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95 minutes | Jun 24, 2021
018 - Fifth Anniversary
Host and Producer Quincy Surasmith Five years ago in Spring of 2016, we launched Asian Americana. For our fifth anniversary, we take a moment to revisit all of the stories we’ve done from our first episode through the end of 2020. What happened after we stopped recording? What are those people doing now? Listen and find out. Or listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, or RadioPublic.If you want to go back to listen to these episodes (again or for the first time), you can find them linked below or on our episodes page.Episode 14: Kala Bagai The Berkeley South Asian Radical History Walking Tour is starting up again! You can learn more and register on their website.Here’s the video of the Kala Bagai Way ribbon cutting ceremony from SAADA:Episode 13: That's Just The Way The Ball BouncesYou can find more about Julianne Sato-Parker on her website.Episode 12: Letters for Black LivesYou can find all the letters, translations, and resources on the Letters for Black Lives site.Here’s the video that we referenced being shown at the 2020 Democratic National Convention.Episode 11: Helpers in the Time of CoronavirusYou can read the tragic news about Kouraku’s owner on Rafu Shimpo’s “Kouraku’s Hiroshi Yamauchi, 67, Passes Away”You can learn more about CCED and SEACA LA’s mutual aid efforts before they continued their work separately in this Facebook post.Episode 10: What We Inherit: Marie Kondo and the Security of StuffLearn more about Christina Ong and her work on her website.Episode 9: Facial Hair Desmond Chiam with the Captain America shield on the set of Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Photo from his Twitter. Image from article: San Antonio native Saagar Shaikh lands acting role in upcoming Disney+ series Ms. Marvel (San Antonio Current) Here’s some pictures of Desmond and Saagar with their facial hair on display, now both part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.Episode 8: Dawn Mabalon is in the Heart Dawn Mabalon in the mural at Arkipelago bookstore in San Francisco. Image from Heroes In Our Windows: Looking at the Making of a Mural in the South of Market (SOMCAN) The piece “1965-1970: Filipino Farmworkers lead the Delano Grape Strike” in Time’s “11 Moments From Asian American History That You Should Know” was credited to “Dawn Bohulano Mabalon, Associate Professor, History, San Francisco State University; Gayle Romasanta, Founder and Writer, Bridge and Delta Publishing; Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales, Professor, Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University”ABC 10 in Stockton covered Dawn’s work in their story “A look into the rich history of Filipino Americans in Stockton and Little Manila.”Keep an eye out for future books, including one on Dawn, from Bridge + Delta Publishing.Episode 7: Claudia KishiHere’s the trailer to Sue Ding’s Claudia Kishi Club. You can learn more about Sue on her website.Episode 6: Filipino American PodcastsYou can listen to all of Long Distance’s current two season and keep an eye out for their upcoming stories on the Long Distance website.This Filipino American Life continues to run and can be found on their website.Episode 5: Cambodian Rock BandLearn more about Cambodian Rock Band’s run at Oregon Shakespeare Festival on the OSF website, and see the trailer for the Signature Theatre run in New York:And Playbill confirmed: “Post-Pandemic, Cambodian Rock Band's Tour is Ready to Storm the Stage”Episode 4: Boba/Bubble TeaKristie Hang’s reporting on rumors of a boba shortage can be found in the Eater LA piece, “Los Angeles Is Safe From the Boba Apocalypse.” Her other work can be found on her website. Episode 3: Sacramento DeltaLearn more about Locke’s Oral History Project on their website: The Locke Foundation Oral History ProjectEpisode 2: Roots CSAYou can learn more about Food Roots at foodroots.co.Episode 1: Giant RobotGiant Robot continues on strong, and Eric still runs their gallery in Sawtelle, Los Angeles, and online projects at Giant Robot’s website.And finally, you can learn more about The Linda Lindas on their website and get their music from their Bandcamp.Here’s their show with the LA Public Library that drew everyone’s attention:
59 minutes | Mar 25, 2021
017 - Until it Happened To Us
The Covid-19 pandemic has been in the United States for over a year, but the way we each think about it is shaped heavily by how it does or doesn’t directly affect us individually. For some people, they’ve become all too familiar with the impact of the coronavirus. Contributor Denise Chan shares her family’s experience with Covid-19 from her podcast, Until it Happened to Us, which originally ran in December of 2020.
