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Asian Pacific American Heritage Month May 12, 2007

Posted by peterong in Asian American.
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Yes, the month of May is in full bloom and we get our own month to celebrate our achievements and history in America. May is Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month—a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States.  APA Heritage Month originated in a congressional bill.  In June 1977, Representatives Frank Horton of New York and Norman Y. Mineta of California introduced a House resolution that called upon the president to proclaim the first ten days of May as Asian/Pacific Heritage Week. The following month, senators Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga introduced a similar bill in the Senate. Both were passed. On October 5, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a Joint Resolution designating the annual celebration. In May 1990, the holiday was expanded further when President George H. W. Bush designated May to be Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants. Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is celebrated with community festivals, government-sponsored activities, and educational activities for students. This year’s theme is “Lighting the Past, Present, and Future.” (information from  infoplease.co- they have more chow fun facts)

CNN has a special section dedicated to this month that was quite interesting. They have some articles: Asian American Diverse Voices, Notable Asian Americans, Pioneers, and an audio story about Korean American rappers.

Here is a great KQED site that chronicles Asian American Activism. Asian Nation has “guidelines” on how to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Scholastic has a cute primer for kids to learn about immigration and Asian American History. Smithsonian has a teaching guide that is chock full of goodies. Here is a chronology that from a weird site.

Beau Sia is featured in this youtube PSA  

George W. Bush made a proclamation that is drenched in model minority lingo…man, can this man ever get it right? or at least a little right?

Overall, it is a great month that hints at warmth from a brutal Suracuse Winter and it is nice to reflect on the community in which I have been part of…stories and more stories of our experiences, the legacy and the wonderful intersections of culture and faith.

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