4 out of 4 stars
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Profiles of KAD Relations with the Black Community by Woo Ae Yi provides a detailed account of everything that relates to Korean adoptees or KADs. The book is divided into three parts. The first part is a background history which includes relevant events from 1992 to the present moment. The interviews section follows and it makes up the largest portion of the book. People from all related backgrounds answered various questions that help to better understand the subject at hand. The questions and answers were grouped based on the topic discussed in each chapter. Finally, the author writes her own reflection on the current situation and suggests approaches to deal with issues that require attention. As the author puts it, this book is "a starting point for speaking about race relations between Blacks and KADs."
I loved the third part the most. The parts about the amygdala and the misconceptions of terminologies were specifically interesting. The author highlighted how people are different from a biological point of view of the human brain and therefore process communications differently. She also discussed how words and common comments that are okay in one culture can be offensive in another and may cause unnecessary misunderstandings or tensions. I think this part needed more room to be discussed at length as it holds valuable insights.
I also liked how key terms were defined to remove any confusion surrounding them. The terms "white supremacy," "racism," and "microaggressions" were explained. However, I thought the term "white supremacy" was briefly talked about and deserved more attention.
Another thing that is unique to this book is that it spans from the 1992 Los Angeles uprising to the killing of George Floyd in 2020. This rich, critical timeline gives the readers a complete outlook on the situation and allows them to formulate their own opinions.
The only thing I didn't appreciate about Profiles of KAD Relations with the Black Community is the way the profiles of the interviewees were presented. The author lists brief introductions about each person before the interview chapters. As a reader, I needed to connect the answers with the background of the person and found it hard to retrieve this piece of information as I read. That being said, this issue affected the reading process only trivially.
I give this book 4 out of 4 stars. I think it is a must-read for every Asian-American, African-American, KAD, interracial adoptee, or anti-racism activist. The text has a high readability and is professionally edited; I only found a few minor errors. The book achieved its goal of giving an account of the relationship between African-Americans and KADs, and, as the author puts it, "highlighting that it is better than the media portrays, without downplaying the negative parts."
I recommend Profiles of KAD Relations with the Black Community only to people invested in the subject of racism. Although KADs and African-Americans are the focus of the book, I believe anyone who suffered or is suffering from racism should read this book. Also, anyone who is doubting if they're racists or not should read this book. For readers who aren't invested in such a topic, not only will they not enjoy reading the book, but also they will have to do a lot of research in order to fully understand the amount of detail it contains. This book is a giant weave of the many facets of the case of Korean adoptees and racism, and Woo Ae Yi offered it to us seamlessly.
Profiles of KAD Relations with the Black Community
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