Tritia Toyota to Discuss ‘Envisioning America’


Tritia Toyota

TORRANCE — Dr. Tritia Toyota will discuss her new book, “Envisioning America: New Chinese Americans and the Politics of Belonging,” on Saturday, May 14, at 2 p.m. in the Community Meeting Room of the Katy Geissert Civic Center Library, 3301 Torrance Blvd.

“Envisioning America” is a groundbreaking and richly detailed study of how naturalized Chinese living in Southern California become highly involved civic and political actors. Like other immigrants to the U.S., their individual life stories are of survival, becoming, and belonging. But unlike any other Asian immigrant group before them, they have the resources — Western-based educations, entrepreneurial strengths, and widely based social networks in Asia — to become fully accepted in their new homes.

Nevertheless, Chinese Americans are finding that their social credentials can be a double-edged sword. Their complete incorporation as citizens is bounded both by mainstream discourse in the U.S., which paints them racially as perpetual foreigners, and by an existing Asian Pacific American community not always accepting of their economic achievements and transnational ties.

This book challenges the notion that Asian Americans are apathetic or apolitical about civic engagement.

Toyota is an adjunct professor in the Department of Anthropology and Department of Asian American Studies at UCLA and was an Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist with the NBC and CBS affiliates in Los Angeles as well as a co-founder of the Asian American Journalists Association.

This program is free, but seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Sponsored by the Friends of the Torrance Library. Call the Reference Department at (310) 618-5959 for more information.

Also on May 14 at 2 p.m., children of all ages are invited to a celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month at the Southeast Library, 23115 Arlington Ave. This program is free and no registration is required. Sponsored by Friends of the Torrance Library. Call (310) 530-5044 for more information.

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