Snapshots of Asian America: A Look at the Movement's Spirit and Legacy
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Asian American Tactical Theater, Basement Workshop, New York, 1971. This group performed dramatic and thought-provoking street theater at demonstrations and events, and sought to illuminate issues like the racism Asian GIs dealt with in Vietnam. Conventional artists often see art as personal expression, but many artists in the early days of the Asian American Movement grew to see art much differently, as can be seen in Nancy Hom's experience (see text below).
Photo by Bob Hsiang.

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Drinking Tea With Both Hands


When Chris Iijima and Joanne (now known as Nobuko) Miyamoto [one of the first Asian American folk groups] came to sing at Pratt [University] one afternoon, I was intrigued. They sang of things that resonated with me, songs of garment workers and railroad builders, people like my parents. They told me to come to this group they belonged to called "Chickens Come Home to Roost" [which fought for low-income housing] on New York's Upper West Side. I went there and entered another world. But it was not so simple; I was an artist and not used to being connected to a group. Collective art was not part of my vocabulary.

At "Chickens Come Home to Roost," I met Bob Hsiang, Corky Lee, John Kao, Gordon Lee, and others. They were part of a group called the Asian Media Collective. We made Super 8 films and slide shows that captured the emerging Asian American Movement -- the Vietnam War protests, the first Chinatown health fair, the admission of China into the United Nations, the first mural in Chinatown, Asian women's issues.

[01 Transforming Ourselves]     [02 Not Without Struggle]     [03 Serve the People]
[04 Listening to the Small Voice]     [05 The Big Picture]     [06 Revolution]
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