Happy Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Month! This month is meant to honor those Americans who descended from Asia, the Pacific Islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. This month is meant for people to study the history of Asian American and Pacific Islanders, the struggles of these groups of peoples, and their art and literature.
Asian American and Pacific Islander Month started as a week. In 1976 Jennie Jew, a Congressional Staffer at the time noticed a lack of Asian representation in the Bicentennial Celebration. She told New York Congressman her concerns, and he and Congressman Mineta introduced a bill for Asian American and Pacific Islander Week in 1977. Senators Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga introduced similar bills at the same time. Those original bills did not pass. But a year later Congressman Horton introduced another bill and in 1978 President Carter signed Asian American History week into law. In 1990 the week was expanded into a month when Congressman Horton proposed another bill expanding Asian American and Pacific Islander Week into a month. George H.W. Bush signed the bill and in 1992 May was designated as Asian American and Pacific Islander Month.
How can you celebrate?
How can you celebrated Asian American and Pacific Islander Month, especially if museums are closed. Consume media by Asian American musicians, directors, podcasters, actors, or painters.
Here are some Podcasts:
Asian Americana is apart of the Podcast Potluck Collective of Asian American Podcast Creators. Check them out and look at all of the podcasts on their website.
Some books you might want to check out are:
- Minor Feelings: A Reckoning on Race and the Asian Condition by Cathy Park Hong
- All You Can Ever Know: A memoir of adoption by Nicole Chung
- Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion by Jia Tolentino
- On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous: A Novel by Ocean Vuong
- Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
- The Incendiaries by R O Kwon
- Patron Saint of Nothing by Randy Ribay
- Yellow Peril! An Archive of Anti-Asian Fear John Kuo Wei Tchen and Dylan Yeats.
Movies with Asian American Directors:
- The Farewell Directed by Lulu Wang
- The Joy Luck Club Directed by Wayne Wang
- Meet the Patels Directed by Ravi Patel
- Columbus Directed by Kogonada
- Lucky Grandma Directed by Sasie Sealy
- The Grace Lee Project Directed by Grace Lee
- Bitter Melon Directed by H.P Mendoza
- Tigertail Directed by Alan Yang
- Crazy Rich Asians Directed by John Chu
- Minari Directed By Lee Isaac Chung
Are there any books or movies by AAPI artists you plan to watch? Leave your recommendations in the comments below.