Asian Americans | Breaking Ground | Watch & Wonder Weekly Highlight

Tuesday, May 14, 1 PM

For next week’s Watch & Wonder Highlight, we’re thrilled to feature this episode of Asian Americans. After watching, dive deeper with resources about American immigration in the early 20th century and the influential legal case of Bhagat Singh Thind on PBS LearningMedia.

Asian Americans is a five-hour film series that chronicles the contributions, and challenges of Asian Americans, the fastest-growing ethnic group in America. Personal histories and new academic research will cast a fresh lens on U.S. history and the role Asian Americans have played in it. Episode one, Breaking Ground, describes an era of exclusion and U.S. empire, as new immigrants arrive from China, India, Japan, the Philippines and beyond. Barred by anti-Asian laws they become America’s first “undocumented immigrants,” yet they build railroads, dazzle on the silver screen, and take their fight for equality to the U.S. Supreme Court.

PBS LearningMedia

Racial Identity and American Citizenship in the Court | Asian Americans

Grades 6-12
Learn about the case of Bhagat Singh Thind (1923), a particularly important case in U.S. legal and immigration history and in how we perceive race and citizenship. Bhagat Singh Thind was from the Punjab region of India who came to the United States as a young man and joined the army, serving during World War I. After the war, he sought to become a naturalized citizen. During this period the United States permitted Caucasians to appeal for citizenship, and Bhagat Singh Thind sought citizenship, through a legal process where he claimed that he was white. This legal fight went all the way to the Supreme Court. Ultimately, the Court found that even though he was Caucasian, he was not white.

In school or at home, take advantage of the Watch & Wonder broadcast schedule. Running each weekday from 1-3 PM, Watch & Wonder is great for classroom viewing, distance instruction, and families looking to spend some extra, quality time together. Featured programs are ideal for kids in grades 6-12, encouraging creativity with the arts, kick starting innovation through STEM, and expanding their horizons with stories from across the globe!

Each week, we’ll highlight a show from our Watch & Wonder block, and share a PBS LearningMedia resource — suitable for middle and high school students. Follow along on the Watch & Wonder Schedule page, or subscribe to our newsletter!