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Race for CitizenshipBlack Orientalism and Asian Uplift from Pre-Emancipation to Neoliberal America$
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Helen Heran Jun

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814742976

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814742976.001.0001

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(p.149) Afterword
Race for Citizenship

Helen Heran Jun

NYU Press

This concluding chapter examines how black and Vietnamese American displacement was figured after Hurricane Katrina. Within four months of the storm, more than three hundred newspaper articles described the displaced Vietnamese with striking thematic consistency: traumatic dislocation and suffering overcome by hard work, independent resilience, strong cultural ties, and survival without complaint. Meanwhile, images of African American trauma and despair produced an unstable narrative of state shame and crisis owing to a long national history of black racial exclusion. Whereas stories involving African Americans also frequently mention desires to rebuild or return to their neighborhoods, the emphasis on the Vietnamese and their independent efforts as a self-organized, model ethnic community is absolutely overwhelming.

Keywords:   Hurricane Katrina, Vietnamese American displacement, African American trauma, state shame, black racial exclusion

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