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Author Event | Paula Yoo: From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry


Thursday July 15, 2021: 7:00pm to 8:30pm  Add to Calendar /   Add to Google Calendar




“China Virus.” “The China Plague.” “Kung Flu.” Between March 19, 2020 and March 13, 2021, more than 6,600 hate crime and bias incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders were reported due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. But this wasn’t the first time a wave of anti-Asian racism swept the country. During the 1980s, Japanese car companies were on the rise and unfairly blamed for putting American autoworkers out of their jobs. Anti-Asian sentiments simmered, especially in Detroit. On June 19, 1982, a bar fight turned 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. 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 and Pacific Islander community. This outrage galvanized the Asian American movement and paved the way for the first federal civil rights trial for an Asian American. Author Paula Yoo will discuss this pivotal moment in civil rights history about a man who became a symbol against hatred and racism, and his story's relevance today.

Paula Yoo is a book author, screenwriter, and musician. Her latest YA non-fiction book, From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry: The Killing of Vincent Chin and the Trial that Galvanized the Asian American Movement (Norton Young Readers), is a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection and has received 5 *Starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews, ALA/Booklist, Horn Book, Publishers Weekly and School Library Journal. Website:

This event was held live on Zoom and has concluded.


Hello! Unfortunately, we were unable to record the presentation, but we hope to have Paula Yoo at the library for an in-person event this fall or winter. Keep an eye out on our website for updates!

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