53 minutes | Feb 15, 2021
016 - Comfort Food, part 2
Shin Ramyun with cheese. Photo credit: Quincy Surasmith This is the second part of our comfort food episode. In the previous episode, we focused on the ways food traditions get passed down through families, communities, and cookbooks, and the way they adapt over time. Today, we look at how simple foods, convenience foods, and even fast food restaurants can become part of our cherished memories and culture.Listen: Or listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, or RadioPublic. indo mie, indo you zine by Amy Wibowo. Art from BubbleSort Learn more Amy Wibowo’s work at BubbleSort! Her zine, indo mie, indo you can be found on her site. Art by Shing Yin Khor for Catapult Read Noah Cho’s piece I’ll Fight Anyone Who Says You Shouldn’t Put Cheese on Your Ramyun on his column at Catapult.And the Roy Choi recipe Noah referenced in the episode can be found on The New York Times. Art from Foodbeast You can read Virali Dave’s piece Why Do Indian Americans Love Taco Bell? on Foodbeast.what's your cultural background, and what is the pinnacle of comfort food for you?— Soleil Ho (@hooleil) October 7, 2020 Check out Soleil Ho’s twitter thread on comfort food to see all the responses she got. You can find Soleil Ho’s current writing on The San Francisco Chronicle.Music from this episode included:Alice Tong - Home to MeThe Blazing Rays of the Sun - Closer. You can find the artists’ current music with the band Fevertalk.Das Racist - Combination Pizza Hut and Taco BellChris Iijima, Nobuko Miyamoto, and Charlie Chin - Imperialism is Just Another Word For Hunger
59 minutes | Feb 8, 2021
015 - Comfort Food, part 1
A plate of Thai-Chinese style pork and rice. Photo credit: Quincy Surasmith The past several months of pandemic have been really hard on all of us, and have kept a lot of us at home. For those of us that can afford to, that means a lot of finding solace in taking care of ourselves and others with some comforting meals.This is the first of two episodes about Asian American comfort foods: the traditions we’ve passed down in our families, as well as the adaptations and substitutions different communities have picked up along the way.You can listen to part two here!Listen: Or listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, or RadioPublic.I present to you: the Weiner dinner, a Migaki family staple. Invented by my grandmother when she was was raising 3 kids with no money. Cut up hot dogs, potatoes, soy sauce + sugar served over rice.Asian-American fusion at its humblest and finest. A comforting meal always. pic.twitter.com/w6YVAcMmzL— Lauren Migaki (@lmigaki) March 17, 2020 Check out Lauren Migaki’s original tweet and picture of the Migaki family “Weiner dinner.” This was the post that set this whole episode in motion!Learn more about Kelly Fong and Clement Lai’s community cookbook research project on their blog, Chinese American Homestyle Cooking. The Stockton cookbook Kelly’s family owned:Treasured Recipes from Two Cultures–American and Chinese. Photo credit: Kelly Fong From VAALA’s website: The Illuminated Recipes project’s purpose is to contribute to diversifying the story of the Vietnamese American refugee experience and the larger American immigrant narrative through the mediums of storytelling and oral history, photography, and mixed media art with food as the compelling connection. VAALA’s Illuminated Recipes project can be found on the VAALA website.Music from this episode included:Jason Chu ft. Olivia Thai - Grandma’s KitchenDavid Tran aka applesauce - Song for MomPeter Su - Before You Get Too Old
64 minutes | Oct 19, 2020
014 - Kala Bagai
Image of Kala Bagai used with permission, courtesy Rani Bagai What was it like for a South Asian woman immigrating to the US in the early 20th century, and how did she build a community over her lifetime? And why name a street in Berkeley after Kala Bagai — especially since she may not have spent much time living there, if she did at all?Listen: Or listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, or RadioPublic. Kala Bagai and her family. Photo used with permission, courtesy Rani Bagai and SAADA. Kala Bagai and her sons. Photo used with permission, courtesy Rani Bagai and SAADA. Learn more about Kala Bagai and her story on the South Asian American Digital Archive website. There you can also find the recording of her oral history, Vaishno Das Bagai’s letter to the San Francisco Examiner, and other archival materials, such as the newspaper clipping below. Clipping of Los Angeles Daily News, featuring American Wives of India organization. Photo used with permission, courtesy Rani Bagai and SAADA. You can read Rani Bagai’s letter supporting the Kala Bagai Way campaign on Berkeleyside here: Opinion: Berkeley might name a street after Kala Bagai. This is her story Learn more about the Berkeley South Asian Radical History walking tour on their website.
