APA or AAPI Heritage Month 2012

Happy May, my friends! I always enjoy this month because it's usually when things start really feeling like SUMMER.

May is also Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month in the U.S.! For the past two years, we've been celebrating the month of May on the blog with AAPI-themed posts, and this year, we're going to continue the tradition! (Since, you know, we're both Asian American and I minored in Asian Am studies!)

(I totally wish I had a cool AAPI Heritage Month Banner to post, but alas, I have no graphics skills.)

You should also check out Sophia's blog all this month too. She'll be featuring AAPI people and organizations.

So to begin, let me point you to a few relevant links for learning about and celebrating APA/AAPI Month.

The President's Proclamation for this year's AAPI Heritage Month gives an eloquently worded overview of what this month is all about. Here's a quote:

Generations of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) have helped make America what it is today. Their histories recall bitter hardships and proud accomplishments -- from the laborers who connected our coasts one-and-a-half centuries ago, to the patriots who fought overseas while their families were interned at home, from those who endured the harsh conditions of Angel Island, to the innovators and entrepreneurs who are driving our Nation's economic growth in Silicon Valley and beyond. Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month offers us an opportunity to celebrate the vast contributions Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have made to our Nation, reflect on the challenges still faced by AAPI communities, and recommit to making the American dream a reality for all.

The proclamation also reminds us that this year marks 70 years since Executive Order 9066, which led to Japanese-American internment during World War II. Families were literally uprooted from their homes and businesses and put into camps - one of which was at a local landmark of ours, Santa Anita Park (home of racing legend Seabiscuit). The racetrack was used as an internment center for 2 years with the cleared-out horse stables acting as housing for the internees.

San Francisco, California. Inhabitants of the Japanese section wave farwell at the departure of the . . ., 04/19/1942
Original Caption: San Francisco, California. Inhabitants of the Japanese section wave farwell at the departure of their friends and neighbors whom they are soon to follow to Tanforan Assembly center.
SOURCE/ National Archives APA Month Flickr

This is a dark part of our national history, one that I think is mentioned but not really talked about in standard school history classes. It's a tough subject to discuss, but it happened and it's important to remember that so we can better prevent things like this from happening again.

And on a brighter note, 2012 is also the Centennial of the planting of the first Japanese cherry trees in Washington D.C. The trees were given as a gift from the City of Tokyo to the U.S., and are a symbol of friendship.

Cherry Blossoms at the Jefferson memorial
Cherry Blossoms at the Jefferson memorial by Michael Foley / on Flickr

We're also participating in the fun (but delightfully schneizeleffort) blog me MAYbe blogfest hosted by Tracey Neithercott, Sara McClung, Katy Upperman, Alison Miller, Cambria Dillon, Jessica Love, Alexandra Shostak, and Lola Sharp.

There are 5 prompts, one for each day of the week, that are your guides for your posts throughout May. This blogfest has its emphasis on FEST, so you can post as much or as little as you want. The point is to get you blogging more, and maybe you'll also reconnect (or newly connect) with peeps in the blogosphere. Consider joining in!

In line with both APA Month (or AAPI Month) and the blog me MAYbe, I have a question for you! Wednesday's Blogfest prompt is: May I ask something about you?

Q4U: What types of posts or topics would you like to see this APA month?


Julie Dao said...

Happy APA/AAPI Heritage Month!! So excited to read all of the Asian-themed posts and celebrate our kickass heritage!

Connie Keller said...

I remember your posts from last year--they were great. I can't wait to read this year's.

Sophia Chang said...

Thanks for reminding me - I should blog a link to George Takei's new play.

Tracey Neithercott said...

"This is a dark part of our national history, one that I think is mentioned but not really talked about in standard school history classes."

No, not at all. I know it was mentioned, but it was mostly glazed over. I'm not sure why—maybe because history lessons are usually all about what they did wrong and how the United States was a great defender or heroic helper. But aside from slavery early in our history and then civil rights issues (but mostly for African Americans, not Asians come to think of it), we don't talk much about ways in which we were wrong.

Great post! I can't wait to read your other AAPI posts.

Golden Eagle said...

I can't wait to read your posts!