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Anti-Asian Violence in Boston in the 1980s

After the Vietnam war, thousands of refugees from Vietnam and Cambodia were resettled in the greater Boston area. Many were traumatized by their experiences, only to face more hostility from white neighbors in their new homes. To help end this wave of violence, the Asian American Resource Workshop, a community-based education and advocacy organization, launched a wide-ranging investigation in 1986. Their report, excerpted below, became part of the written testimony submitted to the US House Judiciary Committee hearings in 1987. One the results of those hearings was the passage of legislation in 1990 requiring federal authorities to collect data on hate crimes committed in the United States.

From: Elaine Song, “To Live in Peace: Responding to Anti-Asian Violence in Boston,” Boston: Asian American Resource Workshop 1987.

To see a full copy of the report housed at Northeastern University Archives, click here.

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