COPYRIGHT YEAR

2015

AUTHORS

Michelle Caswell

TITLE

Documenting South Asian American Struggles against Racism: Community Archives in a Post-9/11 World

ABSTRACT

On 5 August 2012, a white supremacist neo-Nazi gunman stormed a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, killing six worshippers. The horrific attack was only one of thousands of acts of domestic terrorism directed at Sikh and Muslim communities — indeed at all South Asian communities regardless of faith — across the US in the wake of 11 September 2001.1 As interfaith groups across the US organized vigils to memorialize the Oak Creek victims, one grassroots memory institution, the South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA) (http://www.saadigitalarchive.org), launched an outreach effort linking the community’s historic struggles for equality to ongoing activism against racism, Islamophobia, and militarism. First, SAADA sidestepped divisive politics between South Asian Americans of various religious, national, regional, and class affiliations by asserting an inclusive South Asian American identity rooted in a common past. Next, SAADA promoted the use of historical materials in its collection that document the century-old history of Sikhs in the US, firmly rooting the community in American history and linking past struggles for citizenship with the politics of today. Finally, SAADA actively solicited materials documenting community responses to the Oak Creek attack, building an archive of solidarity for future use.

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1 book-chapters:d71c66ced1282bd4edd7167cace652bd sg:abstract Abstract On 5 August 2012, a white supremacist neo-Nazi gunman stormed a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, killing six worshippers. The horrific attack was only one of thousands of acts of domestic terrorism directed at Sikh and Muslim communities — indeed at all South Asian communities regardless of faith — across the US in the wake of 11 September 2001.1 As interfaith groups across the US organized vigils to memorialize the Oak Creek victims, one grassroots memory institution, the South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA) (http://www.saadigitalarchive.org), launched an outreach effort linking the community’s historic struggles for equality to ongoing activism against racism, Islamophobia, and militarism. First, SAADA sidestepped divisive politics between South Asian Americans of various religious, national, regional, and class affiliations by asserting an inclusive South Asian American identity rooted in a common past. Next, SAADA promoted the use of historical materials in its collection that document the century-old history of Sikhs in the US, firmly rooting the community in American history and linking past struggles for citizenship with the politics of today. Finally, SAADA actively solicited materials documenting community responses to the Oak Creek attack, building an archive of solidarity for future use.
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7 sg:copyrightHolder Michelle Caswell
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18 sg:pageFirst 188
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20 sg:scigraphId d71c66ced1282bd4edd7167cace652bd
21 sg:title Documenting South Asian American Struggles against Racism: Community Archives in a Post-9/11 World
22 sg:webpage https://link.springer.com/10.1057/9781137032720_10
23 rdf:type sg:BookChapter
24 rdfs:label BookChapter: Documenting South Asian American Struggles against Racism: Community Archives in a Post-9/11 World
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