,” defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “temporary residents.” The mistake of calling Asian Americans “sojourners” was ironic especially because usually after leaving their homelands, Asian Americans seldom returned. The original plan however , was to leave their families for a few years, and strike it rich in America before returning home. In Strangers from a Different Shore , Ronald Takaki states, “What transformed Asians into “strangers” in America was not simply their migration to a foreign land and their lack of indigenous and organic ties to American society, but also their point of origin and their specific reception (12).” As foreigners in a strange land,
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the earliest Asian immigrants did not understand the cultural aspects of American society, nor did whites understand them, their history or culture, and therefore the acknowledgement of each ethnicity as it entered the United States differed. The first waves of Chinese immigrants were not only affected by a new country and unfamiliar society, but also faced discrimination and prejudice. Some of the Chinese immigrated because of the poverty, famine, and political turmoil that occurred in China
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APA_Essay_1 - Diana Browne Professor Musikawong February 4...

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