The Advent and Origins of the Asian American Movement in the San Francisco Bay Area: A Personal Perspective
By the time I started at UC Berkeley in the Fall of 1965, my awareness of racial issues stemmed from my own relative social segregation among Chinese American friends, and the advent of fair housing in Berkeley. I became active with the Chinese Students Club, the largest Asian American student group on campus.
A fight involving gang kids from San Francisco Chinatown at one of our huge Pauley Ballroom dances led me to start raising community issues in the leadership, and we began a Chinatown Tutorial, tapping into the many concerned UC students who volunteered once or twice a month to help immigrant kids with their schoolwork.
The Third World Strike [the quarter-long campus strike demanding Ethnic Studies] represented the convergence of this identity movement with the educational mission of the University, and the common status of all minorities in the U.S. affected by racist attitudes and racist curriculums in history, sociology, and political science.
Through it all, for all of the involved groups -- be it AAPA, the African American Students Union, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Atzlan (M.E.Ch.A), or the Native American Students Association -- our communities were always at the forefront of our thinking.