Published: 05/21/2023 Last Updated: 05/21/2023
It's Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month -- an excellent opportunity to expand your understanding of Arizona's Asian-American history!
Here are a few of our favorite resources for learning more:
- The City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Office has put together an excellent digital tour of Phoenix's Asian-American heritage. The website they created provides an excellent overview of Asian-American history in Phoenix, with information about immigrants from China, Japan, the Philippines, India and elsewhere and the businesses, communities and lives they and their descendants built in Phoenix from the 1870s onward. The site also offers of maps, historic photographs and images of what the historic sites look like today. It's a perfect starting point.
- The Arizona Historical Society put together a short article on the history of Chinese immigrants and Chinese-Americans in Arizona, with links to longer articles on specific subjects from their archives if you're interesting in going deeper. It also has some great photos!
- Discussions of Japanese-American history in Arizona are often dominated by discussions of the two World War II Japanese internment camps located in Arizona. Cronkite News' interview with Richard Matsuishi, who was imprisoned near Parker, is one particularly moving and revealing source. But the City of Phoenix Asian American Historic Property Survey also has a long-form article focused on a fuller sweep of Japanese-American history in Arizona -- from the first immigrants in the 1850s through the middle of the twentieth century.
This article will continue to be updated, so if you have favorite sources or resources that we're missing, get in touch by email or social media and let us know!
Suggested Further Reading
- Tour Phoenix's Asian-American History City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Office
- Chinese History in Arizona Arizona Historical Society
- Interview with Richard Matsuishi Cronkite News
- 5 things to know about Arizona's World War II internment camps Arizona Republic
- Japanese American History in Phoenix City of Phoenix - Asian American Historic Property Survey