Coming Home

Sometimes the discovery of roots can be an exhilarating experience, but for Asian-Americans it’s often very difficult to come to Asia. In Korea there’s a strong prejudice against those who’ve emigrated to the West, as if those who left were somehow traitors. Ethnic Koreans who don’t speak Korean at a native speaker level are often looked down on—or envied because of their ability to speak English.

In my 1990 MA paper for the Linguistics Department at the University of Pittsburgh, I presented statistically significant evidence of  language as a component in the ethnic boundary, namely that Koreans tend

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The Story of a Korean War Baby


This is an interview my friend Ida Hart and I did about ten years ago when she was in Korea looking for her mother. Ida is now a high school science teacher in Los Angeles. (Please check out the link at the right titled “South Koreans Struggle with Race” and “Adopted from Korea and in Search of Identity.”)

Ida’s story

I was born in Korea in 1953, the year the cease-fire agreement was signed.  My mother is Korean, and my father is a black American soldier. I grew up in a Korean village, and everyone knew that I was mixed.  … Read More