At my very first protest march, as we walked down Broadway from Union Square, tens of thousands of us in the streets demanding justice for Amadou Diallo, the day after the cops who shot him were acquitted, I suddenly found myself alone in the crowd. I had moved to the US only a few months before, and didn’t know many people, and in that moment, there was just the buzz of ten thousand chants, and the throng of bodies. Before panic set in, a woman behind me, part of a contingent of Latinas, looked in my face and smiled -- a big, genuine smile -- and patted my arm.
In April 2015, University of San Francisco (USF), in partnership with Hyphen, organized “Wake ‘Em Up! Explorations of Asian Pacific Islander Solidarity in the #BlackLivesMatter Movement" -- an event that brought together students, activists and artists to discuss ways the AAPI community can be meaningfully involved in this movement. Many young people were in attendance, excited and bristling with energy and ideas. Students fielded questions about the place of AAPIs in the fight for racial equality, and shared stories of different perspectives.
On April 27, Salman Rushdie tweeted, “The award will be given. PEN is holding firm. Just 6 pussies. Six Authors in Search of a bit of Character.”
He was referring to the Freedom of Expression Courage Award that PEN was bestowing on the magazine Charlie Hebdo at PEN’s gala on May 5. And the six authors he chose, in an extravagantly misogynistic move, to call ‘”pussies”? They were Peter Carey, Michael Ondaatje, Francine Prose, Teju Cole, Rachel Kushner and Taiye Selasi. They had withdrawn as gala table hosts for PEN in protest of the award being given to Charlie Hebdo.
Without hotdogs and spelling, what do we have?
FIRST, A WHITE BOY from Danville, CA won the Scripps National Spelling Bee in May. Then Japan's Takeru Kobayashi's lost Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International hot Dog Eating Contest to Joey Chestnut, a non-Asian engineering student at San Jose State University. Are Asians losing their competitive edge in useless talents?
We asked Sesshu Foster, author of 'Atomik Aztex': What are your favorite books of all time?
We asked Sesshu Foster, author of Atomik Aztex (City Lights): What are your favorite books of all time?
By Allen Ginsberg (Harper Perennial)
It probably sounds corny, but my brother gave me this book when we were teenagers hitchhiking on Highway One out of Monterey and it completely changed my idea of poetry and writing. I don’t really have “favorite” books, but I do have books that made a difference in my life and this was one.
The Dharma Bums
By Jack Kerouac (Penguin)