Victorio Acosta Velasco: An American Life

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This work is a biography of Victorio Acosta Velasco, a Filipino-born journalist and labor leader who immigrated to the United States in 1924. At this time, thousands of young Filipinos were coming to America to further their education, find opportunity, and realize the idealism the U.S. was rumored to offer. Upon arriving in Seattle, however, Velasco learned that the 'American Dream' hardly applied to dark-skinned immigrants. Devalued by the workforce and spurned by white women, the disillusioned Velasco became involved in Filipino activities, but never conceded his place in American society. Amongst other achievements, he published poetry in nearly a dozen mainstream anthologies on American literature. Ultimately, by the end of the Second World War, Velasco had learned to approach his Caucasian relationships with more circumspection, and also began to experience intra-ethnic conflicts with other Filipinos. This book seeks to counter the negative, one-dimensional portraits of Asian men in popular media, and informs its readers of an authentic and challenging Filipino-American experience.

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A New World April 1924 to August 1926
Assimilation August 1926 to March 1927

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About the author (2007)

Michael Serizawa Brown is an attorney based in Seattle Washington, where he also teaches courses on history and law as adjunct faculty at various postsecondary institutions in the Puget Sound area. He was born in Tachikawa, Japan of a Japanese mother and a Caucasian father and has thus lived, from earliest memory, with the knowledge and realities of being of mixed racial blood in late 20th century America. It was this knowledge, along with firsthand awareness of the realities of racial hierarchies and their perpetuation in often unconscious, subtle ways, which led him to decide to write a biography of an Asian male's experience in the United States. This often parallels the experience of African-Americans in the pre-Civil Rights Movement era. He has been an active member of the Washington State Bar Association since 1996. He has published numerous articles on legal history and Asian-American history in a variety of academic journals, including the University of West Los Angeles Law Review, Pacific Northwest Quarterly, Maine History, and encyclopedias on Asian-American history and American law. He holds a Ph.D. from Washington State University, a J.D. from Temple University's Beasley School of Law in Philadelphia; an M.A. from the University of Maine; and a B.A. in art from Whitman College in southeastern Washington. Since the late 1980s, he has been a fervent advocate of civil rights.