Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month has been observed in May annually since 1990. Its origins date to Pres. Carter's administration. The goal was to observe and celebrate the first generations of Asian Pacific immigrants that came to the United States in the 19th century.
During the George H.W. Bush administration, AAPI Heritage observance was extended from a week-long celebration to a month-long one.
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Aoki | Available at Kanopy.
Description: "AOKI chronicles the life of Richard Aoki (1938-2009), a third-generation Japanese American who became one of the founding members of the Black Panther Party. Filmed over the last five years of Richard's life, this documentary features extensive footage with Richard and exclusive interviews with his comrades, friends, and former students.
Viewers will learn about Richard's childhood in a WWII Japanese American concentration camp, growing up in West Oakland, and serving eight years in the U.S. military. The film explores previously unknown facts about the formation of the Black Panther Party such as how Richard became intimately involved in its founding and contributed the first two firearms to the Party.
AOKI highlights how Richard's leadership also made a significant impact on individuals and groups in the contemporary Asian American Movement. Richard's contributions to the groundbreaking organization Asian American Political Alliance (AAPA) and its involvement in the Third World Liberation Front (TWLF) student strike led to the formation of ethnic studies at U.C. Berkeley.
Official Selection at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival and the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival."
Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority | Available at Kanopy.
Description: "PATSY MINK: AHEAD OF THE MAJORITY is the remarkable political journey of an Asian American woman who battled racism and sexism, shattered barriers and redefined American politics.
In 1965, Patsy Takemoto Mink became the first woman of color in the United States Congress. Seven years later, she ran for U.S. president and co-authored Title IX, the landmark legislation that opened up higher education and athletics to America's women. The film goes beyond Mink's accomplishments to reveal a woman whose political journey was often lonely and tumultuous. Dispelling stereotypes of the compliant Japanese female, she encountered sexism within her own party, whose leaders disliked her independent style and openly maneuvered against her. Her liberal politics, particularly her vocal opposition to the Vietnam War, engendered intense criticism. As Franklin Odo, director of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program, says, "Patsy Mink offers a phenomenal political story, because she was so outside what you would expect of a woman, of a Japanese American and of a member of Congress." A woman of the people as well as a pioneer, a patriot and also an outcast, Patsy Mink's story proves endlessly intriguing, and is one that embodies the history, ideals and spirit of America."
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