Monday, May 21, 2007

APA Month feature: Mapping The Atlas of Asian-American History

Who decides whose stories are worth telling in recording and preserving "history" is a theme we've returned to again and again in our past APA Month editions, but this we were very pleased to get some good insight into the process in a new feature, Mapping The Atlas of Asian-American History. This award-winning APA history text, published by the uber-reference publishers Facts-on-File in NY, has won multiple awards for its expansive attempt to capture Asian American history in a vivid, detailed, illustrated but hefty tome that is popular at schools, libraries and other institutions. We invited the editor and the writer of this work, Monique Avakian and Carter Smith, to tell us about the challenges they faced in recording and reporting the histories of underrepresented Americans, in this book and in other areas.

We were fortunate to get their surprsingly frank and instructive account of how a book like this is made, and the real-life decisions and challenges that historical publishers face in determining how to expand the definition of "American history" to include minorities, including Asian Americans.

Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Population hits 1 Million Mark

The latest release on race demographics by the U.S. Census has a number of milestones to report this month, not least of which is the news that the collective U.S. Minority Population has topped 100 million. That means, according to Census Bureau Director Louis Kincannon, that “about one in three U.S. residents is a minority.”

But we have another milestone to mark for for APIA Month -- and this time, for once, it's all about the "PIs".

According to the release,the Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander population rose by 1.7 percent, or 17,000, from 2005 to 2006. Unsuprisingly, Hawai'i had the largest population (275,000), followed by California (260,000) and Washington (49,000. In Hawai'i, Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders comprised the largest proportion (21 percent) of the total population, followed by Utah (!) (1 percent) and Alaska (0.9 percent).

The Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander population in 2006 was younger, with a median age of 28.6, compared with the population as a whole at 36.4. About 30 percent of the Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander population was younger than 18, compared with 25 percent of the total population.


Saturday, May 12, 2007

Andy Toy Poised to Become Philadelphia’s First APA Councilman

This week, Philadelphia stands to make history, with a good chance of electing of its first-ever Asian American city councilman, Andy Toy. Smart, experienced, personable and extremely knowledgeable about the intersection of economic, crime, education and green neighborhood development issues, Toy has wide cross-ethnic support in his bid for one of the open at-large seats in the May 15 election. He's also been endorsed by virtually every serious and major publication in the region including the Inquirer and the Daily News, and major green, labor and neighborhood organizations.

He has also enjoyed the backing of Asian American organizations and activists nationwide. Known as a leader in the movement that saved Philadelphia's historic Chinatown from being wiped out by a sports stadium, for serving on Governor Rendell's Asian American Commission, and almost 15 years of successful economic development in poverty stricken, polluted neighborhoods, he has attracted support of APAs for Progress, among other national groups, and volunteers fropm California, New England, the Midwest and Virginia have been heading to the city of bortherly love to stump for him.

He's a great candidate not because he's Asian American, but because he has what it takes to help solve this city's considerable problems, and the city needs him even though it has never elected an Asian American before.

Most recently, noted filmmaker and frequent Village contributor Eric Byler (Charlotte Sometimes, American Knees, My Life Disoriented) came to Philadelphia to create a campaign video for Toy that has been spreading through Youtube. com and offline distribution to out-of-town volunteers, donors and supporters.

Check out the article on Andy Toy's race for Philadelphia City Council here and the Toy for City Council video here if you have trouble with the Youtube control below.

Of Interest @ YouTube

Andy Toy
07 campaign video by Eric Byler

Friday, May 11, 2007

Just a Quickie: AAV Weekend News Entertainment Supplement

As we often do, we've added a supplement to the news for the weekend where we recap AP items of interest on a theme -- this weekend, a round-up of entertainment and media tidbits. We know they're not always easy to find for those who don't read all of the regular Main News Headlines, so here they are, FYI...

Report: Ang Lee spy thriller not ready for film festivals yet

Manager: Pop star Rain likely to debut in Hollywood

Ash Rai to play warrior queen, Rani Lakshmibai, in movie

Theater: How do you say 'I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change' in Mandarin?

Radio host apologizes to HI state senator

Thursday, May 10, 2007

What Asian American Villagers are reading

In the miscellany category, AAV's editors share our analysis of our Amazon Associates account, where we recently tabulated the all-time bestsellers from the nearly 10 years of the Village.

The top Asian American titles list is here.

Monday, May 07, 2007

APA Month - Updates from Asian American Village

Okay, we've been a little behind getting our draft updates posted. Still, new history features added so far this week as part of our updates for APA Month include...

Lolas’ House: Women Living with War
Excerpt from Filipina American author M. Evelina Galang's upcoming history of the "comfort women" of WWII, continues our thread from Women's History Month at Asian American Village, and ties into her incredibly moving, real-life stories of meeting with surviving "comfort women" who were forced to work as sex slaves during the Second World War and her blog on the topic, as well as coverage of CA Rep. Mike Honda's resolution to demand an apology from Japan.

Hanford’s China Alley
By historian and Asian American Studies professor Susie Ling, a look at a little-known historical Chinatown nestled in California’s Central Valley and some of its major early figures

Notes for Those Responsible for Commemorating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month 2007
By S.D. Ikeda, Editor
So, you've been drafted to program Heritage Month activities this year, and don't know where to start? This year's section introduction offers some quick tips based on past years' panicked inquiries from the well-intentioned draftees who want to do something substantive to commemorate the Month but need help.

And. of course, Tak Toyoshima tackles APA history in his own, unique Secret Asian Man way with a new strip, Working on the Railroad, plus several bonus strips of his past years' takes on APA Month from the AAV archives

More updates to come...

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Something you'll probably never hear anyone say...

Happy Asian Pacific American Heritage Month!

We're starting our annual update of our APA Month section, with features, essays, links, news, activities for kids, historical interest, books, and be updated on an ongoing basis throughout the month!