The Remodel Minority Series: Anti-Blackness & the Model Minority Myth

Anti-Blackness, or the attempts to belittle and devalue the work and hardships of Black people, has been increasingly promoted following the ending of World War II as a result of the presence of the model minority myth. Generalizations brought about by the model minority myth have not only painted Asian Americans as the law-abiding, genius “model minority” but have subsequently instilled a sense of anti-Blackness in the United States.

The model minority myth has perpetuated anti-Blackness for decades. Succeeding the end of World War II and internment camps in the United States, Japanese Americans began to reconstruct their lives and feared forced return to internment, leading them to work harder and becoming undemonstrative and reticent. According to Claire Jean Kim, a University of California Irvine professor, “the media created the idea that…Japanese were rising out of the ashes … proving … they had the right cultural stuff.” The fear within Japanese Americans to rise out of internment stronger and harder working created this perceived sense of the success of the Asian-American minority, which was then presented in media and would become a racial wedge between other marginalized groups.

The success of Japanese Americans following forced internment during World War II led to the belittling of other minorities, especially African Americans. According to Kat Chow, the author of Seeing Ghosts: A Memoir and former journalist for NPR, the sudden accomplishments of Japanese Americans led to an “immediate…reflection upon black people…[making people wonder] why weren’t black people making it, but Asians were?” With the success of Asian Americans, the differences in historical struggles between African Americans and Asian Americans were ignored, as exemplified by white Americans blatantly questioning African Americans’ “inability” to conquer racism and succeed, leading to increased conflict between minorities within the United States. And this continues to this day, as people continue to ignore the impacts of the institutionalized racism African Americans have to face.

According to a Vox interview with Scott Kurashige, a professor of comparative and ethnic studies at Texas Christian University, “the model minority [myth]…is meant to define African Americans as deficient and inferior to white people by using Asian Americans as a proxy or a pawn to serve that purpose.” The model minority myth warps the image of Asian Americans in an extreme sense by generalizing them as genius, law-abiding individuals in attempts to depict African Americans as inferior, ultimately allowing white Americans to rise above once again simply because they founded the myth.

Since its beginnings, the model minority myth has promoted a sense of ignorance by pitting minorities against one another to shift the blame from racism for the struggles of minorities in the United States. After all, the terms “model minority” and “problem minorities” were all part of efforts for the United States to save face in the Cold War. Though Asian Americans and African Americans have had different struggles worlds apart, politicians and the media ignored these differences succeeding World War II strategically in efforts to excuse the role of racism in the struggles of African Americans, further promoting anti-Blackness in the United States.

It is significant to understand how the model minority myth has negatively impacted minorities and people of color and the necessity to spread awareness of the myth that has been harming all marginalized communities. Thank you for reading this article, and stay tuned for further articles regarding the model minority myth <3

Works Cited

Blackburn, Sarah-Soonling. “What Is the Model Minority Myth?” Learning for Justice, Learning for Justice, 21 Mar. 2019,

“Change the Culture.” UCI Office of Inclusive Excellence, 16 May 2022,

Chow, Kat. “’Model Minority’ Myth Again Used as a Racial Wedge between Asians and Blacks.” NPR, NPR, 19 Apr. 2017,

“Debunking the Model Minority Myth.” USC Pacific Asia Museum, USC Pacific Asia Museum,

Demsas, Jerusalem, and Rachel Ramirez. “The History of Tensions – and Solidarity – between Black and Asian American Communities, Explained.” Vox, Vox, 16 Mar. 2021,

Krishnan, Nidhi. “‘Racial Weaponization: How The Model Minority Myth Undermines Black-Asian Solidarity’ by Nidhi Krishnan.” Washington University in St. Louis.

Nguyen, Viet Thanh, and The Committed. “How the Model Minority Myth of Asian Americans Hurts Us All.” Time, Time, 26 June 2020,;, Yi J;Todd. “Internalized Model Minority Myth among Asian Americans: Links to Anti-Black Attitudes and Opposition to Affirmative Action.” Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 27 Oct. 2021,