Japanese laborers around 1900 in the American West. 

(Denver Public Library, Western History Collection)

As a Chinese-American, William Wei has spent his life living, observing and studying the Asian-American experience.

More recently, he's traced the Asian experience in Colorado from the arrival of the Chinese in the mid-1800s  through the Japanese internment at Camp Amache in southeast Colorado during World War II to today, when he says Asians are often given the burdensome label of "model minority."  

Wei teaches modern Chinese history and Asian-American history at the University of Colorado Boulder. He spoke with CPR's Andrea Dukakis about his new book "Asians in Colorado."