Santa Monica to Celebrate Cultural Diversity, Explore Identity During AAPI Heritage Month

The City of Santa Monica will celebrate Asian American Pacific  Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month with two virtual community events on May 19 and 20 celebrating the diverse cultures within the AAPI community, highlighting AAPI contributions, and exploring the challenges faced by the community during the pandemic.

You don’t need to be in sunny California to enjoy these events planned by Santa Monica. There are some interesting panels and performances being presented at the two-day event.

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Sandra Oh is Not Your Model Minority

I’m not here to say why Sandra Oh, the first woman of Asian descent nominated for an Emmy as a leading actress in a drama, should have won and that she was robbed. I’m not here to pit her against the other women in the category, and I’m not here to come for Claire Foy. Actually, I love The Crown, and I love Foy in it. Congrats, Claire and thanks for the Sandra shout-out.

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Power Rangers Brings Asian American Poverty Front and Center

By the time the Power Rangers craze first swept through in the early ’90s, I was just starting college, paying $290 a month in rent for a studio apartment in the Whittier neighborhood of South Minneapolis with a bed that pulled down from a wall, going to see Hong Kong flicks like Swordsman II and The Bride with White Hair Fridays at midnight, organized by Asia Media Access. I was still into nerd shit, but honestly the Power Rangers seemed, to me, corny and commercial. I thought it was funny that the Black Ranger was Black, the Yellow was a Vietnamese woman, and the Pink Ranger was a white woman.

My love of all things nerd grew in Phillips: Minnesota’s largest, poorest, and most racially diverse neighborhood, not all that far from my college apartment. As refugees from war with not a lot of money to spare, I learned to walk to the Franklin Avenue library where reading and checking out books was free. Comic books were less than a dollar, and watching television shows like Robotech and Dungeons and Dragons just meant having the discipline to wake up in time. I had friends of all colors and genders and backgrounds, and bullies of all colors and backgrounds. Things were difficult for us since my family were among that first wave of refugees that became the first large visible concentration of Asian American people in Minnesota. But there was also joy, and love, and friendship to go along with all the pain and conflict.

Flash forward to 2017.

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Jason Chu on the Marvels of Hip-Hop and Comics

In a special edition of Hard NOC Life, guest host Nelson Wong (@aarisings) has a one-on-one with Los Angeles-based rapper Jason Chu (@jasonchumusic) about his latest single Marvels and the Kickstarter-funded music video to accompany the song.

Also, if you’re a comic book or action figure collector and have some great superhero collectibles — or a great cosplay outfit — in the LA Area and want to potentially be featured in the Marvels video, please email jasonchumusic@gmail.com

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Model Minority Rage: Why the Hulk Should Be an Asian Guy

Originally posted at The Daily Beast

Whenever I take a clickbait quiz to determine which of The Avengers I would be, I always game the questions to aim for the Hulk. No question, the Hulk is my Avenger, hands down, and I will always be upset that of the Avengers his stand-alone movies have fared the worst, box-office and critical-opinion-wise.

The main reason, of course, is that they didn’t get the right actor to play Bruce Banner until The Avengers hit theaters.

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