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tv   1960s Asian American Activism  CSPAN  August 14, 2016 8:10am-10:01am EDT

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extremism. humans rights, women's rights, all of these issues that are important. >> watch the communicators monday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span2. >> american history tv, eric -- asian american activists reflect on the efforts in the 1960's to establish an asian-american cultural and political identity. the discussion is moderated by karen issues it got -- making asian-american in the 1960's. the japanese-american international museum los angeles hosted this event. me tosuch an honor for zuka.duce karen ishi she was formerly a senior curator here at the japanese american national museum. she's a scholar, a visionary and
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a mentor to many. she is an award-winning filmmaker. cofounder of the media arts center and producer of many media works and publications at the museum. her body of work reflect of both the quality and excellence. i have the incredible opportunity of working with karen on many projects. none more important than america's concentration camp exhibition. karen's focus was to empower the individual voices that were unknown up to that time. one of her most remarkable skills through the process was just to listen. she listened carefully, compassionately and with the critical mindset to understand better the experiences of these former inmates. she worked diligently with our designers to provide a powerful platform for these voices to be heard missing their stores
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accessible, compelling, and relevant to a multi-general -- a multigenerational audience. enter second the present, in the future. in typical fashion -- in typical ja fashion, karen is quick to deflect credit and pass it on to those who worked with her. her methodology of engagement was inspirational for all of us. watching her interact with so many individuals, she illustrated a compassionate care for them and their stories and as a result everyone on that team wanted to make sure that our work would also reflect that same dedication, sensitivity and care she gave to each and every one of the stories. her book serve the people, making asian-american the long 60's is her news work. it tells the story using first-person voices of the social and cultural movements that brought together many of our aspirate communities into a
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more unified political unity. help me welcome dr. karen ishizuka. [applause] that is the nicest clement has ever been to me. i acknowledged him as being the most important person that the museum and i really mean it and anybody who knows the museum knows what i mean. thank you for coming today. i'm especially gratified that so actuallyvists who helped make asian america are here today. of course, there are 1000 more people who helped make asian america that i could've included in the book. my,, -- so david
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many others of you, asian america would not exist with all that you provided, the substance and the soul and the stories that make up through the people. that they fitting panel today is taking place during the 50th anniversaries of the black liberation movement that is being commemorative right now with events across the country. about thisd remarks , theyentury milestone resonate with me because they sound like they are talking about us. ncc legacye, the s project road the call of black power lead to new goals and redefine the measures of success inspiring a new generation of activists. it called for a black consciousness, establishing new
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independent organizations and institutions that were controlled by black people. it shaped personal as well as political activism. so in a very real way they are speaking about us. stuart hall, the former black british political thinker, said that when black was first coined it signified the common racialis racism and marginalization. my friends went to her cousin's wedding in the crenshaw district and chuck, who was black, asked where they only playing black music from the 1960's and 1970's and mari answered because it's a something wedding. in los angeles 10,001 gold
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creams, cantonese food, james brown and earth wind and fire. it was not just l.a. nada said been musically most loved and played was negro music. it was something we could share in common in our code communities. in our distorted reality of aliens and alienation it even felt like citizenship. as -- yellowe isn't radically neither white nor black but in so far as asians and africans share a subordinate position for the master class yellow is a shade of black and black shade of yellow. it in this historic and national context i'm so pleased to be joined by activists young and not so young.
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old and not sold maybe. -- in not sold maybe. looking back in the making of asian-american looking ahead to the work that needs to be done. i had the good fortune to have jeff chang is to my book. jeff chang wrote can't stop won't stop, the foremost book on hip-hop. color -- who we be, the colorization of america. in it he writes, there was a term when dust of the time of the term asian america was not a demographic category but a fight you are picking with the world. this book is about that fight. most asian-pacific islanders now have grown up with so many asian-american and is in pacific thatd organizations asian-american has become neutralized into a mere adjective. it's been depoliticized.
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until the 60's, there were no issue americans. we were chinese-americans, japanese-americans, filipino americans who constituted the majority of asian ethnic groups in the country at the time. by 1970, 80% of japanese-americans and 50% of chinese-americans and filipino americans were born in the u.s. but regardless, rather than americans, we were lumped together as orientals. because we were nonwhite, we are subject to the dominant and white -- the dominance of whiteness and subsequent subordination taste by all americans of color. neither were we black in a society that was rendered in black and white. hence we composed a liminal category, foreigners interim our own country. during the 1960's and social change was happening around the
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two importantzed things. as separate asian ethnic groups we were overlooked and ignored. two, assimilation not only did not work it was no google. -- it was no longer the goal. vietnam ande war in pulled by the promise of the third world that called for self-determination rather than assimilation, asians throughout the u.s. came together to form a political identity of asian americans and are to be seen and heard. with this voice we created a new world. it marked the end of our being sidelined as orientals and the emergence of a homeland we called asian america. like the parable of the blind man, each describing the elephant differently depending on whether they were holding its long trunk or its thin tail or
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there are conflicting memories, analyses and conclusions about making asian-american. there is no single correct interpretation just as there is no single correct political line. the newinist set of left, no unified center could've represented the multiplicity and variety of perspectives and activities. this book is about the fight. we it is told her stories of people who thought that could fight. jeff chang also wrote the preface in 1969 asian america was about young people waking to their in between this between black and white, migrants and citizens, silence and screaming. finding collective relief and mass up willing a feeling. through the people in the
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history of what it felt like to live in those times. it's this sense of what it felt to live in those times that i attempted to capture in the book. wouldperson i interviewed maintain the asian-american movement was greater than their part in it but a movement does not make itself. social movements are more the demonstrations and demands, political slogans and ideologies. they begin with individual epiphanies. demanding to be heard. i called on activists among the first to transform themselves and others from orientals the asian-americans. i talked with as many and as different kinds of people within the constraints of time and resources. about 120 over approximately eight years.
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some were movers and shakers and others were grunts, the proletariat of the movement. all were makers of history. i asked them to share personal discoveries and experiences that led to their intervention as contributors to the social change. together, their discoveries, activism and reflections are symbolic of our generation of political cohorts as a whole. in this way, this book is more there's that is mine. the book does not tell the whole story. no one book or film or exhibit can. one of the agendas that i had is to really encourage, inspire or provoke people to also put their stories down paper. it does tell some of the most amazing, awful, and wonderful stories from across the country i've ever heard.
