From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry : The Killing of Vincent Chin and the Trial that Galvanized the Asian American Movement

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Author: Paula Yoo

A groundbreaking portrait of Vincent Chin and the murder case that took America's Asian American community to the streets in protest of injustice.

America in 1982. Japanese car companies are on the rise and believed to be putting American autoworkers out of their jobs. Anti-Asian American sentiments simmer, especially in Detroit. A bar fight turns fatal, leaving Vincent Chin-a Chinese American man-beaten to death at the hands of two white men, autoworker Ronald Ebens and his stepson Michael Nitz.

From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry is a searing examination of the killing and the trial and verdicts that followed. When Ebens and Nitz pled guilty to manslaughter and received only a $3,000 fine and three years' probation, the lenient sentence sparked outrage in the Asian American community. This outrage galvanized the Asian American movement and paved the way for a new federal civil rights trial of the case. Extensively researched from court transcripts and interviews with key case witnesses-many speaking for the first time-Yoo has crafted a suspenseful, nuanced, and authoritative portrait of a pivotal moment in civil rights history, and a man who became a symbol against hatred and racism.
  • many saw race/civil rights in a Black/white dichotomy - the Black police officer who arrested the murderers had no box to check for Chin's ethnicity
  • Bias crimes for teens, but no book about this subject for young readers
  • Author after several unanswered emails got an off the record interview with one of the killers who never did jail time - Simon was holding his breath as he read.