Mid-May Memo – It’s Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month

It’s weird for me to say I’m lucky when I can’t go into a bookstore and have more than five choices if I want to read something about Asian-American characters.    Jenny Zhang

Though this nation has commemorated Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month since 1992 we have much to learn to earn about the history, ethnicity and contributions of our neighbors.  Though we have reached half-way through the month we have been focused on Spring than on the reflecting on the heritage of Asian Pacific neighbors.

For starts, it is worthy of note that the month of May was chosen to this nation has proudly commemorated Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month because of two major anniversaries in this nation’s history – The first Japanese immigrants came to the US in May 183, and the transcontinental railroad was completed on May 7, 1869.

A good starting point for the “big picture” of This Web portal is a collaborative project of the Library of Congress and the National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The contents of this site highlight only a small portion of the physical and digital holdings of the participating partners. https://asianpacificheritage.gov/about/  The LC site includes great links to the National Archives, the National Park Service and the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.

One fun resource that will spark ideas for honor a broad range of immigrants to the state is this accessible guide created by the Minnesota Historical Society http://education.mnhs.org/immigration/

Another Minnesota-specific guide produced by the Department of Human Services provides a great deal of information about ongoing activities related to the heritage of Asian-Pacific Minnesotans : https://mn.gov/mdhr/news-community/events-calendar/may-asian-pacific.jsp

The wealth of accessible resources for celebrating APAHM is remarkable – Please take time to explore the elegant poetry written, read and recorded by Asian-Pacific American poets.  The site also includes prose, critiques, essays, a great bibliography  and more that has been written by and about Asian-Pacific word people. https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/asianpacific-american-heritage-month  As always, the Academy of American Poets captures the spirit of the people and the occasion.

I bring quadruple diversity to the Senate:  I’m a woman; I’ll be the first Asian woman ever to be elected to the U.S. Senate; I am an immigrant; I am a Buddhist.  When I said this at one of my gatherings, they said, “Yes, but are you gay? and I said, ‘Nobody’s perfect.’   Senator Mazie Hirono

 

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