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helen in boston who was called to stand trial by her african-american and asian-american comrades who demanded she tell them whether or not she was a lesbian. was ae homosexuality white boot log disease and they can nothing to do with her she was. francisco who married harvey done. , she went picketing out to buy a new dress before running to city hall's get married and back to join the picket line where she was teased by the strikers on the line because in her haste she have macy's, scab dress from which they recognized as one they had some. -- they had sown. i hope you read some of the other stories in the book. now i have the honor and
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pleasure of introducing four activists and very good friends. murase, tracy cocco keit -- carrying on the work needs to be done. book,ading from the ase emigrated at the age of nine he had been given a book about abraham lincoln freeing the slaves. when he landed in san francisco he noticed that all the people in uniforms were white and all the people who were hauling the cargo were black. and i said to myself, he said, i thought these people are free. not long after that, the black and white customization of the u.s. was made clear to mike by
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means of his black and white television sets. since his family had settled in south-central of a most of mike's parents were black and asian. thought likei people run television and black people populated real-life. mike is currently the director of service programs with the little tokyo service center. social justice entrepreneur. one of the many organizations he founded. 1968 and 1969, mike was instrumental in organizing the first asian-american study center in the country and ucla ,nd also the newspaper deidra the monthly of the asian-american experience which was the first, foremost, and longest running asian-american newspaper. he has continued his activism nonstop from that time forward.
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to him it's important to remember that although the terms asian-american and api are before the now asian-american movement they did not exist. mike was there at the very beginning. the most revolutionary moment creating while manifesting a new asian-american political consciousness. i wanted mike to begin because he can share what it was like to create something from nothing. [applause] >> thank you very much, karen. eloquent. i think you should just keep going. i will try to add to the
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discussion. i want to thank karen for inviting me but more importantly for the book that she wrote. as you can probably tell, monumental effort to capture a period in our lives and in society and to tell it in an accurate truthful narrative. i think that's something that's really lacking in our movement. before i begin to talk about some of my experiences also want to knowledge the many activists who fought in the trenches with me and fought together who are still here today i think when we talk about the assessment of the
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asian-american movement that picture is 46st years ago. it did not begin with us. i think it was a period of time when many things coalesced. the friends that i made during that period are still my friends today. because we struggled together i think we have a special bond that we don't have with other people. i'm given about my minutes to reflections. i'll probably have to talk and not complete sentences but just about random words. kind of catch the meeting of what i'm saying. i think you'll understand. if i could still time for any of the other speakers i like to do that to. [laughter]
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>> karen talk about context. someone told me a long time so that text without context is pretext. pretext.out context is you have to have the whole picture to understand a kernel of something that's being told to you. lot i thinkt that a karen did provide the context and does so in her book. the context for us, not only my personal here is my personal -- and the the world country there are many things going on outside asian-american communities. the national context is that in the long struggle of black in
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this country to gain equality and political power there was a during the 50's and 60's that impact a lot of asian-american. the civil rights movement with dr. king, malcolm x, black panther party, that she cona movement with cesar chavez. chicano movement with cesar chavez. student movements, and community movements. peace and anti-imperialist movements. challengingthat was the value system as they existed at that time. thousand national context. goalie it was the aftermath of world war ii. kennedy. eisenhower,
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the u.s. and soviet union were establishing themselves as the predominant superpowers. people were standing up and struggles to free themselves from the yokut colonialism. china stood up against british domination and imperialism. vietnam struggle for national liberation. theys africa there were -- were kicking of the portuguese, british, dutch and other colonial powers. whenever you think of the developments in those countries from that point on i think you have to look at it from when we talk about the asian-american movement, from the lens of what was going on at the time. byhink we were influenced national and global context very profound ways. there was a quote that i found
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made by a chinese representative. negotiating with situationo solve the of the world at that time. he said wherever there is a -- wherever there is oppression there is resistance. countries want independence nations want liberation and people want revolution. -- there is ae simple trend in history and we in the asian american movement in many ways embrace that old statement of what's going on throughout the world. a lot to take in. in the beginning we were exposed to things that we never really thought about prior to that or imagined possible. think that we were not prepared for. we have to just muster up the
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courage to do what we thought was right. we said let's march. let's pick it. we'll talk to strangers but races men wore. study history, read the news, struggle to develop consensus. make a speech, right something. we did all those things. we learned by acting. it was in that milieux that the asian-american movement was incubated. it was an effort to say we want to be connected to our own history in america. we want to understand where we came from, what we've done. we want to learn things from our perspectives, not from the point of view of someone else and then change would need to be changing. , we engage inoned
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struggles in her own communities . having that broader context made us realize quickly my con alleys of our plight and her struggles. the footus to spawning of a country called asian america. i had to skip over some parts. there are a lot of stories to tell. if we did that and a knowledge and all of that, if we told our individual stories, we would be here until the fourth of july. i only have nine minutes. let me just get to the lesson that i learned. some of the lessons, i have to say the asian-american movement is a broad movement. involve many hundreds of thousands of people across the
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country. there were different sectors, different tendencies. people who are focused on the arts come a writing, focused on research, focused on activities. there were also differences of opinion on how to approach different questions. even a political range from progressive. center. progressives and revolutionaries. reformists. there was a range politically. i happen to embrace ideas that i think are considered left. some call it radical, revolutionary. that is the sector of the asian-american movement that i work with. the first lesson was.