59 minutes | Aug 11, 2020
013 - That's Just The Way The Ball Bounces
The language and phrases passed down in our families can reflect our specific cultures, heritage, and journey. But sometimes, they’re a way to cope with something darker and can belie hidden histories. Contributor Julianne Parker explores the depth and meaning of her grandmother’s signature saying in That’s Just the Way the Ball Bounces.
68 minutes | Jul 17, 2020
012 - Letters for Black Lives
How do we act as allies to the Black community when we see injustice? How do we start those actions and intentions from our homes and communities? We explore the story of how hundreds of people came together from all around the world to work on a letter — a letter that would be translated into 40 plus languages and help everyone start talking to their families and communities about supporting Black lives. Or listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, or RadioPublic. You can find the Letters for Black Lives project on their website. The full list of published translations can be found here.The supplemental resource document, featuring a guide to follow-up conversations, can be found here.First, this is not an open letter to all Black people from all the AZNs telling them how much we love them and asking for a cookie in return. It's also not even a letter *for* Black people. The letters aren't addressed to *them*.— Gary Chou (@garychou) June 10, 2020 We're not utilizing words as weapons in the service of "being right" or simply showing we are down for the cause. We're using them to try to open some very complicated, messy, stuck doors. pic.twitter.com/hw11gfllBB— Gary Chou (@garychou) June 10, 2020 One of the organizers, Gary Chou, has written an in-depth twitter thread further explaining the intentions and philosophy of the Letters for Black Lives project. We encourage you to read it to get a better sense of the project beyond our episode. In this episode, Aishwarya mentioned watching a special clip from Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj. You can watch the full video above. NPR’s Code Switch did a great piece about the original Letters for Black Lives project in 2016. You can find it here: A Letter From Young Asian-Americans To Their Families About Black Lives MatterKat Chow, formerly with NPR’s Code Switch, also wrote this very thoughtful piece: 'Model Minority' Myth Again Used As A Racial Wedge Between Asians And BlacksFinally, here are some links to other resources that may be helpful to you. We’ve not checked every single resource linked, but hopefully these are useful starting points for you to learn more and do further work.Asian American Advocacy Fund resource listAsian American Organizing Project resource listAsian American Racial Justice ToolkitAsians4Black Lives Twitter and Instagram
77 minutes | May 7, 2020
011 - Helpers in the Time of Coronavirus
Photo credit: Bryan Sih / CCED We explore the stories of Asian Americans working to defend our communities from attacks, the volunteers organizing direct aid to vulnerable populations, the people translating information into terms and languages so more can understand, and the local businesses helping each other and their communities survive during Covid-19.We can’t stress enough, though: Asian Americans are doing all these things because we care about our communities — not because we need to prove to anyone our right to belong. This is a continuation of the work that’s long been happening in our communities.Listen: Or listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, or RadioPublic.We mentioned a lot of projects, campaigns, and organizations in today’s show. You can find information about all of them below.And we know there are SO many more happening across the country. If you’d like to share about some efforts, organizations, and communities you know about, I’d love to hear them. Just send me a voice recording at quincy [at] asianamericana.com with your name, where you’re at, and the efforts you’d like to share; maybe I’ll use it on the show! #HateisaVirusHateisaVirus is one of many campaigns spreading awareness and information about how to respond to hate incidents. Learn more about #Hateisavirus on their website. Other awareness campaigns out there include #WashtheHate and #Racismisavirus. A3PCON and Stop AAPI Hate - Hate Incident ReportingA3PCON is collecting data about hate incidents targeting Asian Americans. They have created a multilingual incident reporting form and provided other resources about how to respond to such incidents. All these can be found on their website at Stop AAPI Hate. Photo credit: Bryan Sih / CCED SEACA and CCED - Mutual Aid and ChinatownSEACA and CCED are organizations providing mutual aid in Los Angeles’ Chinatown and nearby neighborhoods. Their work includes food and cleaning supply deliveries, in-language check-ins with residents, businesses, families, and seniors, along with community organizing efforts. You can support SEACA and CCED’s mutual aid efforts by donating on SEACA’s website — be sure to note the donation as “LA Chinatown Mutual Aid Fund.” Day by Day Comic by APIAHF and artist