“My alone feels so good, I’ll only have you if you’re sweeter than my solitude.”
10 YA Books About Southeast Asian Americans
A couple of weeks ago we were asked for books about Southeast Asian American characters. Southeast Asia is a big region of the world, and yet it’s very difficult to find books about Southeast Asians in the contemporary United States. Some of the books here are technically upper middle-grade, but because it was so hard to find them, we included them anyway. Descriptions are from WorldCat, and links go to Barnes & Noble.
Twenty-nine stories about the saga of what it means to be young and Filipino.
Little Cricket by Jackie Brown (Hyperion Books for Children, 2004)
After the upheaval of the Vietnam War reaches them, twelve-year-old Kia and her Hmong family flee from the mountains of Laos to a refugee camp in Thailand and eventually to the alien world of Saint Paul, Minnesota.
She’s So Money by Cherry Cheva (HarperTeen, 2009)
Good girl Maya teams up with an unlikely ally Camden, the popular jock, plotting a devious plan to help her recover from a serious mistake.
Children of the River by Linda Crew (Delacorte Press, 1989)
Having fled Cambodia four years earlier to escape the Khmer Rouge army, seventeen-year-old Sundara is torn between remaining faithful to her own people and enjoying life in her Oregon high school as a “regular” American.
Fresh Off the Boat by Melissa de la Cruz (HarperCollins, 2005)
When her family emigrates from the Philippines to San Francisco, California, fourteen-year-old Vicenza Arambullo struggles to fit in at her exclusive, all-girl private school.
Sophomore Undercover by Benjamin Esch (Disney/Hyperion, 2009)
Despite obstacles, high school reporter Dixie Nguyen, an adopted Vietnamese orphan, doggedly investigates a drug scandal that may extend far beyond the football team.
Shadow of the Dragon by Sherry Garland (Harcourt Brace, 1993)
High school sophomore Danny Vo tries to resolve the conflict between the values of his Vietnamese refugee family and his new American way of life.
Roots and Wings by Many Ly (Delacorte Press, 2008)
While in St. Petersburg, Florida, to give her grandmother a Cambodian funeral, fourteen-year-old Grace, who was raised in Pennsylvania, finally gets some answers about the father she never met, her mother’s and grandmother’s youth, and her Asian-American heritage.
Trouble by Gary Schmidt (Clarion Books, 2008)
Fourteen-year-old Henry, wishing to honor his brother Franklin’s dying wish, sets out to hike Maine’s Mount Katahdin with his best friend and dog. But fate adds another companion–the Cambodian refugee accused of fatally injuring Franklin–and reveals troubles that predate the accident.
Tangled Threads: A Hmong Girl’s Story by Pegi Deitz Shea (Clarion Books, 2003)
After ten years in a refugee camp in Thailand, thirteen-year-old Mai Yang travels to Providence, Rhode Island, where her Americanized cousins introduce her to pizza, shopping, and beer, while her grandmother and new friends keep her connected to her Hmong heritage.
so much going on about jackson katz these days (video above)
i think it’s rad that people are excited about ending gendered violence, and maybe he’ll even make a few folks think about gendered violence differently.
just a reminder that women - especially woc - have been saying this stuff for years; his popularity comes largely from the utter shock that a cis-white male is speaking about gendered violence (not necessarily the words he’s saying); he is making (a lot) of money off his tours and movies, not to mention getting tenure while WOC/QTIPOC professors continue to speak their OWN truths and remain sessional or grassroots writers; he ignores violence against queer and trans* folks; his ‘don’t be the bystander approach’ conveniently ignores colonial violence, and he overall denies and erases the reality of colonial and racial violence, which in turn silences the many powerful voices of Indigenous women who have been speaking about these issues for years.
he’s got some neat things to say, but if we’re going to end gendered violence it’s not gonna come from a seemingly anomalous saviour figure ‘using his privilege for good’. it’s gonna be led by the people, grounded in the community, and at the grassroots, no question.
CALL TO ACTION!
Reclaim PKOLS (formerly Mt. Douglas): May 22, 2013
An Open Letter to Eve Ensler
Dear Eve Ensler,
I want to start off by saying thank you. I appreciate the time you took to reach out to me, because I know you’re incredibly busy. I know there are much more important people in this world than myself, so I appreciate you engaging in dialogue with me and my colleague Kelleigh Driscoll.