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practice. always skeptical of people who were all talk and no action. we are critical of ourselves we did not act upon our belize. people refer to the inseparability of theory and .ractice can you think something ought to be done you have to take part in it, try to contribute to it, some it up, learn lessons from it and move on. you could not do it just by sitting in the library. a lot of trial and error but we acted and tried to change to make things better. the actual act of being involved that taught us the lessons we needed to learn to raise our consciousness and figure out what was right and wrong single
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forward. another lesson i learned was collective action and organization. movement was not for the most part the aggregate of individuals acting on their own. it was a movement of a collective of people marching in step. mean mindlessly created meant working together figure things out. we had many outstanding leaders in the movement but also many people just acting together. and sometimes we butted heads but mostly stood shoulder to shoulder locked arms marched on. myself, for many years --
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under the collective of a disciplined organization. it provided me the guidance for my work and gave me bearings for my worldviews. alone. us acted the third thing a lot want to mention, before karen wrote her book there been a handful of books about summarizing the asian-american. i think many of us who took part in the movement are not quite satisfied or feel it accurately represents the movement we were a part of. a lot of these so-called articles books and attempt to provide analysis but
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which tends -- one to be negative and dismissive of the experience that we went through. this is not a direct quote. just something that i wrote that sort of rep events that. asian-american movement started up a good thing. as different transformed and coalesce and organizations the differences among them became antagonistic and sectarianism became the dominant force that destroyed the movement. notmany of you who did participate in the movement at all this might be kind of over your headto ois not relevant. for many of us who did -- i will not save ank
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polemic that this discussion is deserving of more analysis. think that the movement somehow disappeared or and to when away consider the asian movement as a historic relic is the wrong analysis. the continuation of the asian-american movements 1970's,s -- from the 1980's, 1990's, into today, i think we don't call it that. maybe the earlier period was more of a heyday for the movement. i happen to believe it is something that continues. theerms of whether influences in the movement, sectarianism and other mistakes that were made, tend to
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characterize the asian-american movement as overall negative. again, missing the point. when you look at the many --tributions that were made i would again point to the many asian-american activists in this that 47 years later we're still standing on our feet. still active in our communities in various ways. that itself is a testament. products -- been by products of the movement, creating values, aspirations from our community. even institutions like the asian-american study center, and digital communications, ncr, l tse, on and on.
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i don't pretend to think only asian-american activists contribute to the development of things. we have as a collective a great deal to do. despite the sectarianism, amateur us miss and hundreds of , we doistakes we made think that we change minds and hearts in raising consciousness and improving lives in a material way. sectarianism -- i hope you got the joke. anyway, today many activists, young and old are involved in important work, do community
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organizing serving the people. a lot of people are involved in nonprofit sector, volunteer-based organizations and academia with very good intentions. most of the people are very progressive, community my meant -- community minded people. i think it's a mistake to think that progressives can make fundamental change, revolutionary change, the kind of change we need in the society through those sectors alone. i think those are important institutions or sectors to participate in. i happen to be in three of those four sectors. we also had to take the time to
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embrace social justice agenda and policy and take part in involvepolitics to ourselves in movement politics. to really think about the continuation of developing ideas about how do we bring about fundamental change in the society. the election nears kind of scary year and i think we have to be involved. glad to be involved in many other aspects of our social change. .his is really finally the other lesson is to have a broad overview. internationalism, building unity with other communities. i think all of us kind of
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recognize that already might be speaking -- preaching to the choir. say weot enough to just have to be concerned about the japanese-american community just to be concerned about whatever goes on around us immediately, but to build ties with the asian-american communities but also with blacks, latinos, women , lgbt communities and in particular for us to understand what's going on with the international situation. this idea that muslims cannot commit to this country or that mexicans will be walled out of this country. serious things that we need to what if irace think
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from hisersonally experiences? i think being involved in the struggle made me a better person . --t of a selfish thing but taught me to appreciate the diversity of society, do respect for networking people who struggle everyday. to listen better. to check myself when i'm going off track. to have a healthy revulsion for not only those like the 1% to are those who want to make america great again. history is not cyclical. of in a spiral. become to these period's every once in a while whether it is
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reagan or trump or wherever. we have a lot of work to do. i hope that in the context of asian-american movement and is progressive people generally we continue to make changes. thank you. [applause] again,ing from the book warren had been a weekends are for -- a cheerleader voted best personality in high school. a typical southern california teenager before he came -- before he became one of the students of color in the innovative con readiness program of san mateo college in 1960. one of the hallmarks of the program was for students from each of the participating racial groups to learn how to speak in public. there were few asians in the
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, warren's turn came often. here i was a kid from gardenia who did things the right way. i do not want to be different. what it be like everyone else. when i started developing my voice, it gave me power. cheese it gave me power. warren has parlayed his community activism into electoral politics. i'm pleased to say, on the brink of becoming the next california state senator. currently in the top two for the runoff november the help we all go out and beat the bushes and get extra votes that warren needs. we need him. we need good people in all places. warren is one of the few api progressives who has made the sacrificesd economic
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. he is the opportunity to accept policy but also to change stereotypes of asians as quiet and acquiescent. here is warren taking assemblymen don wagner for his racist remarks on the floor of the assembly in 2011. i remember when this came out we were also proud of you. warren was also one of the few who traveled outside their local geographic sphere of activism in the early days and got a feel for the spontaneous arising's that were happening around the nation. his unique vantage point gives us a feel for the national nature of the burgeoning asian-american movement.
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[applause] >> good afternoon everybody. thank you, karen. if we could change that picture i would appreciate it. i'm sure it will be in the hit piece during the general election in terms of do you want to elect this crazy person. thisted to be here, saturday, to speak of the panel. having this book to serve the people is really critical as far as i'm concerned from the standpoint of having someone write it that was a part of the movement. rather than from a third person far of someone that was in the trenches, some of them was a participant clearly in every possible way. with the family that was a an importantand point of view. i wanted use this opportunity to
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correct -- i have not read the whole book get, but i did sneak a peek about a couple of pages where she wrote about me and i have never been a cheerleader. i just want you to know that. [laughter] that's not part of what i've done. 1965. -- a dear friend in julie jefferson. african american woman came from working-class african american family. julie was sort of one of those individuals that was the glue that brought people together. her family was very thoughtful in that they have a big family room in the back of the house where really said parties. i came to find out the reason they did that and it was a lot of stuff parties was because then the always knew were the daughters were. it made a lot of sense for them. julie is the one that taught us all the dances.