Minnie Phan, from their April 30 Community Care Package. APIA Health Forum - Community Language LibraryAPIA Health Forum has collected various Covid-19 resources on their website. This includes their community library for in-language resources. If you have more in-language resources to share with them, you can submit them on their Google Form.You can also sign up for their Community Care Package here. They can also be found on Medium; the first issue is available here. And you can support them by donating. The SEAD Project - Southeast Asian language resourcesThe SEAD Project has resources available on their website, including materials in English, Burmese, Hmong, Karen, Khmer, Lao, and Việt. You can support their work through their shop or donations. Malaka Gharib - Comic/Zine about CoronavirusMalaka Gharib’s comic zine helping to explain the Coronavirus to children can be found on NPR’s website. A version that can be printed out and folded into a zine is also available here. It is also available in Chinese here. Little TokyoOrganizations like Little Tokyo Service Center, Little Tokyo Community Council, and others have been providing aid and assistance in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo neighborhood. Little Tokyo Service Center’s Covid-19 resources can be found on their site. They also have a site detailing their small business assistance.You can also donate to the Little Tokyo Community Feeding Community project here. James Choi’s post on Cafe Dulce’s Instagram about Kouraku. (Click to see the original post) James Choi, owner of Cafe Dulce in Little Tokyo, made an Instagram post that helped inspire Kouraku, a restaurant in Little Tokyo, to reach their customers by joining Facebook. Kouraku’s first Facebook post. (Click to see the original post) Feed the Frontliners delivers food to medical workers. Photo from The Park’s Finest. The Park’s Finest - Feed the FrontlinersAfter their restaurants The Park’s Finest BBQ and Thunderbolt LA were impacted by Covid-19 public policies, shelter-in-place, and social distancing, they turned their efforts to feeding medical staff, firehouses, and other frontliners during the pandemic. Information about their Feed the Frontliners project can be found on their website. You can donate to Feed the Frontliners on their GoFundMe page.Music from the episodeHome, by Jason Chu; available on his upcoming album, Living Room, available for pre-order now.Windmill, by Connie Lim; her current music can be heard as MILCK. Chinatown, as performed by Nobuko Miyamoto, Nancy Sekizawa, and Benny Yee at the Tuesday Night Cafe. The song is written by Benny Yee and copyrighted to EmploYee Music.Almost Time, by Surrija; available on her new self-titled album.Croptender, by the Fighting Cocks as recorded at the Tuesday Night Cafe.
32 minutes | Mar 26, 2020
010 - What We Inherit: Marie Kondo and the Security of Stuff
Christina Ong with her mom. Photo courtesy Christina Ong Marie Kondo’s book, show, and KonMari decluttering method got popular in the past couple years, but her methods may not apply the same way to immigrant families. Contributor Christina Ong explores family and belonging in her piece, What We Inherit: Marie Kondo and the Security of Stuff.Listen: Or listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, or RadioPublic.You can find more of Christina Ong’s work on her website. At the time of this episode, she’s studying how political activism and artistic production around anti-imperialism, anti-racism, and anti-sexism influenced the development of Asian America in the 1970s-1980s through an in-depth case study of New York City’s Basement Workshop.The article she references in her piece is Marie Kondo and the Privilege of Clutter, by Arielle Bernstein.The episode of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo we referenced is Season 1, Episode 2: Empty Nesters.
66 minutes | Feb 2, 2020
009 - Facial Hair
Producers Ada Tseng and Caroline Chang don't have a lot of personal experience with facial hair, but they hear Asian American men — in media and in their lives — talk about it all the time. So they decided to investigate: who can or cannot grow it, what are the stereotypes, and the ways it can signify Asian American identity, masculinity, marketability, and resistance.
66 minutes | Nov 14, 2019
008 - Dawn Mabalon Is In The Heart
Dr. Dawn Bohulano Mabalon is a groundbreaking scholar, historian, and community organizer who made sure the world would know the stories of Filipino Americans and Stockton’s Little Manila.
54 minutes | Mar 11, 2019
007 - Claudia Kishi
Claudia Kishi is an Asian American literary icon that went beyond being a fun, artistic, and stylish character. She became an inspiration and point of connection for a ton of young Asian Americans. We explore her influence on a generation of Asian American readers.
40 minutes | Nov 14, 2018
006 - Filipino American Podcasts
Following Filipino American History Month in October, we explore three Filipino American podcasts: This Filipino American Life, Balikbayan, and Long Distance — each sharing their own slice of Filipino American discussions, experiences, and stories.
