Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month began as a week-long celebration signed into law by President Carter in May of 1978. In 1992, Congress passed a public law designating an annual month-long observance of "Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month."
"A rather broad term, Asian/Pacific encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island). The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants" (www.asianpacificheritage.gov).
We have chosen to use the acronym AANHPI throughout this guide to designate Asian American, Native Hawaiian, & Pacific Islanders. However, you might see Asian American Heritage Month, Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month, or Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month on other sites. There is no one "official" or "correct" acronym or name to designate such a diverse group of people. For more information, please check out the video Are You “AAPI” or “Asian American”? It's Complicated. below from "A People's History of Asian America."
"How many A’s in AAPI? Dolly & Adrian hear from South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander voices to explore the pros and cons of disaggregating Asian American as a statistical category. A People’s History of Asian America is a series of thoughtful visual essays and explainers, hosted by Emmy award-winning journalist, Dolly Li, and Asian studies scholar and professor, Adrian De Leon. Each episode offers informed and empowering perspectives, helping to break down common microaggressions and racist stereotypes through the tools of ethnic studies. This series covers what your classic American school history textbook may not."
"Asian-American actor, David Huynh, is working to bring awareness to the lack of Asian representation and visibility in film and theater. David Huynh is a NYC-based actor and model."
Click on any of the links to visit that title's IMDb page!
Minari (Lee isaac Chung) — Hulu
The Farewell (Lulu Wang) — Hulu
The Tiger Hunter (Lena Khan) — Prime Video
Crazy Rich Asians (Jon M. Chu) — HBO Max
Moana (Ron Clements, John Musker, & Don Hall) — Disney+
Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki) — HBO Max
The Joy Luck Club (Wayne Wang) — Prime Video
To All the Boys I've Loved Before (Susan Johnson) — Netflix
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (Destin Daniel Cretton) — Disney+
Turning Red (Domee Shi) — Disney+
Finding 'Ohana (Jude Weng) — Netflix
Tigertail (Alan Yang) — Netflix
Always Be My Maybe (Nahnatchka Khan) — Netflix
Driveways (Andrew Ahn) — Showtime
Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King (Hasan Minhaj) — Netflix
The Big Sick (Michael Showalter) — Prime Video
Saving Face (Alice Wu) — Prime Video
Parasite (Bong Joon Ho) — Hulu
Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa) — HBO Max
Sound of Metal (Darius Marder) — Prime Video
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee) — Prime Video
Mulan (Niki Caro - 2020) — Disney+
Enter the Dragon (Robert Clouse) — HBO Max
Life of Pi (Ang Lee) — Prime Video
Slumdog Millionaire (Danny Boyle & Loveleen Tandan) — HBO Max
Over the Moon (Glen Keane & John Kahrs) — Disney+
Jiro Dreams of Sushi (David Gelb) — Prime Video
Pacific Warriors (James Marquand) — Freevee
Minding the Gap (Bing Liu) — Hulu
Ulam: Main Dish (Alexandra Cuerdo) — Hulu
Manny (Leon Gast & Ryan Moore) — Freevee
To Be Takei (Jennifer M. Kroot) — Prime Video
Koran by Heart (Greg Barker) — HBO Max
Writing with Fire (Sushmit Ghosh & Rintu Thomas) — Prime Video
Daughters of Destiny (Vanessa Roth) — Netflix
Wu Assassins (Tony Krantz & John Wirth) — Netflix
Ugly Delicious (David Chang, Peter Meehan, & Aziz Ansari) — Netflix
Never Have I Ever (Lang Fisher & Mindy Kaling) — Netflix
Quantico (Joshua Safran) — Hulu
Bling Empire (Kevin Kreider, Christine Chiu, & Kelly Mi Li) — Netflix
Four Weddings and a Funeral (Mindy Kaling & Matt Warburton) — Hulu
The Mindy Project (Mindy Kaling) — Netflix
Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens (Awkwafina & Teresa Hsiao) — HBO Max
Master of None (Aziz Ansari & Alan Yang) — Netflix
Killing Eve (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) — Hulu
Fresh Off the Boat (Nahnatchka Khan) — Hulu
Little America (Lee Eisenberg, Emily V. Gordon, & Kumail Nanjiani) — Apple TV+
Many popular streaming platforms, including Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime Video, have collections of curated media to help users celebrate AANHPI storytellers. Check out each of the streaming platforms for more media recognizing AANHPI voices this May!
"Bad driver. Math wizard. Model minority. In this hilarious and insightful talk, eighteen-year-old Canwen Xu shares her Asian-American story of breaking stereotypes, reaffirming stereotypes, and driving competently on her way to buy rice. Canwen Xu's slogan for life is 'Canwen can win.'”
"Asian American women often feel the pressure to conform to the model minority stereotype, fight imposter syndrome, and aim to lead authentically as an 'other' in the corporate world. From her personal journey identifying as a banana in college (yellow on the outside, white on the inside) through a 22-year career as a design leader in tech and now an executive coach, Tutti Taygerly moves beyond the stereotypes and shares three strategies for how to claim your leadership and succeed in workplaces not built with you in mind. Tutti coaches co-founders and tech leaders to embrace their unique leadership style to achieve professional impact and a sustainable company culture. She focuses on working with women, people of color, and immigrants. Previously she was a design leader at design firms, startups, and large companies including Disney and Facebook. Tutti writes for Harvard Business Review, Business Insider, and Fast Company and her book Make Space to Lead shows high achievers how to reframe our relationship to work."
When he was a child, George Takei and his family were forced into an internment camp for Japanese-Americans, as a "security" measure during World War II. 70 years later, Takei looks back at how the camp shaped his surprising, personal definition of patriotism and democracy.