Gil Asakawa's Nikkei View | Edward Hong’s powerful declaration of identity, “I Am Korean American”
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Edward Hong’s powerful declaration of identity, “I Am Korean American”

Asian Americans as a group share identity issues being stuck between cultures — not quite accepted by the country of our heritage, and not quite always accepted as “American” either. We’re still finding our place in society. Each culture can have a specific spin that colors our identity. Japanese Americans carry baggage from internment and Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor. For Koreans, the LA riots and the Virginia Tech shootings have affected the community.

Edward Hong, a young Korean American who studied theater and Asian American studies, performs his powerful poem, “I Am Korean American,” in which he finds his voice and declares his identity, proudly.

It’s a terrific, stark production, shot by Steve Nguyen, a busy LA filmmaker whose YouTube channel chronicles Asian America on video.

I’d love to see other Asian Americans, including other Koreans, but also Japanese Americans, Chinese Americans, Vietnamese Americans, and so on, have enough guts and artistic presence — and talent — to write and record their own stories and statements of identity.

That would be a cool online project!