You may or may not have heard of Asian American activist Grace Lee Boggs. PBS is making the documentary about Boggs available for free online viewing from Oct. 16th – Nov. 15th, 2014. I saw the documentary earlier this year when it was broadcasted and Boggs was definitely an activist ahead of her time, battling for civil rights and particularly active in the African American community in the 1940s, 50s and 60s. To be honest, I didn’t know much about Boggs when I saw her speak at V3con back in June 2013.
“Grace Lee Boggs (born June 27, 1915) is an author, social activist, philosopher, and feminist. She is known for her years of political collaboration with C.L.R. James and Raya Dunayevskaya in the 1940s and 1950s. She eventually went off in her own political direction in the 1960s with her husband of some forty years, James Boggs, until his death in 1993. By 1998, she had written four books, including an autobiography. In 2011, still active at the age of 95, she wrote a fifth book, The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century, co-written by Scott Kurashige and published by the University of California Press.
Her life is the subject of the documentary film American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs released in 2013, produced and directed by the American filmmaker Grace Lee.“
If you don’t have time to watch or want to learn more, here’s the trailer:
If you’ve got the time and inclination, I recommend watching this fascinating documentary.
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As reported by CBS News, North Korea has refused to allow a high level envoy to retrieve three American citizens from their detainment. The three include Matthew Miller of Bakersfield, CA; Jeffrey Fowle of Miamisburg, Ohio; and Kenneth Bai of Lynwood, Washington.
Race. Multiculturalism. Diversity. Culture. Big words that it sometimes seems we talk around and around. Jeff Chang’s new book Who We Be: The Colorization of America–released today–takes a big step in helping to provide a vocabulary and a history to America’s long relationship with this complex topic through images and ideas.
By teasing out the development and evolution of conversations on race from the 1960s through to today’s “post-racial” moments, Chang guides us through the back story of the different ways that the United States has talked about race, color, whiteness, and other topics. Though the book is a bit lengthy and looks like a lot to take on, Chang uses art and culture as his (ready and accesible) entry points to think about visuals as both overt and subtle influencers — about artists and culture makers who have provoked conversations and confrontations behind bigger iconic moments in American history, and about people of color asking for visibility and acceptance however they defined it.
In the introduction of Who We Be, Chang lays it out:
We can all agree that race is not a question of biology. Instead it is a question of culture and it begins as a visual problem, one of vision and visuality. Race happens in the gap between appearance and the perception of difference. It is about what we see and what we think we see and what we think about when we see. In that sense, it’s bigger than personal affinities, preferences, tastes, and bonds.
Through liberal and conservative moments, progress and setbacks, Chang unfolds his narrative over a wide range of subjects, from art, advertisement, and history, to the definitions of words, crises of whiteness, crises of color, and questions of representation and presence. He builds on the project begun in Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop which looks at the history of hip-hop, its creators and influencers. So what makes this book, among all the books being released today, worth reading?
As reported in Bankok Post, Thai American BMX racer Amanda Carr wins Gold at the Incheon Games, beating out competitors from all over Asia, including China, South Korea, Indonesia, and Japan. Born in Florida, Carr plans to represent Thailand on the Thai cycling team at the 2016 Olympic Games at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
My family lineage actually comes from south Taiwan (and South China further back), and Kaohsiung is my heritage city on my mother’s side of the family. One of the must-see attractions of the city is the Lotus Pond, which is a large lake that has a series of temples built on it. We stayed at a hotel right next to the Lotus Pond so that we could do a hike around it first thing in the morning on our own before another Taiwan Tour Bus charter took us to a less central destination later that day.
Probably the best way to start off the morning is with a hearty breakfast complete with man tao bread.
The Pond itself really adds a nice feel to the area with its mirror view of the city and the temples lining its shores.
A recent episode of Saturday Night Live featured a skit about Kim Jong-Un’s disappearance.
The National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) offers merit-based scholarships for American high school students (ages 15-18) to study one of seven critical foreign languages including Chinese (Mandarin) and Korean in summer or academic year immersion programs overseas.
