The Asian Image in the United States: Stereotypes and Realities (1973) is a handbook prepared by Asian Americans for Fair Media, a New York organization started in the 1970s. Intending the publication as a “basic primer,” the publishers explain their mission in an opening message addressed directly to the media: “Governmental and education institutions, advertising and public relations agencies, newspapers and informational organizations have often developed and reinforced stereotypes that perpetuate prejudice against Asians. The media, for political, economic, social and comic reasons is responsible for this distortion, which has damaged the image of Asian-Americans. We, as Asian Americans, protest the imposition of negative stereotypes by the media and we call upon them to correct false impressions that are denigrating to us. We ask that media establish a continuous dialogue with us to incorporate the Asian American perspective in material content.”
The handbook analyzes the American education system’s exclusion of Asian American history and stereotypes, offering explanations of their origins and harm, and includes brief timelines of various Asian ethnic groups’ histories in the U.S. and outside resources. On the cover, cartoons of famed detective Charlie Chan and movie villain Fu Manchu splintered by television screens epitomize the denigrating depictions that the organization seeks to combat. While almost fifty years old, the handbook names stereotypes that are still prevalent in modern media and its call to the media remains ever relevant.