Paperback, 6x9, 374 pages, English
by Ge Xiong
Despair describes the difficult start of Hmong refugees who came to America in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, where manufacturing jobs were their lifelines, and job fluctuations and relocations affected refugees and non-refugees alike.
After the crumble of the once large Hmong refugee population in Illinois, Author Ge Xiong's relocation to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, put him in a completely different social environment where racial segregation and economic disparities were visible, and social justice issues complicated even school enrollment policies. He reveals the plights people shared in the heart iof Milwaukee's impoverished neighborhoods in which they were forced to live by their lack of choice.
Xiong also shares a story of Hmong Americans' odyssey from the origins of their resettlement to Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma to pursue the American dream through poultry farming, He describes his involvement with many who had faced tragic losses of their farms and fiancial ruins.
Lastly, Despair unveils Hmong Americans' cultural and social changes on views expressed in discussions on social media. Xiong questions, will our conscious-ness rise out of our own bubbles to understand our deep connections as humans in the age of social media, and how will these discussions unfold going forward?