Finding Asian American Identity in The Difficult Conversations

A child sits with their parent, holding an American flag. (Photo credit: Center for American Progress)

By Guest Contributors: Katerina Jeng and Krystie Yen, Co-Founders of Slant’d

For so long, racial identity and discussions about race in America have largely been constrained to a black and white dichotomy. With a history rooted in anti-blackness, the black-white framing of racial identity has historically silenced communities of color and pitted non-black communities, including Asian Americans, against movements for black liberation. As Asian Americans fight for better representation and uplift for our community and other communities of color, where do we fall in this conversation about the complex reality of race in America?

While Asian Americans have been organizing alongside other communities of color for years, much of this progress has been pushed back by the pervasiveness of the model minority myth, which silences our perspectives. We are now the fastest growing racial group and are poised to become the largest immigrant group in the country — and that’s why it has never been more important to have conversations about what our community needs and how to advocate for ourselves. Given all of this, we now have the opportunity to create a vision for our community that is inclusive — and we will need to turn to one another to better understand who we are and how we want to be represented.

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