While growing up in the American public school system, I learned certain things about Asian identity. First: that it was collapsible; other people neither knew nor cared about the distinctions between nationalities or ethnicities. Second: that the history of the region was defined solely through American colonialism or war, or otherwise as narratives condensed into a sidebar in a textbook.
But as I grew older, I began to engage with Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) history in a way that I’d never been taught. Part of this included learning about the Asian American Movement that began in the 1960s. Another part of this was thinking critically about AAPI identity in dialogue with colorism, anti-blackness, and holdover cultural conservativeness.
And yet another part was learning that AAPI heritage was already being examined in America, and celebrated during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. I’d never grown up knowing that May was anything special for AAPI communities; it simply wasn’t taught or shared, part of a larger erasure of AAPI identity. So in celebration of APA Heritage Month, I’ve asked eight AAPI creatives to share their work, their perceptions of representation and visibility, and how their respective creative fields can improve in both regards. After all, the first step to understanding your place in the world is to see others like you, already in it.
Soleil Ho, 29, Vietnamese American, she/her, chef, podcaster, and writer:
“Representation is validation. Seeing yourself and your experiences reflected in culture is incredibly affirming, because then you know you’re not alone: someone else has seen what you’ve seen, has felt what you’ve felt.”
Adafruit has had paid day off for voting for our team for years, if you need help getting that going for your organization, let us know – we can share how and why we did this as well as the good results. Here are some resources for voting by mail, voting in person, and some NY resources for our NY based teams as well. If there are additional resources to add, please let us know – adafruit.com/vote
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.