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We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future Hardcover – October 27, 2015

4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for We Too Sing America:
“[P]rovides a critical history of the specific race and faith discrimination South Asian and Arab communities struggled through and are still reconciling in our post-9/11 era…Thank you, Deepa Iyer for your courage—and for this book.”
Hyphen Magazine

“[A] riveting book …A welcome addition to the growing literature of race, ethnicity, and religion from the perspectives of immigrant groups within the United States. Both the general public and policymakers will benefit.”
Library Journal

“While this book could simply be a catalogue of injustices, Iyer’s study reaches into the complexities of the many cultures that make up South Asia.”
Publishers Weekly

About the Author

A leading racial justice activist, Deepa Iyer served for a decade as the executive director of South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), focusing on community building in post-9/11 America. She teaches in the Asian American Studies Program at the University of Maryland. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: The New Press (October 27, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1620970147
  • ISBN-13: 978-1620970140
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #274,568 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I thought Deepa Iyer's new book, We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future, would be about positive and jarring cultural contributions from immigrants, how their literature, music, myths, cooking, clothing, and cultural practices are merging with and influencing wider U.S. culture. I think that would be a good book. Maybe someone's written it.

This, too, is a good book, and I recommend it. But it is mostly about the all-too-familiar story of post-911 prejudice, racism, violence, and police profiling and abuse, with a particular focus on South Asians. As an opponent of murder in any form, my first response to this topic is usually: Take the guns away! Hatred doesn't kill people -- hatred in people with guns kills people! But of course I'd love to take the hatred away as well and get the gun deaths down to accidents, suicides, and non-hate crimes.

I admit some uncertainty as to how we can identify a gun murder as free of hate. Here's how Iyer describes hate crimes:

"Hate violence affects everyone in America. A hate crime affects not only the person being targeted but the entire community to which that person belongs. Acts of hate violence can disrupt and affect even those who do not belong [to] the community being directly targeted, as we witnessed in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, where non-Sikhs also experienced fear and anxiety in the wake of the massacre."

Of course, that sounds almost identical to the effects of a non-hate school shooting. A value to be found in distinguishing crimes motivated by, for example, hatred of Muslims, lies in the consequent ability to report on and know how widespread that phenomenon is. Does badmouthing Muslims encourage shooting them?
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Format: Hardcover
Deepa Iyer's gem of a book narrates how Muslim, South Asian, and Middle Eastern communities have resisted profiling and Islamaphobia since 9/11. Through the stories of Sikhs who suffered violence and horrific loss then turned to activism, Muslims who organize in their communities in the face of tremendous possible risk, and activists who stand in solidarity with other communities of color, Iyer has ensured that this book is not an exercise in academia or ivory tower research. It is a testament to the strength and stories of communities who continue to struggle for change. We Too Sing America is a moving and timely book. A must read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Deeps Iyer puts fantastic spotlights on individuals and communities across America who are actively pursuing the more perfect Union our country should represent. She shares truthful histories of tragedy and triumph, and brilliantly discusses how modern everyday South Asians, Arabs, Muslims, and Sikhs can transform American realities. There is no single approach for success, and Ms. Iyer explores the complexities of causes, identity, and activism that all of us as "brown folks" (my term, not hers) encounter. I'm fired up and eager to engage in more social justice movements after reading this.
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Format: Hardcover
Essential and accessible reading for anyone who cares about our Constitution, the state of our Union, and humanity. A chronicle of injustices by individuals and the state since 9/11 based on individuals' race, ethnicity, and faith; and prescriptions for bringing about true equity, which will not come about simply because of our Nation's imminent multiracial population, and which affects all of us. Iyer's elegantly–written stories of South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh people on the front lines before and since 9/11 will in turns make you angry, sad, inspired, and hopeful. Highly recommend.
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