The mass shooting in the Atlanta area that took the lives of eight people, mostly women of Asian descent, on Tuesday has devastated the nation. On a weekend that will be marked with anti-Asian racism protests, we must acknowledge the uptick of violence against Asian Americans in the past year due to how the last presidential administration purported the root of the COVID-19 pandemic.
she lit celebrates the literary lifestyle with a focus on stories written by women of color. The content leans toward the contributions of Black women since it’s headed by a Black woman, but we’re always open to more stories uplifting the literary works of all women, womxn, and womyn. Below are a few past posts that can help you seek out stories focusing on the Asian American female perspective.
At the beginning of the pandemic, authors donated their time to teach students in virtual classrooms. But some female authors of color like Kelly Yang said she saw a student call her a “Chinese virus” in the Zoom chat. She said she received an apology days later after going public, but the incident shows how children are being taught to hate.
For years, Chanel Miller was known as Emily Doe, the young woman who had been raped by Stanford University swimming standout Brock Turner. His six-month sentence that was shortened into a three-month jail term resulted in national outrage. As the outrage simmered down on the cusp of the #MeToo movement, Chanel revealed her true identity and released her memoir soon after. She talks about her yearslong ordeal and how she felt being half Chinese fueled the anxiety of telling her story as a rape victim. Best on audiobook in which she narrates.
Author Cathy Park Hong wrote a series of essays exploring her Asian identity and what it means to be an Asian American woman. She examines her upbringing in Los Angeles, particularly during the 1992 Los Angeles uprising that pitted the African American and Korean American communities against each other that culminated in a catastrophic loss to Korean businesses. Coining the phrase “minor feelings” for Asian women’s stories failing to be magnified in the public, she also remembers Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, a Korean-American writer and artist who was murdered in 1982, and Yuri Kochiyama, the Japanese-American activist who worked with Malcolm X and was present at his assassination.
For a lighter piece, Asian American creatives discuss their favorite The Baby-Sitters Club member, the artistically fabulous Claudia Kishi. They mention the Japanese American character’s contributions such as offering the bedroom for club meetings and the private line used to conduct business. Author Ann M. Martin created a character who fought model minority stereotypes like Claudia’s inaptitude for math, but racial stereotypes remained between the pages like the forever description of Claudia’s eyes as “almond-shaped.” The Netflix documentary is 17 minutes, so a perfect quick show to check out as you Netflix and chill.
Gold House, a nonprofit collective celebrating the contributions of Asian American artists, started a book club last fall. With the inaugural selection of Amy Tan’s classic The Joy Luck Club, the book club is designed to read works by writers of Asian descent and discuss the stories and their cultural impact. If you’re looking for anti-Asian racism literary resources, check out the book club’s picks.