TAAF and Third State Books Release AANHPI History Graphic Novel Fighting to Belong!

Fighting to Belong! helps new audiences young and old, AANHPI and non-AANHPI, understand how AANHPI stories are truly interwoven within the fabric of American history.

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 6, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) and Third State Books in association with Leading Asian Americans to Unite for Change (LAAUNCH) and The Asian American Education Project today released Fighting to Belong! A History of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Vol. 1. Written by bestselling comics writer Amy Chu (Wonder Woman, Deadpool, Ant-Man, Iron Man) and Alexander Chang, and illustrated by award-winning artist Louie Chin, Fighting to Belong! shares an important and dynamic part of American history in an accessible and engaging comic book format aimed at children aged 8-13.

Fighting to Belong! from TAAF & Third State Books, is a new kids graphic novel about AANHPI history.

Fighting to Belong! comes at a critical time. TAAF’s 2023 STAATUS Index uncovered that three of 10 Americans are unable to name a historical event/policy related to Asian Americans. Record levels of Anti-AAPI hate have not stopped and 19% of Asian Americans felt unsafe in schools. Finally, while organizations across the country fight tirelessly to pass mandates to teach this history in the classroom, they don’t have the curriculum or supplemental reading options to bring the mandates to life. Fighting to Belong! hopes to address these gaps in learning to increase understanding, empathy, and belonging everywhere.

“Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPI) history is American history. However, today’s students aren’t exposed to our rich narratives and the contributions that helped build this country,” said Norman Chen, CEO of TAAF. “In 2021, TAAF launched in response to rising Anti-AAPI Hate. We believe education is the long-term solution to fight hate, and our hope is that when students see themselves in history books and their peers learn about these stories in class, we can create a sense of belonging and shared humanity. We are honored to partner with Third State Books and are thankful for The Asian American Education Project’s partnership and LAAUNCH for their valuable expertise in bringing our history to life in a way that is as dynamic and appealing as the material itself.”

Volume I, the first in a three-part series, follows middle school protagonists and their guide Kenji on an amazing journey through time to observe key events in AANHPI history, from the ‘Manilamen’ in New Orleans to the Gold Rush in California.

“With these books, I hope kids and their parents learn that superheroes are real people in history who fought for the rights we have today,” said Amy Chu, bestselling comics writer.  

“Third State Books is the first general interest publisher dedicated exclusively to uplifting AANHPI voices and stories,” said Stephanie Lim, Co-Founder and CEO of Third State Books. “A big part of our core ethos is more authentically representing a wider range of the AANHPI experience, one in which we center ourselves and our children as the main characters. This is what narrative change means to us. So much of our history has been ignored or sidelined in the teaching of American history, but this history is inextricably woven into the making of America.”

Included in the graphic novel is a comprehensive curriculum guide that educators can implement in their classrooms, and activities that parents and community groups can use alongside specific pages and/or topics discussed in the book. Volumes 2 and 3 will be released in September 2024 and January 2025, respectively, and will cover AAPI historical events and figures to the present day.

Fighting to Belong! is now available on Bookshop, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and local retailers for $6.95 (e-book), $11.95 (trade paperback), and $18.95 (hardcover). For more information, visit https://thirdstatebooks.com/projects.

About TAAF

TAAF serves the Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community in their pursuit of belonging and prosperity that is free from discrimination, slander, and violence. Launched in 2021 in response to the rise in anti-Asian hate and to address the long-standing underinvestment in AANHPI communities, TAAF funds best in class organizations working to mobilize against hate and violence, educate communities, and reclaim our narratives through our core pillars of Anti-Hate, Education, Narrative Change, and Resources & Representation. Through our grants, high-impact initiatives and events, we’re creating a permanent and irrevocable sense of belonging for millions of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. For additional information about TAAF, please visit www.taaf.org.

About Third State Books

Third State Books is the first general-interest publishing house that focuses solely on bringing AAPI voices, perspectives, and issues to audiences who cherish them. Through fiction and nonfiction, for adults and children, it strives to publish stories that more fully represent the total Asian American experience. Its name, “Third State,” refers to the unique experience of being a bridge between cultures as Asian Americans, who proudly occupy a distinctive space and identity all their own. TSB has also entered a strategic partnership with NextShark, the largest media company covering Asian American news. For additional information, please visit https://www.thirdstatebooks.com/.

Media Contact:

The Asian American Foundation

[email protected]

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SOURCE The Asian American Foundation


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