Open Friday, February 2, 2018 through Early April
University of Northern Colorado, James A. Michener Library
Asian and Pacific Americans make up more than 5 percent of the U.S. population—more than 17 million people—and those numbers are growing. Their ancestral roots represent more than 50 percent of the world, extending from East Asia to Southeast Asia, and from South Asia to the Pacific Islands and Polynesia.
In commemoration of this important history, “I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story” will open at University of Northern Colorado’s James A. Michener Library, Monday, January 29 – Sunday, April 8, part of a national tour. “I Want the Wide American Earth” was created by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. The exhibition is supported by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
In this first exhibition of its kind, the Smithsonian celebrates Asian Pacific American history across a multitude of diverse cultures and explores how Asian Pacific Americans have shaped and been shaped by the course of the nation’s history. “I Want the Wide American Earth” tells the rich and complex stories of the very first Asian immigrants, including their participation in key moments in American history: Asian immigrants panned in the Gold Rush, hammered ties in the Transcontinental Railroad, fought on both sides in the Civil War and helped build the nation’s agricultural system.
Through the decades, Asian immigrants struggled against legal exclusion, civil rights violations and unlawful detention, such as the 120,000 Japanese who were interred during World War II. Since the 1960s, vibrant new communities, pan-Asian, Pacific Islander and cross-cultural in make-up, have blossomed. For more information email Alethea.Stovall@unco.edu or go to http://libguides.unco.edu/Wide-American-Earth.