If you’ve been paying attention to the increase in anti-Asian hate crimes in the past year and want to learn more about Asian-American history from Asian-American voices, then this is your chance; May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month!
The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. (The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.) Today, there are 22.9 million Asian Americans and 1.6 million Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders living in the United States. Find more statistics about these communities from the US Census Bureau.
In addition to the resources below, you can learn about aspects of different Asian cultures at two workshops hosted by the library this May: Fermented Foods and Intro to Taekwondo.
Find Asian & Pacific American books, art, food, and music
· Books with Asian authors and themes at the library
· Book Dragon: diverse book recommendations list
· Pickles and Tea: a cooking project from the Smithsonian with a wide array of Asian American recipes
· Beyond Bollywood: an online photography exhibit highlighting Indian American culture
· Heritage IRL: a web series from the Smithsonian with Asian American cultural events online like author readings, zine making workshops, music performances, and more
· A Day in the Life of Asian Pacific America: an online photography exhibit celebrating Asian American life, featuring photographs captured by over 500 people on a single day
Educate yourself about Asian & Pacific American history
· Asian Americans film series from PBS: everything you need to know about Asian American history in the US
· National Archives: primary source photos and documents chronicling Asian American history, from the Chinese Exclusion Act to Japanese-American internment camps, and much more
· 12 Asian/Pacific American women to know
· Remembering Yuri Kochiyama through Grassroots Art: an online exhibit from the Smithsonian about the legendary Japanese-American civil rights icon
Most importantly, don’t forget to speak out against anti-Asian hate. Watch this conversation “about the complex, often untold story of the Asian American community, the unique struggles they face, and find out how you can help.”