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Other: an Asian & Pacific Islander Prisoners' Anthology Paperback – March 31, 2007
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The writings are all so candid, real, different. They are so honest that it will amaze you. - Yuri Kochiyama, Human Rights Activist --2007<br \><br \>This has never been done before. These are voices that nobody has heard before, even within the API community. There is such a broad range of incredibly moving stories. You will read it and just be surprised by every page. - Helen Zia --KPFA radio interview 5/2/07
AVAILABLE from EastWind Books of Berkeley for $15.95 asiabookcenter.com asiabookcenter.com/store/p244/Other%3A_an_Asian_%26_Pacific_Islander_Prisoners%27_Anthology.html --Asian Prisoner Support Committee
AVAILABLE from EastWind Books of Berkeley for $15.95 asiabookcenter.com/store/p244/Other%3A_an_Asian_%26_Pacific_Islander_Prisoners%27_Anthology.html --Asian Prisoner Support Committee
About the Author
Background on Eddy Zheng, Editor:
Eddy and his family immigrated to Oakland from China when he was 12 years old in 1982. As immigrants with no English skills, his parents took low-wage jobs to support their family; his father worked at the local Burger King, and his mother worked as a live-in babysitter for another family. When he was 16 years old, Eddy and his friends participated in a robbery; he was arrested and pled guilty to all counts. Charged as an adult, Eddy was sentenced to seven-years-to-life in 1986.
While in prison, Eddy learned English, completed his GED, and earned a college degree. He worked with at-risk youth, developed a curriculum for youth organizations, and received several job offers from youth organizations to work with at-risk youth upon his release. He has written and published articles on his experience as an Asian American inmate, the importance of Ethnic Studies classes, and Buddhism. He has also published his poems, and he even organized the first poetry slam at San Quentin State Prison.
Even though he was sentenced to seven years-to-life, Eddy Zheng served more than 19 years before he was finally granted parole in March 2005, at the age of 35. With the support of over a dozen state legislators and other political and community leaders, Eddy was recommended for parole in November 2004. The governor approved his released from state prison in March 2005, after Eddy (then 35) had served 19 years. Instead of being released then, the federal government placed Eddy in deportation proceedings and he was transferred to immigration detention at Yuba County Jail in Marysville, CA.
Despite widespread community support and overwhelming evidence of his rehabilitation, the immigration judge ruled against Eddy and issued a deportation order, which was upheld in November 2006. On February 27, 2007, Eddy was released from immigration custody, although the government is continuing to carry out his deportation order. He has finally returned to his family and the community after 21 years. Eddy currently works as a Project Coordinator at the Community Youth Center in San Francisco.
Full list of authors: Marc Ching, Damonoa Kukisi, Ryan Hem, K.D. Huynh, Hyung-Rae, Hemnauth Mohabir, Viet Mike Ngo, Dat Nguyen, Peaches, P.I.R., Xuliyah Potong, Ou Chiew Saeturn, Fernando Sumagit, Ricky Thor, Be Trung, Teng Vang, Ramonchito Velasquez, and Eddy Zheng.
Top customer reviews
This book works hard to break the model minority myth that Asian Americans face. That myth says all Asian Americans are successful and thus no American group can say they can't defeat oppression. Some may think that since Asians "are obedient" or "are not uppity," then they would never go to prison. This book proves there are Asian Americans in the prison system. Outside of this book, Asian-American activists have said the myth is not true especially when you look at socioeconomic class, English language-skills, and even ethnicity. So in this book, you hear from poor Asian Americans, those with limited English skills, and the book has far more Southeast Asians contributing than East Asians. There is no essay in which an inmate says, "I grew up in a Korean-American home with doctors as parents I earned A's in school and I still ended up in prison." Those individuals who just made bad choices despite advantages from birth are not present here.
Although the book is called "Other," I feel the book failed miserably in exploring that. As far as I know, there are tons of whites, Blacks, and Latinos in prison, so I wonder how the few Asian Americans there survive. Did you see the film "American Me"? The film showed an Asian-American prisoner who seemed to hang with the Latinos. Is that typical of prisons: are Asians deemed neither white nor Black and thus become de facto Latinos? There are places where prisoners seek pen pals, even though there are three times as many Asian Americans in the country as Native Americans, you'll find far more of the latter group posting. I really wanted to know how Asian-American inmates survive in prison when they are outnumbered by all other groups. Unfortunately, this book never touches on that. The "otherization" of Asian-American inmates doesn't come up.
This book was a great first effort. Personally, I'd like to read academic studies on the subject more that what's presented here. However, the book is very accessible and I think many will be informed by it.