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Episode Guide

Asian Americans has 5 episodes

Explore the impact of Asian Americans, the fastest-growing population in the United States, on the country’s past, present and future, told through individual lives and personal histories.

Bhagat Singh Thind as a young man in U.S. Army

Episode 1: Breaking Ground

In an era of exclusion and U.S. empire, new immigrants arrive from China, India, Japan, the Philippines and beyond. Barred by anti-Asian laws they become America’s first “undocumented immigrants,” yet they build railroads, dazzle on the silver screen, and take their fight for equality to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Screen capture from Episode 2

Episode 2: A Question of Loyalty

An American-born generation straddles their country of birth and their parents’ homelands in Japan and Korea. Those loyalties are tested during World War II, when families are imprisoned in detention camps, and brothers find themselves on opposite sides of the battle lines.

Screen capture from Episode 3

Episode 3: Good Americans

During the Cold War years, Asian Americans are simultaneously heralded as a Model Minority, and targeted as the perpetual foreigner. It is also a time of bold ambition, as Asian Americans aspire for the first time to national political office and a coming culture-quake simmers beneath the surface.

Screen capture from Episode 4

Episode 4: Generation Rising

During a time of war and social tumult, a young generation fights for equality in the fields, on campuses and in the culture, and claim a new identity: Asian Americans. The war’s aftermath brings new immigrants and refugees who expand the population and the definition of Asian America.

Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize winning author

Episode 5: Breaking Through

At the turn of the new millennium, the national conversation turns to immigration, race, and economic disparity.  As the U.S becomes more diverse, yet more divided, a new generation of Asian Americans tackle the question, how do we as a nation move forward together?