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truly was the life of the party. judy definitely had a personality whereas mine, i think people could find a reason to dislike me. i was so wallflower -- and two-dimensional it was not difficult to find that maybe we don't like him but if they really liked me i would have been most popular, not best .ersonality she had ameren tyler moore hairdo at that time. long straight hair that looked up at the end. she was african-american. went to knoxville university and she was gone for about a year. party really tapered off because julie was not around that time. rather than the mary tyler moore hairdo, she now had a really big
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natural and we kept losing stuff in it. theml's, could not find once they entered that universe. she also came back, not the life of the party anymore but really angry. confronted ae was segregated south coming from a working-class family. mother was a clerk at a local elementary school. her sister went to college. she was going to college and she came back angry. never having this experience. i'm talking to julie about undergoing to go to the cap house for the next dance, the next party and julie said were going to go here stokely carmichael speak. i pretty much did what julie said in those days because was always fun. i went to south park and wants -- in watts and did not really
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know who stokely carmichael was but had gotten an inkling and the percolation, you cannot help -- mid-1960's, you cannot stand on the sidelines without being affected by what's going on in the black power movement. what was going on in the movements movement, so much political social justice. you could not help but feel the one of the few non-african-americans, nonblacks in the audience. i knew by that time as well if i could dance than i could dance. that i was not black areas i figure that out. wanted to be as much as possible but i also wanted to be a surfer and so i grew up in gardenia so you were sort of split in a lot
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of different ways. the one thing i remember is he said the most important thing for black people to do was to find themselves for themselves and by themselves. as i said, i had reached the understanding that i was not black by did not think you talk to me. sometime after that, not too long after, i had this up if any. this moment karen is talking about that we all had. i said, if i take out black and put in oriental, it's is exactly the same thing. my brothers and i learned pretty early that people had a hard time pronouncing our name. we did not know why. japanese names are pretty easy because we put a vowel every of the letter. it's pretty easy. every time we went to class -- and i was not warned for a long -- i was not warren for a long time.
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the affectionate term for little boy was bo. so i was alwaystabo, even to my friends in the neighborhood. i've figured out quickly they had a hard time with last names. they were going to do well with tabo. i became warren in kindergarten. you learn things quickly. this became a part of my experience and my brothers and i knew that when you went to disney world you do not hang a camera around her neck and walk around. all of these other assumptions that we dealt with. purchases, preconceived ideas taught profiling. why did i have to take physics? i was japanese-american gardenia high schools i took physics. i knew pretty quickly about the tracking system. if i got in the class and jane
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you're sure moto was in the class i knew i was screwed. if i got in and larry fuller was there i not only knew that i was in a class i could handle academically but i also knew larry always sat in front of me because we always sat alphabetically. there were universal truths developing in my understanding of the world but then i got to this point of being tired of these assumptions people had about me. sort of rebellious feeling of wanting to chart my own path. concept stokely carmichael spoke about was not a black or african-american concept. it was a human concept. it was applicable across the board. i started to apply it. i started to redefine myself for myself and by myself and in the context i stumbled around ignorantly the longest time.
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in my ramblings, i started to run to other people. shida.eople like mona i thought a school in this college readiness program. pre-third world strike at berkeley. we had a big rally because our program funding was cut. we brought in nontraditional students to college of san mateo . they cut our funding. we started to have demonstrations. .y turn to speak came up a lot chinese kids whose san francisco chinatown. african-americans from the fillmore and also east palo alto . latinos from the mission district and redwood city. american indians from a local reservation down the peninsula. white working-class kids. my turn kept coming up to speak. bob hoover demanded that we
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always had a black and latino, white american indian and asian woman. we all spoke. what started happening as i started to get a voice. it was based upon being angry and pissed off and realizing certain realities existed that i then could impact. i started using concepts about talking about what that meant to me and the way the broader community except that it. the key part of our understandings understanding our identity. who we were. if you want to understand who you are you go to two places to find that out. you go to history books. you want to know your history. the genesis of your life, your community, your story. no history books.
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no history books. so where do you go then? your parents. my dad promoted to my brothers and i don't be a afraid to be different. we all wanted to be like everybody else. i want to the basketball for christmas. so we bought me a yellow basketball. yellowthe hell has a basketball? don't be. afraid to be different we startedtext, stumbling around. it was interesting to me to run into people you had no connection with that were going to the very same thing you were going to. you felt like this? me, too. then you start finding out it not just individuals you are running into. you are running into groups of people. and as i became more involved in the community after being
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arrested for at the college of n mateo. i got invited to speak at this yellow?" conference at berkeley. i had been the one arrested. that was my only credential. i was giving voice to my anger, to contradictions, to why is it this way, when it should be that way? for japanese-americans, the big touchdown in our history is the camps. when you talked about camps and tones thatover always took place -- and when strangers wanted to find out some reference point, suddenly, and maybe not for the first question, what kind of car you drive, was where you were encamped> did you know someone so in
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that camp? although that context was always still did not provide any real depth of understanding until those of us that were born after camp started asking n'tstions that really were welcomed by the japanese-american community. a history can't find book, you go to those that lived the history to find out the story. and that's why ethnic studies became so important. because ethnic studies was the manifestation of taking these live, living words, ideas, m into aand putting the context where people have access to it beyond just sharing it over dinner. it would be institutionalized, it would be a part of an. education system. did this --, another
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context was the vietnam war. thatould look at people were fighting for and against that you were looking at the victims on the war and you notice that they looked like hunched over, old, spoke different languages but they were family. itnos i saw this and ran other people that -- ran into other people that thought, put it in other contexts, then you started to realize it was not only in los angeles but it was in the bay area. it was in seattle. in new york, in chicago. it was everywhere there were asian-americans. it was not like we had a malcolm x.. had harrietke we taubman who went around and spread the seed, nurtured the plants and watch them grow.
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you would go to all the different people running into disparate people with disparate experience but have the same castouchtone. we all came to the same threshold called asian america. we all crossed over simultaneously at the same time with the same feelings and our voice took shape in song, in dance, it took shape healthwise, people wanted to be barefoot doctors, into asian healing arts. people went into philosophy, into politics. so many branches grew off the trunk of the tree, with the trunk being the asian american movement. those branches have grown with a lot of different flowers and blossoms and different leaves, but that is what this movement is and that is why what mike said is true. it did not end. it took different forms.
