Talking about this book? Be sure to tag it using #FromaWhispertoaRallyingCry #NetGalley
A compelling account of the killing of Vincent Chin, the verdicts that took the Asian American community to the streets in protest, and the groundbreaking civil rights trial that followed.
America in 1982. Japanese car companies are on the rise and believed to be putting American autoworkers out of their jobs. Anti–Asian American sentiments simmer, especially in Detroit. A bar fight turns 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.
From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry is a searing examination of the killing and the trial and verdicts that followed. 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 community. This outrage galvanized the Asian American movement and paved the way for a new federal civil rights trial of the case. Extensively researched from court transcripts and interviews with key case witnesses—many speaking for the first time—Yoo has crafted a suspenseful, nuanced, and authoritative portrait of a pivotal moment in civil rights history, and a man who became a symbol against hatred and racism.
Paula Yoo is an award-winning children's picture book author and novelist, a prolific TV writer/producer, and a freelance violinist. From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry is her debut YA nonfiction book.
"This clear and lucid account, based on in-depth research, superlatively conveys the context and significance of the events. The conflicting accounts and explanations are presented evenhandedly, offering readers the opportunity to weigh the evidence and draw their own conclusions. A timely afterword discusses anti-Asian racist rhetoric and violence during the Covid-19 pandemic. An accessible and compelling account of a tragedy that resonates through the decades." - Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"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." - Booklist, starred review
“A vivid, heartbreaking account of one of the most important moments in Asian American history. I couldn’t put it down.”—Gene Luen Yang, author of Printz Award winner and National Book Award finalist American Born Chinese.
“A tremendous feat of both research and writing—and a major contribution to our inspiring and infuriating American story.”—Steve Sheinkin, author of Newbery Honor and National Book Award finalist Bomb.