This all started because on Twitter, I addressed some issues that I had with V-Day, your organization, and the way it treated Indigenous women in Canada. I said that you are racist and dismissive of Indigenous people. You wrote to me that you were upset that I would suggest this, and not even 24 hours later you were on the Joy Behar Show referring to your chemotherapy treatment as a “Shamanistic exercise”.
Your organization took a photo of Ashley Callingbull, and used it to promote V-Day Canada and One Billion Rising, without her consent. You then wrote the word “vanishing” on the photo, and implied that Indigenous women are disappearing, and inherently suggested that we are in some type of dire need of your saving. You then said that Indigenous women were V-Day Canada’s “spotlight”. V-Day completely ignored the fact that February 14th is an iconic day for Indigenous women in Canada, and marches, vigils, and rallies had already been happening for decades to honor the missing and murdered Indigenous women. You repeatedly in our conversation insisted that you had absolutely no idea that these events were already taking place. So then, what were you spotlighting? When Kelleigh brought up that it was problematic for you to be completely unaware that this date is important to the women you’re spotlighting, your managing director Cecile Lipworth became extremely defensive and responded with “Well, every date on the Calendar has importance.” This is not an acceptable response.
When women in Canada brought up these exact issues, V-Day responded to them by deleting the comment threads that were on Facebook. For a person and organization who works to end violence against women, this is certainly the opposite of that. Although I’m specifically addressing V-Day, this is not an isolated incident. This is something that Indigenous women constantly face. This erasure of identity and white, colonial, feminism is in fact, a form of violence against us. The exploitation and cultural appropriation creates and excuses the violence done to us.
When I told you that your white, colonial, feminism is hurting us, you started crying. Eve, you are not the victim here. This is also part of the pattern which is a problem: Indigenous women are constantly trying to explain all of these issues, and are constantly met with “Why are you attacking me?!” This is not being a good ally.
You asked me what would it mean to be a good ally. It would have meant stepping back, giving up the V-Day platform, and attending the marches and vigils. It would have meant putting aside the One Billion Rising privilege and participating in what the Indigenous women felt was important.
At the end of our conversation you offered me the opportunity to join V-Day. Offered me money. Offered me to become a spokesperson for Native American women. These are things I am not interested in. I do not want to be part of the white savior industrial complex, and I never want to duplicate saviorism and colonialism within my own organization, Save Wiyabi Project, and I’m surely not interested in selling my soul and integrity for a bit of cash and perceived prestige.
I’m not here to speak for Ashley and how she felt about her photo being used, and I’m not here to speak for the Indigenous women in Canada. Indigenous women in the United States and Canada have agency, self determination, and are quite capable of telling their own stories, and have been doing so for thousands of years. We are aware of the violence we face, and are also aware this just isn’t about individual acts of violence. We expect not only our bodies, but our agency, work, and contributions to be respected. None of this is new, and we do not need a white person to legitimize our history and existence.
I entered this conversation with uneasy feelings about V-Day and your work, and left feeling completely dismissed – much like the Indigenous women in Canada. You might have been listening to what I was saying, but you definitely didn’t hear me. You dumped all of my concerns onto someone else and did not take personal responsibility for anything. Eve, this is YOUR organization. My hope is that you do some self examination about what’s happening here. You have to see this before you continue doing this work because this is epistemic and imperial violence. Your actions are assisting violence, not ending it.
Lauren Chief Elk
At best, this TV show is an invasion of privacy with questionable ethics on informed consent. At worst, it can put the lives of vulnerable migrants and their families at risk by commercially exploiting their stories for broadcast. As Amnesty International notes, “Amnesty International believes that filming and broadcasting these raids has jeopardized the basic rights of these undocumented workers, as protected under the international conventions that Canada has ratified.”
This comes at a time when there is little quality television that deals with the real-life pressures that force people to migrate. We also find it extremely troubling that the federal government has approved of and dedicates resources to this production. This is not the Canadian entertainment or cultural production that so many are proud to call their own.
We are calling on Force Four, CBSA, Shaw Media, and Global TV to end production of Border Security, and all associated partners to withdraw their support for the show. Deportation is not entertainment. We seek to uphold legally-affirmed human rights and respect for basic human dignity. Please join us in our efforts towards being conscious and ethical cultural producers.