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if you look at the banyan tree, a lot of the branches grow back into the ground and form roots for other trees, and that became the movement. that is the movement. part of the movement. that is why your heart and when you see somebody at 74 running for president of the united states and he wants to be called a democratic socialist. thee of us that come from 1960's, we are not afraid of the word socialism. there was sectarianism. people went so far left they came around right, became fundamentalist. there was no room for creative thought or different thoughts. you had to follow the dogma. that became the death knell to creative ideas. people had to reinvent themselves. in that we continue to grow the movement. is importantbook
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but the thing that karen told they from day one and i was fortunate to read some of the drafts. hopesld me she the reason this book is such a seminal pieces it will challenge people to write their story, what they saw it as, what context they put it in, how they grew. think this wasi important, not as a trip down memory lane, but as a piece, another step, a starting place, whatever you want to call it to talk about social justice and where we as asian pacific islander americans fit into it. that the work is not done. so, i've been browbeat a bit. are you going to be an elected official? you are selling out. i have had to tell other people
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-- [bleep] i've had to tell people i am not afraid to speak -- i'm not afraid to go beyond the and get into the bigger pond because i know we have been successful in empowering our community. it's a dangerous area, i grant you. it is a subject of arrogance, abuse. what we're talking about is not empowering our community. what we're talking about his political power. and that's different. political power is different than empowering. i have personal individual handlece to think ica can power, that i make decisions affect those that live in our communities but i'm ready to go out there and talk to people that think i'm a jerk, a
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howressive [bleep] about hard i'm willing to work to get elected, get the money needed to do this. i do what i do. i am 68 going on 69. damn it, i'm not done yet. thank you. [applause] prof. ishizuka: see the photo? the photo tells it all again, reading from the book, i'm introducing chris. when he attended cal state long beach, having grown up in an all-encompassing japanese cosmos, it was the first time she had been in a non-asian centric environment. when she took in art history class and discovered that she
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was unfamiliar with many of the biblical references others took for granted, she was astonished to learn how the standard of art in this country was so predominantly judeo-christian. as a graphic artist, i think that is why she said, as a graphic artist, she noticed you need some point of reference to pull from in order to convey information. my imagery is why so asian american. this is chris. third from the left with the big hair. fromike is on, third the right. mike is on the far right. many of you will recognize the others in this campaign of community redevelopment around 1975. chris is a graphic designer and artist whose work has formed a
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visual identity for th japanese american and asian pacific american communitye. while based in los angeles, her work is been nationally known across the country. chris's work was featured in the spread, asians pacific islander community posters in 1980, a 10-year retrospective. some of hers are on the right, right here. so chris will be showing some of for other work from the 1970's and 1980's, because it was not just the demonstrations and the to where wet got us are. a lot of it was visual and things that touch to the soul in ways that may be we did not quite understand then. so, chris. [applause]
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>> thank you very much, karen. i hope i do good. thank you very much for writing this book. wiis a very important book information to understandth what the asian american movement was about. before i show slides, i wanted to give you context and what my work was about. so, one of the things that how criticalas were the arts in the area of political, social and community activism? to me, activism is supported by an exchange of ideas, and ideas can been exchanged -- can be verbally and visually. before the rewards, theire were images and sound. createdt art forms were
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from different experiences presented to music, performance, visual arts, and the written arts. provided anences dlternative means to see an understand information and to communicate and support change. ago, an activist told me making art is a bourgeois endeavor. people needed to put their time into talking to people to bring about change. what this person did not artrstand was by practicing one was developing skills to communicate ideas to support change in a much more effective manner. art in whatever form can leave a long-lasting impression. it can make words more
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relatable and familiar., os together, the message is stronger. a broad exposure to art helps to create a broader means of communication. this sense is often created by rearranging familiar traditions to reflect new experiences. art, whether music, performance, visual or written, helps to make the exchange of ideas more interesting. art is communication. now, in talking about posters, the function of posters were to provide information on events while at the same time unk nowingly creating a marketing time established by the style of art. the responsibility of the artist is to make information accessible.
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visual, impact brings attention and awareness. if a poster can make a person response, it is a successful tool whether the imagery used was familiar or curious. oftentimes, the image he creates a reflection of personal experience and visual trends current or traditional. original purpose of the poster no longer exists, it continues to function as an historical marker, a reminder of what happened and our original vision. posters also document lessons learned, reflecting on what was in comparison to what is today and what still needs to be accomplished. one of the things in my work is that familiar -- makes transition easier. we talk about transition, we are talking about change. americanp in a japanese-
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buddhist environment, not able to distinguish what was culturally japanese and what was buddhist. it was always around. i never questioned it. i accepted it. i continue to explore this environment to the point of rearranging things to reflect my experiences. his environment helped me establish my visual icons used in my work. as i developed posters, i used images that were familiar to me as a japanese-american buddhist, images that were familiar and nonthreatening but curious. images that were asian-american. colors, balance and traditions came together to catch your attention. people responded. the posters did their job.
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i would like to share with you some of the posters i created from the 1970's into the late 1980's. and i hope i can do this right. so, ok. this is a poster i created in the mid-1970's. i had become part of a group called -- out of a buddhist temple. you started as a chanting group. we discuss a lot of buddhist ideas and how they impacted us here in america. one of the things we dealt with a lot was about, one of the big things in buddhism was dealing with your ego which is interesting because when you go to your performance, it is hard to perform without an ego. so, it was kind of trying to balance those types of things. it was a very good learning experience. the poster was done fror
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international women's day concentrating on health care. this poster was done in, also i nhink in the, here we go, io 1978. this is a poster that is really reflected of trying to use includenal images and things that are now or part of chitsuki hase mo been part of my life. my family has been doing it for 100 years in america. i can't even imagine life without it. this is the second or third poster developed for the little tokyo community mochitsuki was was created to bring people together. it has always been kind of an event as a reunion and for the community of brought people together to work together, to talk story and to understand what the situation in the community was.
