Nicole Wong

Senior Editor

Nicole Wong is a senior editor for Hyphen living in San Francisco. By day, she's a media engagement strategist at Active Voice, tackling social issues through the creative use of film.

Is It Contagious

Yellow fever debate spreads as indie documentary leads to web series spin-off

A young African American man speaks genially yet matter-of-factly into the camera. “So I’m looking for a petite, gracious woman which typically, traditionally happens to be an Asian woman.” A white man wearing a black t-shirt emblazoned with a red and gold Chinese dragon says earnestly, “It’s so hard to explain. It’s just like why do some people like blue more than green?” A mustached man with flowing dirty blonde hair, glasses and a soul patch says with a sheepish-but-proud little chuckle, “From my experience, Asian girls have been better lovers.”

A Different World

What's it like to be an Asian American student at a historically black college?

Here are the experiences of three Asian Americans who attended HBCUs in search of a unique experience in higher education.

IN 1837, 26 years before the end of slavery, a Quaker philanthropist founded the Institute for Colored 
Youth (now Cheyney University of Pennsylvania) to give the formerly enslaved access to education. more 
all-black universities were established after the Civil war, and were the only option for African Americans 
to gain higher education until the 1954 supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education ended 
“separate but equal” school systems. In 1965, the federal government officially designated historically 
black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to be eligible for federal funding, though they typically remain 
underfunded compared to historically white institutions.
Today, there are 105 HBCUs, mostly concentrated in the south. In 2010, President Obama signed an 
executive order “promoting excellence, innovation and sustainability” at HBCUs, which created the white 
House Initiative on HBCUs within the department of Education. It is part of the goal to ensure the United 
states has the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by the year 2020. In september 2012, 
Obama also granted $228 million in grants to 97 HBCUs in 19 states.
As racial diversity is increasing at college campuses nationwide, so are the numbers of whites, Latinos 
and Asian Americans at HBCUs. Here are the experiences of three Asian Americans who attended HBCUs 

Above the Fold

Inside San Francisco's Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory

Tucked away down an alley in San Francisco’s Chinatown, the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory has been mixing, baking and hand-folding its cookies since 1962. It is frequented by tourists year round, who vie for a glimpse of the cookie’s life cycle before it ends up next to sliced oranges on Lazy Susans across the globe. But most tourists don’t know that the hand-folded demonstration is actually a romanticized notion of the genesis of these ubiquitous cookies.

Talking Back

Women are looking to the Internet to respond boldly to street harassment.

Alison Roh Park was 14 the first time she saw a man masturbating across from her on the subway. Another time, a group of drunk white men obstructed her path outside a bar and asked for a massage. “Men will explicitly refer to me as ‘China Doll,’ ‘Dragon Lady,’ ‘Chinita,’ ‘Miss Chin,’ even ‘Sushi!’ ” says Park, a 29-year-old Korean American activist from Queens, NY, who is part of a growing movement against street harassment. Thanks to the proliferation of smartphones and GPS technology, she and women around the globe are finding new ways of speaking up and talking back.

Hyphen Exclusive Interview: Thu Tran, Anisha Nagarajan, and Ali Wong

“Look Who’s Laughing Now,” -- moderated by actor Leonardo Nam (Vantage Point, He’s Just Not That Into You) -- featured Ali Wong, Anisha Nagarajan, and Thu Tran, a trio of talented ladies who shared their experiences of what it’s like to be Asian American funny people.

SFIAAFF 2011 Reviews: 'One Kine Day,' 'Clash,' and 'The Imperialists Are Still Alive!'

Continuing Hyphen's coverage of SFIAAFF 29, our dedicated staffers take a peek at a Vietnamese action flick; a coming of age story set in the Hawaiian skateboarding scene; and the story of a multi-ethnic woman from the Mideast struggling to reconcile her hipster lifestyle in Manhattan with her post-9/11 political awakening.