May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month – an opportunity to celebrate various types of cultures within the community. Among the best ways for individuals to find out more about the Asian American experience and amplify Asian voices would be to take a seat with a book, film, or podcast that teaches us new perspectives. Whether you're an Asian American seeking to resonate with someone's story, or an ally trying to combat racism particularly in the light of latest violence against the AAPI community, think about this a location to start.

What to read

Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning, by Cathy Park Hong Amazon

Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong

This series of essays was published last spring and won the 2022 National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography. It explores Hong's upbringing in L.A. and how white Americans perceived her Asian American experience. She uses the word “minor feelings” to describe gaslighting and racism against Asian Americans being diminished or unacknowledged.

The Chinese in America: A story History,
by Iris Chang Amazon

The Chinese in America by Iris Chang

From the New York Times best-selling author of Rape of Nanking, this book tells the storyline of methods Chinese immigrants struggled to establish themselves in America and finding acceptance. The author covers important historical elements from the very first immigrants in the mid 19th century towards the building from the Central Pacific Railroad to towards the fall of mainland China to communism – and beyond. This book manages to deconstruct the diversity of the Chinese who ultimately share the same pursuit: to produce a better life for their families.

Myth from the Model Minority: Asian Americans Facing Racism, by Rosalind S. Chou Amazon

The Myth from the Model Minority: Asian Americans Facing Racism by Rosalind S. Chou and Joe R. Feagin

In this book, two sociology professors dissect the characterization of Asian Americans as “model minorities,” that is a stereotype that Asians are all expected to be smart, polite, hard-working, and submissive. Through dozens of interviews, the authors highlight the racism, stereotyping, and discrimination that occurs from schools to workplaces and also the damaging effect of methods Asians feel these pressure to adapt to cultural expectations in America.

Pachinko, by Min Jin LeeAmazon

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

It took nearly 3 decades for that Korean author to complete this historical fiction book, which landed on the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal best-seller lists – amongst others. This page-turning novel tracks four generations of a Korean family living in Japan with the Twentieth century and offers a moving plot around issues of prejudice, race, loyalty, and just what immigrants have to sacrifice to locate their devote the planet.

What to watch

Asian Americans (PBS)

This five-episode film series offers the perspective of all different kinds of Asian American experiences – from China, India, Japan, the Philippines, and beyond – via a mix of historical events and personal stories. Weaving through topics like the first Asian immigrants towards the current-day refugee crises, each one of the hour-long episodes spotlight the diversity from the fastest-growing ethnic group in the U.S. The whole film series is currently readily available for online for free and you can also explore an interactive gallery about a few of the historical figures in the film series.


This poignant, fictional film, which earned six Academy Award nominations (with Youn Yuh-jung winning Best Supporting Actress on her performance – the first Korean to win an Oscar for acting), is one of the familiar immigrant story, but through a Korean lens. The Yi family moves to an Arkansas farm looking for the American Dream. Minari got its name from an Asian herb (similar to watercress) that can seemingly grow in any conditions. The film goes via a journey to figure out if the Yi household is just like resilient as the minari.

The Joy Luck Club

Based on Amy Tan's best-selling novel of the same name, this 1993 drama follows the lives of a group of Chinese ladies fled China and lift four Americanized daughters. It is the first movie to feature an exciting Asian-American cast (with Crazy Rich Asians following suit Twenty five years later). Though it got mixed reviews at the time of its release for its negative representation of Asian males, this past year the film was identified by the Library of Congress to be “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and was among the annual 25 influential films that were selected for preservation.

What to Listen to

Self Evident: Asian American Stories

If you find yourself wondering the way you easily fit in in America being an Asian person, this podcast (also is aired on KALW 91.7FM in San Francisco) brings you the experiences and stories of Asian Americans which help you tackle those questions. Each episode features an intensely reported story or intimate one-on-one with guests from Asian American communities around the U.S. to get into the center of what individuals are considering – whether this is the rise in anti-Asian violence or even the limited representation of Asian in Hollywood. It's hosted by Cathy Erway, a Taiwanese-American food writer and reporter that has won a James Beard Award for the Home Cooking journalism category.

Asian Enough

Each week on this podcast in the LA Times, hosts Jen Yamato and Frank Shyong invite guests for frank and honest conversations that center around unpacking the nuances and complexities Asian American identities. Probably the most recent episodes is with Ruby Ibarra (scientist by night; rapper by night) about writing her Filipina American experience into her lyrics and finding her voice. Previous episodes include interviews with Kamala Harris, Margaret Cho, and Padma Lakshmi with new episodes dropping every Tuesday until August.

At as soon as: Asian American News

Hosted by Sylvia Peng and Janrey Serapio, this podcast launched at the beginning of 2022 and tackles complex topics like racial justice, the long good reputation for Asian American queer and trans activism, and COVID-19's effect on marginalized communities. Climax a relatively new podcast, it's already shown to be a meaningful space to celebrate AAPI stories and people who exist at the intersection of different identities.

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