a chinatown state of mind.

MUSINGS ON THE INTERSECTIONS BETWEEN RACE AND PLACE.
Recent Tweets @chowleen

fascinasians:

Awesome job seanmiura!

todaysdocument:

“I am willing to preserve the principles of democracy and freedom”

Statement made by Osama Nakata, 5/31/1944; Statements of United States Citizens of Japanese Ancestry, Records of the Selective Service System, Record Group 147; National Archives at Riverside

In 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, which ordered the removal of nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans from the west coast. Osama Nakata was incarcerated at Poston Relocation Camp in remote western Arizona, behind barbed wire and watched by armed guards. He was required to fill out a four-page form about his relatives, the newspapers and magazines he read, and his ability to read, write, and speak Japanese. He marked “poor” for all three. This signed statement is his answer to one of the last questions, “Are you willing to serve in the armed forces of the United States on combat duty, wherever ordered?”

(via the “Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures” eGuide)

Mr. Nakata’s statement is among the featured items at the “Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures" exhibit now on display at the National Archives Museum.

(via ravingsofanundiscoveredgenius)

thisisnotjapan:

I was going through some old photographs and belongings of my grandmother’s in storage and I came across this. She saved the newspaper clipping from her internment.

Reading it made me feel so sad and disgusted I wanted to cry. 

(via thisiswhitehistory)

asianamericanactivism:

You expect Susie Wong to slink on in
Black hair like silk and a slant-eyed grin
Or maybe it’s sweet Mei-Ling
Serving tea with a subservient bend
But, I say,
So-o long,
So lo-ong, Susie Wong
So solly, Charlie,
But this a-China dolly
Ain’t-a takin’ your wiki-wiki dollars, uh-uh!

© Copyright, music and lyrics, Why K. Wong (Victoria Wong)

Repeat Offenders was a 1980s punk/new wave band based in San Francisco. Their frontwoman/vocalist was Victoria Wong, one of the co-founders of the Asian American Political Alliance (AAPA, the organization that coined the term “Asian American” and sparked the 1960s-70s Asian American Movement), a veteran activist with roots in labor organizing and the anti-war movement.

image

[Image: Band portrait of Repeat Offenders. Source.]

This song originally appeared as a poem in an issue of the AAPA newspaper. Wong wrote it in response to racism and sexism she experienced as an Asian American woman. Click through the link to listen!

I wish I had known there was an Asian American frontwoman back in my middle school wannabe punk days—I think it would have saved me a lot of self-hatred and internalized racism!

- J

(via americanmabuhay)

‘Oriental’ is not a slur — there are worse things you could be called…But I think it’s fallen into disfavor because it’s what other people call us. It’s only the east if you’re from somewhere else. It’s a Eurocentric name for us, which is why it’s wrong. You should call people by what they call themselves, not how they are situated in relation to yourself.
Mae Ngai, from this NYT article NY Governor David Paterson has legislation that will eliminate the use of the term “Oriental” in reference to persons of Asian or Pacific Islander descent on all “forms or preprinted documents used by state government, public authorities or municipalities,” by no later than Jan. 1.

18mr:

Yes, it’s been 20 years of Lela Lee’s Angry Little Asian Girl. Check out her 20th Anniversary gallery.

pbsthisdayinhistory:

April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King Jr. is Assassinated

On April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was fatally shot while standing on the balcony outside his second-story motel room in Memphis, TN.

Revisit the life and legacy of Dr. King with a special collection from PBS.

A collection of original posters created for The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross PBS series features quotations by famous African Americans, including leaders, intellectuals and cultural figures such as Harriet Tubman, W.E.B. DuBois, Zora Neale Hurston, Jackie Robinson, Malcolm X, President Barack Obama, and more. The posters, which can be downloaded, printed and shared, can be found here: http://to.pbs.org/1efp1fy

(via sunnydisposish)