Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White Background

Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White Background

Frank Wu is an Asian-American novelist born on August 20, 1967 in Cleveland, Ohio. After graduating high school, he attended Johns Hopkins University, followed by the University of Michigan Law School, and then Harvard Graduate School of Education. Heavily involved in higher learning, Wu served as a law professor at Howard University from 1995 to 2004 as well as a chancellor at UC Hastings College of Law. He currently works as a distinguished professor at UC Hastings.

Wu’s endeavor into novel-writing was a book he co-authored with Margaret Chon, Eric Yamamoto, Jerry Kang, and Carol Izumi entitled Race, Rights & Reparations: Law and the Japanese Internment (2001). He published Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White one year later in 2002. In Yellow, Wu utilizes personal experiences and legal cases to underscore issues of racial discrimination in the 21st century. He speaks of his childhood in which he was the only Asian student at school and therefore was an easy target for bullying. He also confronts the stereotype of Asians being a “model minority” and how this false generalization negatively impacts race relations.

When it was published in 2002, Yellow was praised by critics and audiences for its refreshing view on prejudice in America as it is typically discussed in limited terms of black and white. Publishers Weekly states that “Wu’s sobering, astute, compelling investigation locates the particulars of Asian-American experience with racism in this country's spectrum of ethnic and cultural prejudice.”

Frank Wu is planning to follow up Yellow with a novel that details the death of Vincent Chin, a Chinese-American man who was brutally beaten but whose case received little support from the American Civil Liberties Union. Wu continues to act as a voice for the Asian-American community through his writings.

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