|From a whisper to a rallying cry : the killing of Vincent Chin and the trial that galvanized the Asian American movement|
Author: Yoo, Paula
A groundbreaking portrait of Vincent Chin and the murder case that took America's Asian American community to the streets in protest of injustice.
School Library Journal (+) (00/05/21)
Booklist (+) (03/15/21)
The Hornbook (+) (00/05/21)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 03/15/2021 *Starred Review* On June 19, 1982, Chinese American Victor Chin was murdered near Detroit, Michigan, when a drunken fist fight became a brutal beating with a baseball bat. There was no question as to who was responsible: Ronald Ebens—a white, Chrysler plant supervisor—and his grown stepson, Michael Nitz. The shock, apart from Chin’s death itself, came when Ebens and Nitz were charged with manslaughter rather than murder, receiving no jailtime for their crime. Outrage swept the Asian American community. Yoo dives into this story, giving important historical context to the anti-Asian sentiments of the time while anchoring it in the experiences of those closest to Chin, most notably his mother, Lily. Yet, for all the personal touches, Yoo remains admirably objective in how she relays the various court cases that arose from Chin’s murder, as well as their outcomes. She does not sanitize nor play up the story’s more salacious details—a strip club, drinking, swearing, violence—and these things never overshadow the real issue on trial: Was Victor Chin’s murder a hate crime? Chin’s death united the Asian American community to stand against racism and fight for civil rights in unprecedented ways. In a compelling afterword, Yoo discusses the resurgence of anti-Asian attitudes and rhetoric in connection to COVID-19, reinforcing the book’s through line that Chin mustn’t be forgotten. Supported by robust source notes, news clippings, and photos. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 05/01/2021 Gr 8 Up—This narrative nonfiction title chronicles the brutal 1982 murder of Vincent Chin, which led to the first federal civil rights case involving an Asian American. While celebrating his bachelor party at a Detroit nightclub, Chin, who was Chinese American, became involved in a fight with two white autoworkers, Ronald Ebens and his stepson Michael Nitz. The two men later cornered Chin at a McDonald's and beat him to death with a baseball bat. Ebens and Nitz received a reduced charge of manslaughter and were sentenced to a mere three years probation and a $3,000 fine. The Asian American community was outraged at this unjust punishment, perceived to be a manifestation of anti-Asian racism fueled by anger directed at the Japanese car industry. Readers will be riveted by the first-person accounts from multiple points of view, including Chin's family and friends, lawyers, defendants, and eyewitnesses. In fact, the book reads almost like a TV crime drama, utilizing flashbacks and culminating in a series of chapters depicting each key witness's testimony. The book includes black-and-white primary photos and newspaper articles as well as a time line, extensive endnotes, and a list of archive sources. As the author reflects in her afterward, Chin's story is an important parallel to today's societal strife mirrored in the rise in racism and violence against Asian Americans who have been unfairly blamed for the COVID-19 pandemic. VERDICT Highly recommended for readers interested in social justice nonfiction such as Chris Crowe's Getting Away with Murder and Bryan Stevenson's Just Mercy.—Maile Steimer, Jones M.S., Buford, GA - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.