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.
It would be cool to see sites like this for every Asian ethnicity: I Am Korean American, a site launched a year ago for Korean Americans to share in their own words about themselves and their sense of identity, has just expanded. The site is now inviting KA entrepreneurs and musicians to submit their photos and stories about how they found their careers, as a way to inspire other Korean Americans to follow the same path.
They’ve just launched the 2.0 version, with the new sections for Entrepreneurs and Musicians. These sections don’t have any content yet. Here’s what the founders say about the new sections:
The Entrepreneurs section requires participants to answer specific questions about how they started their business, what they learned, and advice they can share with others. The aggregation of such content will result in a database of knowledge that can inspire and educate potential entrepreneurs. The Musicians section allows musicians to upload their music video and/or up to two tracks to give readers a sampling of their talent. This section will eventually showcase the broad range of musicians in the Korean American community and also help musicians gain more exposure through the site.