Asian Americans in small-town America

Picturing rural New England, one might conjure an image from a Norman Rockwell painting: rolling green pastures dotted with red barns, steepled white churches, and covered bridges dating back to the Colonial era. When it comes to the Upper Valley, a collection of small towns along the Connecticut River in Vermont and New Hampshire, even today, this image isn’t far from the truth. While the physical place and its institutions have not changed much, the racial demographics of this area have dramatically transformed over the past two decades. Drawn to the area’s unique combination of professional and education opportunities in an idyllic rural setting, Asian Americans are the largest proportion of racialized newcomers in the Upper Valley. As Asian Americans attempt to make the region their home, they encounter a place suffused with a particular White history, a place where local community members’ last names are inscribed on the street signs and where a strong culture of self-reliance is fittingly described by New Hampshire’s state motto “Live Free or Die.”

Read the full text of Professor Walton's article here:PDF icon Asian Americans in small-town America