Happy Asian Pacific Heritage Month! I am incredibly excited to introduce the #MyAsianIdentity series on the Kollaboration SF blog. In this series, there will be an array of different articles featuring the experiences and identities of KollabSF volunteers as Asian Americans. It will range from personal essays to creative work, covering the different aspects and constructs that make up the API identity. Which poses the question: what is the API identity?
The API identity and experience can be a complicated one, mainly because many young Asian Americans say they must find a way to hold onto their Asian roots while assimilating to the culture of American society. In addition, much of our media perpetuates deep-set ignorant racial stereotypes or ignores the ethnic minority entirely.
Asian Pacific Heritage Month (APHM) this year occurs at an interesting time. There have been more Asian American representation and stories in television than before, but there are many trending topics addressing the whitewashing of Asian roles in media and arguing for the casting of Asian actors in more diverse leading roles (my favorite is #StarringConstanceWu). These highlight two problems: 1) Asian Americans are set in only particular roles and 2) even in stories that are originally from an Asian American perspective or feature an Asian, casting a white actor in the Asian role seems to say that though the story is worthwhile, the Asian character is not.
This series is meant to be a testament that Asian Americans and their experiences aren’t meant to be extinguished, hidden, or passed off. Our Asian identities are unique. And our identities and experiences are not unequal from each other or different experiences nor is the Asian American experience and identity less worthwhile to share in our media. This is our Asian identity.
Click any of the following links to be taken to a specific article in the #MyAsianIdentity series!