“For me all human creatures are valuable alike, and a black skin, a brown, a white, are the same in beauty. But there is a curse in our land, a shameful prejudice against some.” – Pearl S. Buck, “No Room at the Inn.”
March 18, 2021
Pearl S. Buck—author, humanitarian, social justice advocate, and the founder of Pearl S. Buck International—spent her life being a bridge of cross-cultural education, understanding, and acceptance between the East of her childhood, having grown up in China, and the West of her adulthood, where she raised an intercultural family in America that included biracial Amerasian children. She was also the founder of Welcome House, the first international adoption agency for biracial children, particularly Amerasians, who were hard to place due to their ethnic backgrounds.
She used her fame as a Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning author to shine the light on inequities and injustices, speaking up for marginalized communities including not just biracial children but also people of color, people with disabilities, women, immigrants, and anyone without a voice or platform to stand up for themselves and be heard.
Pearl S. Buck International continues Buck’s legacy of intercultural and social justice advocacy today and to that end, strongly condemns the recent increase in discrimination, violence, and hate crimes being faced by Asian-Americans across the United States, culminating in the shootings this week in Atlanta that resulted in the death of eight people, including six Asian women.
Growing up in China where Westerners were targeted for violence, Pearl Buck knew what it felt like to be on the receiving end of that unjustified racially-motivated hate, writing “I have had that strange and terrible experience of facing death because of my color…” She knew there was no place for that kind of ignorance in the world, and that education and getting to know others “under their skin” was the key to breaking the terrible cycle of judging, blaming, and hating others based solely on how they look or where their families come from. We at Pearl S. Buck International stand in solidarity with all our Asian and Asian-American brothers and sisters. May we all take to heart Buck’s words of wisdom and follow in her footsteps of taking action to make a change in the world, for the better.
“All of us must learn to enjoy knowing as friends those whose race and ways may be different from ours. Knowledge must lead to understanding, in order that enjoyment may be a pleasant fruit, enriching life for us all.” (Pearl S. Buck, “Do You Want Your Children to Be Tolerant?” Better Homes and Gardens)
President & CEO of Pearl S. Buck International