As my final for Dan Kennedy’s Digital Storytelling and Social Media, I chose to focus on the work being done by the Asian American community in Boston to support Black folks. There’s more work to be done than simply covering the work others do, but for now, we still need to give voice to marginalized communities, especially when they are doing cross-community work the way the Sticky Rice Project and Asian Pacific Islanders for Black Lives do. While these pieces are by no means exhaustive, please enjoy my video below, and check out the accompanying article and slideshow!
“A daily must-read for the media-savvy, socially conscious, pop-cultured Asian American.” -The Washington Post
Phil Yu’s blog Angry Asian Man has been around since 2001, meaning most of my life, and growing up, it was something I was introduced to by my mom to become more culturally aware of my own background. Yu isn’t as angry as he purports to be, and much of the blog is pop culture things, features on Asian Americans, articles on Asian American history, and some news on anti-Asian racism. While the site itself is clearly a blog, it also looks very much like it hasn’t been changed since 2001, and maybe that’s what I love about it.
I’ve been thinking about this question a lot. As some may know, I run a blog on mixed race identity called I Am Hapa (“hapa” being the Hawaiian word for half) and while I haven’t been posting on it much, my friend Grace recently wrote a guest post for it. In fact, her post and my other friend Kiyomi’s post have two key pieces I want to focus on today. Grace talks about passing—in her case, being half-Black and passing for White—and in Kiyomi’s, the enduring shame that is intrinsic to being mixed.
Both posts mention our hometown, a strange bubble of New Jersey that is pretty much half-Black and half-White as Grace notes. It was less unusual to be mixed race growing up there, but for sure, people would see me with my White father and ask where I was adopted from. As an adult, I still get the question, but worded differently: where are you from? Jersey. No, where are you really from?
We’ve been working on data visualization in class with Northeastern’s John Wihbey, and after doing a brief exercise involving the gender breakdown of Silicon Valley, I decided to look into the breakdown from a racial perspective (this is a blog on race after all). Pulling data from Facebook, Google, and Apple’s 2014 Equal Employment Opportunity reports, I made up this quick graphic to display the racial diversity (or lack thereof) in three of the biggest tech companies in the game. While Facebook, Google, and Apple may be getting more diverse in their hiring of women (it’s still not great, but it is getting better—see the last year column in the individual reports), Silicon Valley has a long way to go to level the playing field for racial diversity.
This week has been a lot. I don’t need to recap it for you, we all know what happened. Instead, I’ll give you a walk through of the past 48 hours.
I woke up, I put on my equivalent of a pantsuit (dark jeans and blazer) and I voted. I voted blue across the board, which doesn’t actually say a lot when there are no non-Democratic candidates in Boston. I went to class, I relaxed and moved through my day because I thought we had it in the bag. I went to the liquor store to buy some rosé and champagne, because I expected I would be popping them early in the morning when CNN called the election for Clinton. I thought we had it in the bag.