What Defines Being Asian American?

Asian American is a term that refers to Americans of Asian descent, including but not limited to Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino, Indian, and Vietnamese. This group makes up a significant portion of the United States population, comprising over 22 million people as of the 2020 census.

History of Asian Americans in the United States

The history of Asian Americans in the United States dates back to the 1800s. In the late 1800s, Chinese immigrants came to the US to work on railroad construction projects and in mining fields. Subsequently, waves of other Asian individuals migrated to the US as well, with varying reasons, such as the Korean War, Vietnam War, and Philippine-American War.

However, their integration into American society was not without difficulties. Early Asian immigrants were often subjected to discrimination, exclusion, and even violence. For example, in 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed, which prohibited Chinese immigrants from entering the US, making them the first and only ethnic group to be excluded from immigrating to the United States.

What Constitutes Being Asian American

Being Asian American encompasses more than just one’s ethnic background. It also includes their shared experiences, cultures, and histories. Many Asian Americans may come from different countries, have different religions, and speak different languages, but they are united by their shared experiences of living in the United States

Asian Americans have had a significant impact on American culture, contributing to the country’s history in music, arts, literature, science, medicine, and more. Many famous Asian Americans have made a name for themselves in various fields and industries, including Bruce Lee, Yo-Yo Ma, Kalpana Chawla, and more. These individuals have played key roles in breaking stereotypes and promoting diversity and inclusion in America.


Being Asian American is a multifaceted identity that comprises different backgrounds, cultures, and histories. The shared experiences and struggles of Asian Americans bring this diverse community together, and their contributions to American society cannot be understated. By celebrating the cultures and experiences of Asian Americans, we can promote a more inclusive society and create a more diverse and vibrant America.

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