The journey of immigrants across the world and their contributions to society are far-ranging and prolific. The need to emphasize this point is one that seems to need to be reinforced during the pandemic. In America, xenophobia and nativism have suddenly become synonymous with what it means to be part of the national identity. This, of course, is not isolated to the United States, but seemingly everywhere, making BIPOC understandably cautious.
As people who were once welcome to shores worldwide were now being looked at as burdens. What is strangely true is that no country on earth would thrive without outside influence. Just about every modern innovation has its ties back to immigrants or people of color. In Ginseng Roots #7, Craig Thompson gives readers another reveal, of the first family to harvest ginseng in America, who just so happens to be Hmong.
We find the Thompson siblings who come to the realization that their Saturday’s watching cartoons were no more and they would have to spend their weekends working the ginseng gardens with 30-50 other workers, of whom half were Hmong immigrants. One of those workers, Chua, we find out that his family was one of the first to harvest ginseng in America and definitely the first to harvest in Wisconsin. As Thompson regales the reader on the long and arduous journey the Hmong people have had to face, being displaced everywhere they settled from China to eventually aid to America in their fight in Vietnam. We also find a bit of back-story about Chua’s family, how they never felt at home wherever they went and how it took a family in Tennessee to sponsor his, for their journey to come to America. By the issue’s end, Thompson gains an appreciation of his friend, Chua but ultimately, the immigrant journey.
Overall, Ginseng Roots #7 is an issue which shows just how many people this one root affects. The story by Thompson is genuine. The art by Thompson is amazing. Altogether, Thompson imbues Chua to the reader and gives an utterly compelling look at refugees.
Story: Craig Thompson Art: Craig Thompson
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy
Purchase: Uncivilized Books