Asian Prejudice Essay

Professor Khanna, an associate professor of Sociology at the University of Vermont has an open submission call for their forthcoming anthology, SHADES OF PREJUDICE, a collection of essays written by Asian American women about their personal experiences with colorism.

Professor Khanna is looking for Asian American women (including multiracial American women with Asian ancestry) to share their personal experiences with colorism – how has your skin shade (and other “racialized” physical features like eye color, eye shape, and other facial features) influenced your life?

Colorism is the practice of discrimination whereby light skin is privileged over dark, and is a global issue affecting racial groups worldwide. Colorism exists is just about every part of Asia and affects Asian diasporas, including most Asian American communities – including those descended from Southeast Asia (e.g., India, Pakistan, Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia), but also those from Japan, China, and other parts of Eastern Asia.


Manuscripts will be accepted on a rolling basis, though the final deadline is OCTOBER 31st.


  • Submissions should be sent to: (in the subject heading, please type in all-caps: SHADES OF PREJUDICE SUBMISSION)
  • Please send your personal narrative as a Word document and label your document: “LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME.doc.”
  • Essays should be approximately 1,000-2,500 words, double-spaced, and Times New Roman font.


Nikki Khanna is an associate professor of Sociology at the University of Vermont and has written extensively on issues regarding race. You can read more about the author here: and

Let’s not neglect to mention “Where are you from?” – the lite version of what Michael experienced. I think a challenge that doesn’t get discussed enough is that it’s important, at one level, to hold a very tough line about the fact that any color can be equally American. And so it’s important to show indignation at the mere question. At the same time, I sometimes find myself face to face with a person whom I realize is good and decent, and who asks that question anyway. And I know it’s ignorance. And I know I owe him or her nothing. But I gently tell them I’m American but my parents are Indian. And I wonder if others similarly make decisions on the fly about when it’s OK to make it a conversation, because this is, let’s be frank, a country in transition, and a country learning to separate whiteness from Americanness, and sometimes people need help getting there. And sometimes you get a stove repairman who, having heard that your parents are Indian, says: “I thought so. I asked because my brother is married to a Punjabi. She is the light of our family.” And it makes me think….

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