Asian American College Students’ Support for Black Lives Matter: Role of Internalizing the Model Minority Myth and Critical Reflection

Ronae Matriano, Annabelle L. Atkin, Hyung Chol Yoo, Abigail K. Gabriel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


As reports concerning the murders of Black individuals in the U.S. continue to rise, interracial solidarity in support of Black Lives Matter (BLM) is ever more important. Although Asian American interracial solidarity is often not known, Asians in America have fought alongside minoritized groups throughout history to achieve equality (Maeda, 2009). However, stereotypes like the model minority myth (MMM) continue to pit Asians against Black and Brown communities, making it difficult to achieve racial unity (Kim, 1999). Despite this, Asian Americans who are critically reflective, or who recognize how systemic inequality acts in maintaining the oppression of minoritized groups, may be more likely to support movements like BLM. Thus, this study seeks to examine the moderating role of critical reflection in the relationship between internalization of the MMM (MMM-Achievement and MMM-Mobility) and support for BLM (BLM-Black Liberation and BLM-Diversity Values) among diverse Asian American college students. We surveyed 272 Asian American college students (Mage = 21.75) from a large, public university in the Southwest. Findings suggest that critical reflection was related to Asian Americans’ support of BLM, although internalization of the MMM was not related to support of BLM. The expected attenuating role of critical reflection in the link between internalizing theMMMand support of BLM seemed to depend on the type of MMM internalized. Our study illustrates important ways in which Asian Americans can challenge the MMM and engage in important cross-racial solidarity work including support of the BLM movement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-300
Number of pages10
JournalAsian American Journal of Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021


  • Asian american
  • Black lives matter
  • Critical consciousness
  • Model minority myth
  • Solidarity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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