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The Color of SuccessAsian Americans and the Origins of the Model Minority$
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Ellen D. Wu

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691157825

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691157825.001.0001

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The Melting Pot of the Pacific

The Melting Pot of the Pacific

(p.210) Chapter 7 The Melting Pot of the Pacific
The Color of Success

Ellen D. Wu

Princeton University Press

This chapter deals with the concept of Hawaiʻi as a racial paradise. In the 1920s and 1930s, intellectuals began to tout the islands' ethnically diverse composition—including the indigenous population, white settler colonists, and imported labor from Asia and other locales—as a Pacific melting pot free of the mainland's social taboos on intermingling. After World War II, the association of Hawaiʻi with racial harmony and tolerance received unprecedented national attention as Americans heatedly debated the question of whether or not the territory, annexed to the United States in 1898, should become a state. Statehood enthusiasts tagged the islands' majority Asian population, with its demonstrated capability of assimilation, as a forceful rationale for admission.

Keywords:   Hawaiʻi, racial paradise, indigenous population, white settler colonists, Pacific melting pot, racial harmony, statehood

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