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hito hata,poster for the first asian-american film created and produced by asian-americans. it was a very monumental endeavor by visual communications, and has the support of the community. i bet half the people in this room were in this movie. 1983, i was commissioned by the women's building to create a poster in a series they had called " private conversations, public places." immediately, i thought of executive order 9066 when japanese-americans were taken away to camps. part of it was to place your piece in a public place. i place it on the corner of first in san pedro. and every day i walked there to see if it was there. day, someone had
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taken it down. but once i created this poster and what i did is i gave many of them to ncrr for fundraising purposes. i hope you guys made some money. another holiday, i guess holiday, in my life. i can't imagine starting the new year without it. this poster was created for jccc. and once again uses icons oshogatsu, good luck icons. presenting them in a different matter but sort of familiar and announcing their programming. taper forum mark did a platy called sensei about hiroshima and the
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individual members enter history. so, it became a big challenge in wouldng something that represent what they did, what their past was, where their music came from and the common history that we also shared with them. this poster was done around 1988. senshinobon poster. up into the point, all of these posters look the same. i was thinking let's do something a little bit different. and this is addressing the whole thing about from one's experience, taking tradition from one's experience. for example, the striped lines in the back are usually put out during celebrations. here's this guy dancing in a summer garment, wearing tennis shoes. that's what we do in america. they might do it in japan now. the way the imagery is treated
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and just having fun with it, and it was different from everybody else's obon poster. ncrrfinal piece was for for their day of remembrance. day of remembrance was to me very important and it was a very important thing to remember what it happened and to continue to learn from what had happened. and i just wanted it to be very stark and in your face. so, i've continued to do posters. and things have changed as my life is changed, as i've changed jobs and as i have grown. andposters as art communication. thank you. [applause] prof. ishizuka: thank you. i was telling chris it is
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wonderful to see her work in a sequence like this, because it appreciate and remember all the times that when how much itit and encapsulated some of the things that we were doing. so, it acts a real visual memory as well as inspiration in going forward. on home is tracy -- who i'm proud to say is a fellow angry asian reader of the week. this is tracy. with her eyelashes. tracy's not old enough to have been in the obook and have me read some story about her, but there are a lot of revealing
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stories. she was my intern when i was working here. tracy is a writer, author, arts educator and community organizer. she's the favorite emcee for community events and started tuesday night cafe, a free public arts and performance space, which has been named best . today both the u.s.a weekly." tracy is representative of a younger generation of artists/activist. here i have her with maya osumi, a member of the next generation of asian-american activists. wrote a wonderful piece about the book and about this panel. and in it, he opened with a quote from the late great tracy
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boggs. keepaid, "you have to changing because what has happened and what you have been a part of is no no longer there. the ideas that we develop remains in our head. our challenge constantly is both to learn from the past but also not to be bound by the past." so i asked tracy to bring us into the present and the future and speak to the importance of continuity and interconnectedness for carrying on this legacy of asian-american community activism. tracy? [applause] thank you. i'll set my timer. this is the first time it's, i'll always a member this day for many reasons but also because earlier you called me ol d. awesome.
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it's official. let me set this. sometimes, most times we to find w read, ourselves, to read the word bouncing around our bones. the text on the page is a magnet that moves the ideas around. lets some process and congeal with our inner visions. we are moved to the next level of our thinking. and thus our storytelling. philosophizing, our discussions, conversations, our writing, our poetry. reading something like serve the people is a collaboration between known and unknown, between personal experience and contextual linkage. between the words bouncing around our bones and the articulations that are allowed and guided to the surface of our
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lips. so, thank you so much, karen. it's an honor to share the aace, as a teneny part of larger whole of many younger activists. the fondest memory of this basic of being your intern and then your staff to work on america's concentration camps 20 years ago, over 20 years ago. yes. [laughs] i can wear it, it's cool. urned 40, my friend said you're middle-age. i have coined the term post- youth. in the process of working with you, and all the
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people you introduced me to, you affected my language, my vocabulary is, was became transformed and continues to transform because of you. and so many of the folks in this room. and i feel like this book is obviously, the product of a lot of time and countless hours of questions and interviews and discussions an amazing experience you have. and i think this book is also a product of self-determination. warrenhearing mike and and chris talk, i was thinking how much i appreciate how we are all using the word context so much and collectivity and interconnectedness. i was thinking about the things i was raised on. and how i was raised on tv, fewer channels at a time. i was raised on all of us watching "roots'."
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it was different from how it is now. i was thinking about how i grew up on all of you. you know? you are such a part of my education as well. and since this is a book release party, i like reading, you know. you get to hear parts of the book. so that is how it i thought i would spend most of my time today is to read different parts of the book. i'm so excited to get into all of the rest of it, and these are just a few mattering's of the things that -- a few smatterings of the things that bounced up to me. i want to read from the introduction on page 3. read from this part "spurred by the black liberation movement, we claimed our place in the united states as strength of color and
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and the multiethnic scaffold of u.s. history and identity. this new found consciousness and activism led to an awakening and overhauled how asians in the united states were viewed and more and partly how we viewed ourselves. against the backdrop of the vietnam war, and the revelation the concept of asian american was formed as a political identity developed out of the oppositional consciousness of the long 1960's in order to be seen and heard. about,as thinking a lot through this book, what my takeaways are. thinking constantly about context and the legacy of intersection analogy. -- intersectionality. and the relationship with other communities. and i think to talk about our relationship as asian americans and the formation of that politics and we
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are talking about the asian-american community or in anyt or engagement way, to remember its roots and blacke directly to the liberation movement, especially in this day and age when we are further into our own community and the japanese-american community to remind ourselves of our legacy and thus the work we have to do beyond our own community. was also look into this, i went to record to the index. and i was trying to look for some of the questions i have asked with many of my mentors about, so, during the movement, what was it like for queer fol ks? i'm looking at lesbian- gay or homophobia. i love that you read a bit. and i would like to read a little bit more from page 198. who had not come out as a lesbian was tried before a
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quarter for, right. -- before a court of her comrades. the official position of leninist groups was anti-gay. it would say that homosexuality was a disease that was harmful to the working class. e, just as bad as, just catholic or mormon church. it was the same kind of close minded vitriol, but it would be massed in all the scientific marxism, leninism, mao- languag e. one day helen was called to a meeting of the study group she was part of an boston consisting of african and asian americans. since they were meetings all. the time, she thought nothing of it until she got the when she arrived everyone was sitting in a semi circle. helen was seated in front of them. "they did not waste any time. the african-american leader
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began, helen, we have noticed you have been hanging around a lot of lesbians. the african-american immunity does not accept homosexuality. this is a white disease. if you are a lesbian, we would have to break off ties with you. the asian-americans nodded in agreement and the asian american leader commanded, tell us, are you lesbian? i was all of 23. i had never dated a woman. i thought, ami? --- am i? my chinese upbringing had taught me to value family. suddenly my extended family, my community, was threatening to disown me. so, i said, no, i'm not. then the meeting was over. everybody was happy. it was like i said the magic words. and it never came up again. except for me. the equivalent of stepping in the closet and slamming the door shut. her trial,s after
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having been in touch with her asian-american -- through their activism, one day helen asked him if he remembered the incident. he said, no, can't say i do. it was as though i had asked him if he recalled the fly that landed on his sleeve 40 years ago. how such ak significant event in my life was nothing to him. it was a clear example of heterosexual privilege in action. but he added, but i do not doubt it happened. we were very, folk -- ver homeless otic theny. i thought that was very striking really this book, you allow people to speak for themselves and it gets more and more complex as we go through. and i think that is a great lesson for all of the work we are doing. to say anything at all about the younger generation, i feel like first of all, i'm so
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unqualified in a way that there are probably three ways, i love this photo because there's my age, the 30 and 40 some things. and then you have the twentysomething, and the millennials. then maya grace, part of the youth. it made me think of one other aspects, gosh, the time goes by so fast. i was thinking about this film that came out not too long ago called " uploaded the asian-american movement." i could get in trouble for this. i'm going to say it. i was not of the screen but handfuls of good friends of mine wer. e. and people were challenging some of the folks for the title, the asian-american movement. and because some people were trying to challenge the fact that centering was around
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asian-american cinematic experience and empowerment, kind of centering as starting as of a film called " better luck tomorrow" in 2002. of critique sort around calling something the asian-american movement, but not really bringing it into context for a much larger legacy and picture. and one person was talking about how he did not feel like he had any connection to the real asian-american movement. but i think with the funny thing is, two things i take away from that. we can get really mad at the millennials and whatnot. one, the maker of the film that they were centering around, justin lin, he comes from an obvious legacy. two of his principal mentors -- naka mura and karen
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ishizuka. we have so much context and we have to know it, though. same generation, those folks in the audience challenging it were fellow millennials. so i, was thinking about that and i was reading through this book, that as you all were very different from each other, so are they. so are we. and so, one thing i want to end on is the thought that how our organizing is intersectional. as tough andow challenging as it is, our organizing is exciting. iftara part of the thursday night that was organized by members of ncrr, and care, the council on american islamic relations.
