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Vincent Who - Documentary Film


The Thomas Crane Public Library in Quincy Center had a movie screening  organized by a joint collaboration of QARI (Quincy Asian Resources Inc.), Thomas Crane Library, Quincy Human Rights Commission and Asian Pacific American for Progress.

The event was screening of a documentary movie- "Vincent Who" which is based on a real incident of an Chinese American, Vincent Chin who was beaten to death June 1982  in the Detroit, Michigan enclave of Highland Park by Chrysler plant superintendent Ronald Ebens, with the help of his stepson, Michael Nitz. The murder generated public outrage, especially in the Asian American community across the country,  over the lenient sentencing the two men originally received in a plea bargain as the attack, which included blows to the head from a baseball bat possessed many attributes consistent with hate crimes.

The producer, director of this documentary is Curtis Chin. Curtis Chin is an award-winning writer and producer who has written for ABC, NBC, Fox, the Disney Channel and more. As a community activist, he co-founded the Asian American Writers Workshop and Asian Pacific Americans for Progress. In 2008, he served on Barack Obama’s Asian American Leadership Council where he participated in helping the campaign reach out to the AAPI community. He has appeared on MSNBC, CNN, NPR, Newsweek and other media outlet.

Among those present at the screening were State Representative Tackey Chan, Joseph Wong (former member of MA Asian American Commission) and Kumu Gupta member of Women's Advisory Board, US Congressman William Keating.

VINCENT WHO - The film

In 1982, at the height of anti-Japanese sentiments arising from massive layoffs in the auto industry, a Chinese-American named Vincent Chin was murdered in Detroit by two white autoworkers. Chin's killers, however, got off with a $3,000 fine and 3 years probation, but no jail time. Outraged by this injustice, Asian Americans around the country united for the first time across ethnic and socioeconomic lines to form a pan-Asian identity and civil rights movement.

VINCENT WHO? explores this important legacy through interviews with the key players at the time as well as a whole new generation of activists whose lives were impacted by Vincent Chin. It also looks at the case in relation to the larger narrative of Asian American history, in such events as Chinese Exclusion, Japanese American Internment in WWII, the 1992 L.A. Riots, anti-Asian hate crimes, and post-9/11 racial profiling.

Ultimately, VINCENT WHO? asks how far Asian Americans have come since the case and how far they have yet to go.

For in spite of Vincent Chin’s monumental significance in both the Asian American experience and the civil rights history of America, the vast majority of people today (including most Asian Americans) have little or no knowledge of him.

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