The NSLI-Y program is designed to immerse participants in the cultural life of the host country, provide formal and informal language practice, and spark a lifetime interest in foreign languages and cultures.
There are no language pre-requisites and beginners are welcome. Gap years students are also welcome as long as they meet age eligibility requirements.
The application deadline for summer 2015 and academic year 2015-2016 programs is October 30, 2014. Find out more.
Shriver has a 2-0 record whereas Moyle has a 0-0 record. Moyle won her Invicta FC contract through a Las Vegas Tuff-N-Uff amateur tournament. Though this will be her first pro-fight, Moyle looks pretty solid, which means this will be one heck of a fight to watch. And I’m just ecstatic to finally be able to see Shriver’s stand up game in a full 3-round fight!
One of the interviewees was Sumi Sevilla Haru, who came with a copy of her book, Iron Lotus: Memoirs of Sumi Sevilla Haru, and stacks of notes and historical archives in tow. I learned a lot about her groundbreaking work in support of Asian Americans and people of color in Hollywood. Sadly, news broke that she passed away on October 16, 2014 at the age of 75.
From the Hollywood Reporter:
Sumi Sevilla Haru, who served as interim president of the Screen Actors Guild in 1995, has died. She was 75.
Haru became a SAG member in 1968 and joined AFTRA in 1972. She served as a national board member for both throughout the years, and was the first and only woman of color to serve as interim president of SAG. She was elected to a two-year term as a member of the national board to the merged SAG-AFTRA in 2013.
“It is with great sadness that our SAG-AFTRA family says goodbye to Sumi Haru,” said SAG-AFTRA president Ken Howard. “Sumi notably represented SAG-AFTRA and its predecessor unions for decades on our local and national boards, and as Screen Actors Guild recording secretary and interim president. Sumi served our members through her lifelong dedication to actors, the labor movement, and civil rights and equal employment. She did that with conviction, passion and grace. Our deepest condolences go out to her loved ones. We will miss her.”
In 1995, she became the first Asian Pacific American to hold the position of national vice president of the AFL-CIO, a role she filled for six years. In 2009, SAG honored her with the Ralph Morgan Award, which was given for distinguished service to SAG’s Hollywood Division.
Haru was the author of the 2012 memoir Iron Lotus: Memoirs of Sumi Sevilla Haru. She was born in Orange, N.J.
Photo credit: SAG-AFTRA
Living in California, I almost forgot that there is an Asian American running for governor for the state – Indian American candidate Neel Kashkari. If his name sounds familiar, it’s most likely that you’ve heard of Kashkari due to his involvement in the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), where he administered the funds.
If you ever want to see someone grilled in a Congressional hearing and take a lot of heat, you need to see Kashkari on C-SPAN during the oversight hearing. I remember my brother and I watching this for a while and amazed at how much of a beating Kashkari took.
I am fairly confident that Kashkari has 0% chance of winning against Governor Jerry Brown, who is running for re-election (which will be his *fourth* time being elected to governor). California is a fairly Democratic state and Kashkari has very little name recognition. Also, I think the voters of California realize that Brown is governor for the right reasons – because he loves the state of California, and at his age, could have retired a long time ago and has nothing to prove.
I had partially listened to the one and only debate between Kashkari and Brown, and it was sort of entertaining and sort of sad, where Kashkari repeatedly try to attack Brown. But most voters are happy that Brown has been able to stabilize the California state budget, pissing off both Republicans and Democrats in the state legislature, to attack some of the major issues that California faces.
To be honest, I’m not sure why Kashkari would want to be a sacrificial lamb to run against Brown. Maybe there were no other Republican candidates that could partially self-finance their campaign and knowingly would want to lose? Like I’m saying, it’s not whether or not Brown will win, but by what margin.
— Books Inc. (@BooksIncEvents) August 15, 2014
As featured on NPR’s Code Switch, Illustrator Sonny Liew and accomplished writer and graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang collaborate to bring the “Green Turtle” back to life in The Shadow Hero, and with an Asian American based origin story no less.
— Gene Luen Yang (@geneluenyang) July 25, 2014