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it was not just intergenerational. it was inter-spiritual, inter community. i think we have so much potential. that is exactly why a book like this is so important, because it allows us to have conversations about a greater, more complex context. so i say thank you so much for that. havell the folks here who children, great-grandchildren buy this book for them, the greater context, because i cannot to my organizing --do my organizing without you in without folks like maya grace. i won't do my organizing without folks like maya grace. i won't do my organizing without folks like you. thank you so much, thank you. [applause] ms. ishizuka: thank you so
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much. it has been such a treat for me. speaking in our hometown with such old and good friends. soe so many said there are many stories we could go on and on. but we have at least five minutes for questions, answers, comments? theliz will go around with microphone. please use it. >> i was really pleased with today. i learned so much. one of the questions i have is about -- asian indians. i have not seen your book yet. i cannot wait to read it. but did you include anything about him in your book? and did that affect the
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asian-american movement at all? ms. ishizuka: i forgot to ask. [inaudible] i'm sorry. once again, just the gist of you r question? >> did -- song affect any part of the asian-american? we openzuka: why don't that up? [inaudible] >> asian indian? [inaudible] of people do not know about him because he suffered acute stroke in office. the first asian-american elected to congress. he is from punjab. he became a farmer after getting a phd, because they did not let orientals become professors at berkeley in the 1950's. of who heeren't aware
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was in the 1960's or 1970's? ok. isn't so much a question is a common to chris. have your posters gone to the center of political graphics? if not, they must. i feel better. have gone there. the center for political graphics is a wonderful place. i'm glad you brought that up because it is a place where some of our visual art can be continued, archived, used in the future. anyone else? >> [inaudible] >> so, thank you all for your presentation. up, stokely carmichael came
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it reminded me of an aural history i did insist tha - i did in seattle. the first time he heard the term asian-american was when stokely carmichael said it. it made me wonder, for each of you, when did you first hear the phrase asian-american, and what was your response at that time? > the first organization i organize was called the oriental coalition. in 1968. a young woman from san francisco state who is with the asian-american political alliance. that soundsmn, so much better. but that was the empowering process. we could use any term we wanted. and in terms of starting a movement relative to the first question, there is no history of it. us beingoint about
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able to remember or know somebody when there is no whyory, that's asian-american studies are so important because it is just happening. so, being a part of it and the continuing redefinition -- >> it is interesting for me because my family -- [inaudible] >> but that is the whole issue of empowering yourself. you define that. >> but he was elected to congress. >> you have to write the history. you have to make sure he gets out there. >> i'm a historian, that is why i'm asking. i'd love another history question. comment on both of you.
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i think the term asian-american, the first time, the same organization asian-american political alliance formed by a whoon named yugi ichoka became professor at ucla much later. he introduced the term as, i think as an empowering term. you saw another movement going from colored to negro to black to african-american. i think it were not just semantics. in each stage of the development of the movement, it was an analysis and an ideas attached to the words. when we first started the asian-american studies center at ucla in 1969, the first class was orientals in america.
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but it was called asian american studies center. you follow from that. particularly the asian-american movement in los angeles, i think we have centered around east asians, japanese. koreans, some koreans, chinese and filipinos. and i think it's a process of development, and i think we were separated from each other. and i think it was an effort to build coalitions. even within the asian community, it was not always a smooth process. and as society and the city of l .a. diversified more and more people included in that asian-american category. american.acific and native hawaiians. and a lot of things got added. said earlier,te
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it was not just the demographic construct, it was a political construct as well. i know u.c.: berkeley has been the most known and credited for the term asian-american. but in my research i did find an older group of established middle-class, there were reverends and doctors and lawyers and they formed a group called asian coalition for equality in seattle. they had the idea to do that in realized that at that point there had nothing, there -- they were so far apart. we were separated and even the
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chinese, japanese and filipinos, saw no reason to get together. yearsey worked for towo in discussing things to each other. and then finally came together to form asian coalition for equality. but it was just about the same apa hadt yugi and formed asian-american that they had discussed what they were going to call themselves. they did not want the term oriental. so it went around and around and they came up independently with the term asian american. so, at that point, they had not groups in san francisco or anything else that was going on. aid, it was a spontaneous arising, and all of us stepping over the threshold at the same time. so, i always want to credit ace, which was very much like, the
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new york group that was made up of older people. so, it is not just a youth organization. i think it took all of us to come together and make something bigger than ourselves. >> can i just say? i totally appreciate the question because i think, like, it is kind of wire have a love-hate relationship with any kind of identifier. love-hatea relationship. there is a new term. hawaiian pacific islander. is getting so complicated. it should be. we should be a little bit uncomfortable, right? we should always be asking, who is determining that?