28 minutes | Mar 22, 2018
005 - Cambodian Rock Band
We explore the play Cambodian Rock Band, and how this piece of Asian American theatre weaves together a story of Khmer American music, history, and family on stage.
2 minutes | Aug 31, 2017
Support Asian Americana on Patreon
When Asian Americana launched in 2016, I had one driving vision:I want to tell audio stories that center the diverse experiences, histories, and cultures of Asian Americans. Now I need your support to make more. We've launched a Patreon for the show, and we're asking you to contribute monthly at whatever amount you're able to. Even just a single dollar a month makes a difference.Become a Patron!It takes a lot of time, effort, and resources to make rich, inclusive audio reporting and storytelling that centers Asian American voices and experiences. I want to present stories that are ethnically, geographically, and historically diverse. Most importantly, I want to amplify stories from Asian Americans, not just about them.In the past year, I've done stories on the indie zine-turned-art institution Giant Robot, the Roots CSA program that connects Hmong American farmers and Asian American communities in California, the Chinese Americans who developed the Sacramento Delta and built their own town to call home, and the culture surrounding the ever-favorite boba/bubble tea.But I want to make more than four episodes a year. I'm bringing on a new team of producers, and I want to provide them equipment, training, software, and resources needed to grow our work. You can make that happen.If you believe in sharing and amplifying Asian American stories, please consider supporting us. We're offering stickers and shirts as incentives, but we hope you'll think of the podcast itself as the gift you're making possible.Become a Patron!Whatever amount you can contribute will make a difference. With your help, we can keep learning, keep reporting, and ultimately, keep telling more stories of Asian Americana.
53 minutes | Aug 22, 2017
004 - Boba/Bubble Tea
We explore the unique pearl of Asian American culture that is boba/bubble tea. We’ll take a look at its origins, hear folks from all over the country sharing their experiences with it, learn about some cool boba businesses and projects, and figure out what people across the country are calling it: from boba to bubble tea and a slew of other names in between.Listen: Or listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, or RadioPublic.Below is a graphical representation of the boba/bubble tea name survey. The disproportionate presence of California transplants among respondents may have affected the preference toward the term "boba" in the states of Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, South Dakota, and Utah.
14 minutes | May 9, 2017
Seattle with NextGenRadio
Seattle poet and law student Troy Osaki (Photo Credit: Quincy Surasmith) We bring you three stories by me (Quincy Surasmith), Diana Nguyen, and Adwoa Gyimah-Brempong from Next Generation Radio's week at KUOW in Seattle. We talk law and poetry, development in Seattle's Little Saigon, and smoked herring.Listen: Or listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, or RadioPublic.Read the full stories on Next Generation Radio: (Photo Credit: Quincy Surasmith/NextGenRadio) “I will not ask the system politely to dismantle itself.” by Quincy Surasmith (Photo Credit: Diana Nguyen/NextGenRadio) A restaurant owner braces himself to keep Seattle’s Little Saigon Vietnamese by Diana Nguyen (Photo Credit: Adwoa Gyimah-Brempong/NextGenRadio) Herring gets no respect. Warner Lew wants to change that. by Adwoa Gyimah-Brempong
39 minutes | Nov 12, 2016
003 - Sacramento Delta
Chinese Americans shaped the physical landscape of California during its early history in a way that still impacts us today. We explore how Chinese Americans developed the Sacramento delta, their role in California's growth, and visit Locke, a town founded by Chinese Americans.Listen: Or listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, or RadioPublic.Below are a few pictures from my trip to Locke. The episode references a few of these sites.
28 minutes | Jul 30, 2016
002 - Roots CSA
Roots CSA is a program that connects Hmong farmers in California’s central valley with Asian American communities in Southern California. How does this program empower communities in determining their own path to health and economic sustainability? We’ll find out by visiting both ends of our food’s journey from farmer to consumer. Listen: Or listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, or RadioPublic.
45 minutes | May 16, 2016
001 - Giant Robot
Giant Robot started as this small punk-rock zine featuring Asian and Asian American alternative and pop culture, but grew to become a celebrated art and cultural institution. How did Giant Robot survive? How have its founders maintained their passion and lifestyle throughout all their life changes and challenges?Listen: Or listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, or RadioPublic.
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