The story of Japanese American internment comes to Broadway in this new emotional musical about the Kimura family, starring Lea Salonga, George Takei, and Telly Leung. The tale unfolds at Heart Mountain in Wyoming, following a family ripped from their home by war and a community confronting injustice, facing doubts about their loyalty and patriotism. After premiering at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, Allegiance opened on Broadway at the Longacre Theatre November 8. The Short Version […] Continue »
Erika Lee’s The Making of Asian America is a masterful work that surveys hundreds of years of Asian American history, taking an expansive view of both Asian and America, to the benefit of all. Lee investigates histories of race relations locally, regionally, nationally, and globally, to consider the many ways in which Asian Americans have participated in the definition of America. This is the type of history, and the type of book, that everyone should read. It is […] Continue »
As a child growing up in America, I thought of myself as not-American. In America, I was Taiwanese, I was Chinese, I was Asian. Though I pledged my allegiance to the American flag alongside my classmates of various ethnic and heritage backgrounds, the concept that I had to be White to be American had seeped into my conciousness from popular media, from society, from Americans. Ironically, I was most American when I was not in […] Continue »
I’ve blogged about apologies in from Congress as well as the State of California regarding the Chinese exclusionary laws. On Monday, August 3rd, 2015, the city of Seattle apologized as well: “The Seattle City Council approved a resolution Monday expressing regret for legislation passed in the 1800s that discriminated against Chinese immigrants. Laws passed by Washington Territory, which became Washington state in 1889, barred Chinese people from voting, owning land and giving evidence in court cases that involved […] Continue »
Gil Asakawa’s newest edition of his JA sourcebook, Being Japanese American is chock full of information and anecdotes to guide anyone through Japanese American life, questions, issues, etc. I should say, of course, that I am not Japanese American, but I nevertheless found the book enlightening and enjoyable to read. Reading this book is like having a conversation with the author, written in a personal style and tone that’s very accessible. And I have to say […] Continue »
Recently, the local National Public Radio affiliate station KQED’s program, Forum, hosted a discussion on the history of the Chinese railroad workers as the 150th anniversary of when Chinese workers began to work on the transcontinental railroad: “The Transcontinental Railroad has been dubbed a feat of 19th century engineering and has been credited with opening California up to trade. Despite the importance of the project, little is known about the individual lives of the 12,000 […] Continue »
Charlotte Brooks’ new book, Between Mao and McCarthy, is an impressive scholarly tome on the evolution of Chinese American politics in the years after World War II. It looks specifically at the evolution of politics in New York and San Francisco–the main Chinese populations in the United States. Brooks examines how Chinese Americans turned from a predominant focus on China politics to a distinctly Chinese American politics rooted in improving their livelihoods in the United States […] Continue »
The untold story of the Chinese immigrant experience during the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad. Back in 2011, when AMC launched its new television series Hell on Wheels about the construction of the First Transcontinental Railroad, there was some concern about “Do Chinese Pioneers Get Railroaded in AMC’s ‘Hell on Wheels’?”: ““Hell on Wheels” ignores the Central Pacific line, focusing instead on the Union Pacific, which was built eastward from Omaha, Nebraska by a workforce consisting mostly of Irish […] Continue »
I thought it appropriate to post about my trip to Hiroshima, Japan on the actual 70th year anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima by the United States in World War II, August 6, 1945. Taking a day trip down to Hiroshima from Kyoto was made possible, affordable, and extremely convenient with the high speed shinkansen trains and our Japan Rail pass. The ride down was only about 2 hrs long. Within the last three […] Continue »
On June 30, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown signed bill AB 7 making October 25 in California Larry Itliong day. Who is Larry Itliong? He was one of the key Filipino contributors, along with Phillip Vera Cruz (shown on the left, Itliong is on the right) to the founding of the United Farm Workers (UFW) union. While Caesar Chavez has his own California holiday, Larry Itliong’s role has been considered as neglected in retellings of […] Continue »
2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the completion of the western half of the Transcontinental Railroad by Chinese immigrants.Often, the immigrant Chinese’s role in this historic accomplishment has been literally white washed. As part of celebrating Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, the Center for Asian American Media-produced YouTube-hosted mini-documentary presents the story of these 10,000 forgotten workers through photographs, paintings and political cartoons from the period.
In 1996, the United States Congress ordered a new look at the stories of Asian American soldiers to see if any were passed up for appropriate medals. As a result, in 2000, Frances Wai’s Distinguished Service Cross medal was upgraded to the Congressional Medal of Honor. Wai was a noted athlete who was killed in action the Philippines in 1944. I thought it appropriate to remember Captain Francis Wai on US Memorial Day […] Continue »
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