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at the same time, it is like, you know, i try to check myself on the word " everyone." no, in your few sectors, cohorts and college students. our organizing we also work with young people and people at community college or elders, a bunch of people that are not using any of that. so, it's good for us to be constantly, like, what is the origin and what is the next? >> it was really complicated when we we were trying to figure out what color to wear. the panthers have a black beret. the brown beret. american indian movement has a red beret. yellow berets did not work for me. everything was color. then in meeting someone said, wait a minute, i am not yellow. i'm bronze.
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the filipino said, i'm brown. and we thought it was rice. we all ate rice. then there was an argument about short grain rice and long grain rice. attempts at initial being able to define ourselves around superficial things, just did not work. that's why what tracy is saying rue. we had to look at history and all these other things. but it comes from a political concept for you empower yourself. like my son, he is part owner of a restaurant called yellow fever. what? your restaurant is called yellow fever? >> totally eat there. their bowls are really good. >> that is what is happening. they took a term that was negative inflicted on its head. just like black, if you call the
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negro person black in the day that was not right. you take a term, but you take the power to define. that is the power. like that exactly,. >> hello. i had a comment and a question. ofment was there was a lot discussion about how there were marxist groups leads to hate lgbt people. that was wrong. but there were a lot of other groups. a friend of mine was in one. there were a bunch of people in it that were gay. there is another group, i think it was called progressive unity league.
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there are a lot of groups, just like any other political beliefs or religious beliefs, there are many spectrums to it. if you were concluded, back in the day, they hated lgbt, you'd be wrong. because there were other groups that did not and thery were marxist. what do you think were the greatest contributions of the that really inspired and brought a backbone to the movement? i think mike is right. there are all kinds of different people involved. j.a. community, redressing reparations would look really different. i think it would've happened but maybe it would have looked really different. my question is, what do you think the contributions were and asianhould the new
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move-in, which is not a lot of japanese, it is totally different, what would you see as important things to go on? one of the big issues in the 1960's and 1970's was the vietnam war. what the asian-american movement brought to the antiwar movement, sentiment of the antiwar movement, people in the middle class got engaged when their sons were being drafted and they wanted to bring the boys home. bring the troops home. that is what they wanted to do. the asian american movement, because of the connection in terms of looking at asia understanding some of the history, we became a part of the anti-criminalist part of the movement where we are looking at political motives beyond bring the boys home. and i think the asian american movement bring that to the --brought that to the fore relative to the issue of the vietnam war. in terms of this identity movement and a lot of other things, this whole approach to looking at different ideas, it
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was an interesting dilemma, at least i felt, i mean, you look to chairman mao out of china before the gang of five in the cultural revolution, and you cannot help but look at ho chi minh, look at chairman mao looking at progressive politics in the context around anti- colonialism and the war. gueverra, fidel castro, all the movements going on. the dilemma was chairman mao and the united front he was talking about let 1000 flowers lboobloo. and the cultural revolution took place and became a lot more fundamental. just a lot of different restaurant point -- referent ce points. this was all a context or the moving was not in a vacuum. it was on a political context. and as that evolved to the fore,
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and it changed, so did we. that is the strength of any movement is change. if you cannot change, you do not have a movement. to do this because this is really a conversation so great, but we are out of time. please help me in thanking the panelists. [applause] you so much for sharing your knowledge with us. and for karen, congratulations on your book. he panelists will be available after right side in outside in the lobby if you want to talk with them. but we thank you for coming to this program, and have a great afternoon. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] need to pick up a copy of the book, "serve the
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people" it is sold in the lobby. thank you. interested in american history tv? visit our website history. you can see our schedule or watch recent progress. american artifacts, wrote to the. >> tonight on q&a, clifton rayfield, a documentary film instructor talks about his students award-winning documentaries. in jenx, oklahoma. >> i am not the kind of teacher that will look at something that is not very good and go, that is nice. you did a nice job with that. i will say what is not working. single onelly, every
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of my kids makes a better piece than they did in the beginning. every single one of them. and eventually, the kids who do really well, they internalize all this stuff. so i no longer have to say it to them. their own brain is saying these things to them. >> tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q&a. feature rossy, we perot on "the contenders," which looks at key political actors who change political history. he ran as an independent in 1992 and 1996. here is a preview. >> ross perotm plain talk about jobs, debt and the washington mess. >> good evening. we have talked a lot about the importance of having the american people fully informed so they can make intelligent decisions as -- in effect, this is our first town hall. i thought it would be a good idea to take the most important
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problem first. that problem is our economy and jobs. here's the picture on our country's debt. look at how it has grown over the years. we are now up to $4 trillion in debt. that is a staggering load for our country. to help you understand how fast this debt has grown and when it grew, the green is the debt we had in 1980. the red is the debt that has been incurred in the last 12 years. we have had an enormous growth in debt, and we do not have anything to show for it. ok, here is another headache. it's like the gu thaty went into the hospital with a sore arm and turned out he had gangrene. 70% of the $4 trillion debt is
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due and payable in the next five years. folks in washington financed long-term problems short-term to keep the interest rate down. that is suicide in your government. you can watch the entire program on sunday at 8:00 p.m. eastern here on american history tv, only on c-span 3. communicators" visits middle east broadcast networks along with other u.s. sponsored broadcast news. we speak with the president of the middle east broadcasting network. theproducer of el-um and digital managing editor of about howr voice" they shared democratic values with an audience not exposed to a broad spectrum of opinions. we have been on the year for 12 years now and over that time, i think the audience has come to learn that it's not
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propaganda. we strive to be balanced, but we also, we provide topics and we provide information that is not readily available. >> there are not enough people telling the stories of how difficult it is to be a woman and a girl child. so, how many stories have we done on child marriages? i can count. you cannot do enough because in the middle east, they are not telling that story. your boys is a campaign that we launched in september, 2015 to encourage people in the middle east to enage and be part of the discussion of important region, including extremism, root causes, and on a planet, humans rights and women's rights. communicators" >> each week, road to the white
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house brings you archival coverage of presidential elections. the first debate between al gore and george bush from the 2000 presidential race. event, topics include tax policy, medicare, medication reform, abortion. al gore bush defeated in one of the most highly contested races in u.s. history. court stoppedme the florida recount. to support of the state governor bush. this is just over 90 minutes.


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