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Chinese Girl in the Ghetto Paperback – Mar 18 2011

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 174 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 18 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1460970454
  • ISBN-13: 978-1460970454
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.1 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,375,173 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Ying Ma writes regularly about China, international affairs and conservatism. Much of her research explores the nexus between political and economic freedom with respect to China’s rising influence on the global stage. Her articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal Asia, the International Herald Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, National Review Online, The Weekly Standard, Policy Review and other publications. She completed Chinese Girl in the Ghetto as a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Kudos to the author and her family for being able to overcome the hardships of the immigrant experience. Being Canadian-Chinese, I hadn't realized the Negro, Hispanic and Asian communities were so divided. This book opened my eyes to a different reality.
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Rather stilted style but the story was interesting.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars 163 reviews
67 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read! June 14 2011
By Michael Z - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ying Ma's inspirational story should be required reading for anyone wishing to understand the results of forty years of failed social policies in inner city America, while at the same time gaining insight into the recent Asian American immigrant experience. Instead of finding streets paved with gold, Ms. Ma arrives on our shores to find streets filled with potholes, crack-heads and thieves. The inner city America of Ying Ma's youth is a welfare state, where criminal behavior, anti-Asian prejudice, and an entitlement mentality prevail over the rule of law, education and work. An instant classic, Ms. Ma's engaging narrative pulls no punches in its critique of policies which have rewarded laziness and have excused anti-Asian bigotry by certain members of traditionally underrepresented groups. Thankfully, Chinese Girl in the Ghetto concludes with a positive lesson for all of us: Through perseverance, education and personal responsibility, we can extricate ourselves from the confines of the ghetto and achieve greatness. I would highly recommend this book.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From China to Oakland to law school--what a journey! Jan. 29 2014
By Joanna D. - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ying Ma started her schooling in China right on the heels of the Cultural Revolution. She tells the story of her kindergarten from a child's point of view--the indoctrination and recitation of personal failings is familiar to anyone who studied that period in Chinese history--but Ying Ma is just following the lead of her teacher, whom she respected. Her family lived in cramped quarters, sharing a bedroom, but she saw that her family was still better off than many others. And so much better off, that they were able to obtain permission to emigrate to the US.

Life in the US surprised her--while many things were better (she and her brother had a room to themselves), many things were strange, even violent and terrible. Someone stole her cherished pen, a goodbye present from her Chinese classmates. Kids swore, fought and grabbed snacks from anyone who had food. This was an inner city school in Oakland, and as Ying Ma struggled first to learn English, then to cope with helping her parents and learning much more, made her way to a better school and suffered again, being the poor kid with nothing.

But she rarely felt sorry for herself--she simply fought harder. Eventually she fought her way past prejudice, violence, meanness and won the love of a few teachers who fought for her to get the most out of the American education system. All the while, she had to work at a part time job and help her parents with any complex paperwork (mortgages, taxes, officialdom) and keep up with studies. It paid off and she ended up in law school, a success story. Her unvarnished story, with no sentimentality and a bald, open way of describing her life, is a uniquely American one and yet, a uniquely Chinese story. Her implacable determination and shrugging off of insults and blows is a Chinese way--the water wears down the stone. Against prejudice, injustice and racism, she prevails.

I couldn't put this down and read it almost all in one go. It's an amazing story and well-written. Recommended.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sad but inspiring story July 27 2013
By Geoff Puterbaugh - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Among other things, this book surely demonstrates the extent of black racism against Asians. Throughout elementary school and high school, the author witnesses horrific behavior and is a victim of it herself. She grows accustomed (?) to being taunted as "Ching Chong" and "Chinaman," and witnesses other incidents which turn into beatings. Outside of school, in the ghetto, these beatings become robberies and sometimes murder.

I am quite sure this tale is not a fantasy. I used to live in San Francisco with a friend from S.E. Asia. He had a wonderful Taiwanese friend. They were attacked by four black gangstas, who stole the Taiwanese boy's umbrella, beat him with it, and then ran off laughing.

Black racism does not end there. Black hatred of whites has been documented in "White Girl Bleed a Lot" (5th Edition): The return of racial violence and how the media ignore it.

Yet the "current wisdom" says that the word "racist" may only be used against white people, and we have seen a general orgy of that over the recent Trayvon Martin case.

Perhaps the "current wisdom" should consider the words of another man:

3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
--Matthew 7:1-5 KJV

In any case, the book is finally inspiring. Due to talent and plenty of hard work, the author makes it to Cornell, and then Stanford Law School, and is now pursuing a successful career as a lawyer. She was able to buy a home for her parents, far from the ghetto, and they now live and garden in peace.

This is a short, sad, but inspiring read.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars insightful examination; no depth? July 26 2015
By Dave M, Colonel, USAF (Ret) - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this short book in one sitting based on a recommendation of Colin Flaherty. It is uncanny how this author lived the exact narrative pointed out by Flaherty in both his recent books about black racism and racist violence. It is a sobering read and interesting story of how hard work and individual responsibility is still available to everyone who wants to break the cycle of poverty. I wish the author would have slowed down a bit. Let us get to know some details about the who, what, where, when and how. To feel and see in our minds eye what is happening and how it makes everyone in her family FEEL. ("Sad" just isn't enough to make me understand how complex her situation was.) I'm ok not discussing "why"...that may take decades or more to have any reasonable hypotheses--not the pablum that the liberal and the naive swallow happily today. Add about 200 more well written pages and this topic might be talked about by a larger audience.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Racism is not Binary Feb. 24 2014
By G. Dueker - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ying Ma's story is a helpful insight into the problem of racism that goes beyond the simplistic black-white lines that capture most of the media attention. This also begs the question about how we can better serve immigrants and help them to be successful without creating a dependency on charity. In a perhaps unintended way this book also shows the power of a teacher to encourage a student to beat the odds and excel by simply believing in them.

Caution: This book uses profanity in relating stories from the ghetto...naturally the first words learned by young immigrants to the ghetto.

This book is a quick and easy (though painful) read. It has the spare style of one writing in their second language. I think it could be revised to add more depth of emotion and "art" into the narrative, yet in it's plain style it may communicate something true about the necessary detachment and cultural limitations of immigrant life in the ghetto.