Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage & the Humanities
May marks Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. The month was chosen to honor the arrival of the first Japanese individuals to the United States in 1843. It also commemorates the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, largely built by Chinese immigrants, in 1869. These historical markers, however, cannot fully capture the many ways in which members of the Asian Pacific diaspora have left their indelible imprint on American history and culture.
In this exhibit, a daughter reflects on her mother’s decision to emigrate from Korea, become an American citizen, and make sacrifices to support her children in Westland, Michigan. An actor sees his own family’s journey to the United States reflected in the narrative arc of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie. A Chief Justice of the State of California meditates on the lessons passed down by the older women of her Filipino American community.
These are just a sampling of the many Humanities Moments focusing on the experiences, contributions, and cultural legacies of the Asian Pacific diaspora. How do you honor this month?