Home Bound: Filipino American Lives across Cultures, Communities, and Countries

Home Bound: Filipino American Lives across Cultures, Communities, and Countries

Home Bound: Filipino American Lives across Cultures, Communities, and Countries

Home Bound: Filipino American Lives across Cultures, Communities, and Countries

Synopsis

Among the first to examine one of America's largest immigrant groups, Filipino-Americans, Yen Le Espirtu focuses on how this group has formulated an identity that melds continuing ties to the homeland with American values (about sexuality, workplace choices, and so on).

Excerpt

What is outside is paradoxically what makes the West what it is, the excluded yet integral part of its identity and power.

Timothy Mitchell, Colonizing Egypt

Sometimes, I am not sure what it means to be an American. I am not equal to anyone. My color is different, and that has mattered all of my life. I feel that not all Americans are equal; they are not. … I [feel] that the word American really doesn't mean anything if you are a person of color, you know. It really doesn't. I don't know, maybe a lot of people would disagree with me, but that's how I feel. I probably will have people say, “Well, then, why doesn't she go back to where she came from?”

Connie Tirona, U. S.-born Filipina

In 1930, a sign in a West Coast hotel declared “Positively No Filipinos Allowed. ” This sign exemplifies the ways in which Filipinos in the United States have been excluded economically, politically, and culturally from the “national” or “America. ” Restrictive naturalization and immigration laws, discriminatory housing policies, unfair labor practices, violent physical encounters, and racist and anti-immigrant discourse have all colluded to keep Filipinos outside the nation, that is, to keep them homeless. Given this violent record of enforced homelessness, it would be easy to read the history of Filipinos in the United States as one of exclusion. This reading, though appropriate, is incomplete. While it is true that Fil-

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