Harry Mok

Editor in chief

Editor in Chief Harry Mok wrote about growing up on a Chinese vegetable farm for the second issue of Hyphen and has been a volunteer editor since 2004. As a board member of the San Francisco and New York chapters of the Asian American Journalists Association, Harry has recruited and organized events for student members. He holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was also a graduate student instructor in the Asian American Studies Department. Harry currently works as an editor and writer in the communications department of the University of California Office of the President. He’s spent most of his career as an editor and writer for media outlets such as the San Francisco Chronicle, New York Newsday and the Associated Press.

Across Asian Middle America

Reflections on life where there are no Chinatowns, where sushi is made with 'whaat rahs' and where Asian Americans can be black or white.


I WAS RAISED AS AN AMERICAN ABROAD, and my conceptions of the United States were a weird combination of The Brady Bunch, CHiPs and John Wayne. When I was in fourth grade, my family moved to Montgomery, AL, and I soon learned the error of my views.

My new school was 90 percent African American. Until then, I had only a handful of black friends. From seventh to 10th grade, I could count the number of other Asian Americans at my school on one hand.

Chicago Experience Raises Questions About Stereotypes

My trip to Chicago last week for the Unity Journalists of Color convention drew some parallels the "Across Asian Middle America" feature in the Road Trip Issue of Hyphen, which hits the streets in August.

Chicago is a great city and has a sizable Asian American presence, but it's nowhere near Los Angeles, New York or San Francisco, where I live. Maybe a generation ago, an Asian American writer from Chicago could have written a piece for "Across Asian Middle America," a series of vignettes about living in places that are far away--geographically and spiritually--from areas where there are large populations of Asian Americans.

Hyphen Wins Flame of Justice Award


Not only is Chinese for Affirmative Action giving us office space, the longtime civil rights group honored Hyphen with one of its Flame of Justice awards for 2008 at its annual dinner last week in San Francisco. Hyphen Publisher Lisa Lee and I (above) accepted the award along with our board chair, Grace Kao, and Creative Director Stefanie Liang.

Holy cow, offensive Fukudome shirts still for sale

Vendors outside Wrigley Field and on eBay are still selling shirts that have "Horry Kow" on the front and Japanese ball player Kosuke Fukudome's name and number on the back. The shirts poke fun at Japanese accents using the familiar "holy cow" that the late Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray used to always use.

Race to Space

Star Trek adds another Asian American, but its reputation for diversity may be suspect.

SPACE ... the final frontier. These are the voyages for Asian Americans, who've boldly gone where they never have before-on five Star Trek TV shows and 10 movies. Star Trek is a pop culture phenomenon spanning more than 40 years and is considered groundbreaking for diverse casts that have always included Asian characters.

Top Three: Aric Chen

We asked architecture/design writer Aric Chen-a contributing editor for Surface, I.D. and Interior Design magazines and the author of Campbell Kids: A Souper Century, which chronicles the changes in America through the ever-morphing Campbell soup kids: What are the best design books out there by or about Asians?

Maeda @ Media

By John Maeda (Universe Publishing)

Chow Down at AAJA East West Eats

Some of the Bay Area's top chefs will be cooking up culinary delights at the Asian American Journalists Association San Francisco Chapter's East West Eats fundraiser on May 8.

I've been an AAJA member since 1990, when I was awarded scholarship by the Sacramento Chapter. The money raised at East West Eats will go to scholarships that will help student journalists pursue their careers and further AAJA's mission of enhancing diversity in the news media and promoting fair and accurate coverage of Asian Americans.
I went East West Eats when it was last held two years ago, and the food was great, Han vodka was flowing and the setting in San Francisco's Ferry Building was great.
Buy tickets online by April 25 and they'll be $85 each for AAJA members and $100 for nonmembers. After April 25, the price rises to $100 for AAJA members and $115 for nonmembers

Baseball in Japan Not a Hit for Atlanta columnist

Even with all the talk of new media and the Internet, there's still some dinosaur-like thinking out there in the journalism world. A good example is a sports column by Furman Bisher of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, who laments about Major League Baseball playing games in Tokyo, "you know the guys who gave us Pearl Harbor."

Hyphen wants you!

Hyphen is looking for credible, smart, bookish, overachieving, dusty-fingered, detailed-oriented and opinionated editors, writers and tech people. Our staff members and freelancers are news junkies who are interested in social justice issues, politics and pop culture. There is no money involved, just the experience of working alongside the finest Asian American minds that community college ever produced.

Oscar winner Miyoshi Umeki dies


Miyoshi Umeki, one of the stars of the all-Asian American cast of Flower Drum Song and Oscar winner for Sayonara, died last week. She was 78.

She was the first Asian to win an Oscar, and she did it back in 1957! What are the chances of an Asian or Asian American winning an acting Oscar today? Umeki really was a pioneer.

The only movie of hers I've seen is Flower Drum Song, and I only saw it this year, so my appreciation for her is new.

Rest in peace