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A new series examines the lives of Asian Americans

Updated: 2020-05-15 09:22:36

( Xinhua )

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SAN FRANCISCO-A five-episode documentary series entitled Asian Americans has been released in the United States, with its first two episodes premiering on the Public Broadcasting Service on Monday.

The series delivers "a bold, fresh perspective on a history that matters today, more than ever, as America becomes more diverse and more divided while facing unimaginable challenges", PBS says on its website.

Led by a team of Asian American filmmakers, the series examines the significant role of Asian Americans in shaping US history and identity, from Chinese rail workers' long-forgotten contribution in the 1850s to modern refugee crises in a globally connected world.

At a digital town hall organized by the Center for Asian American Media in connection with the series' premiere, US congresswoman Judy Chu says for many Asian Americans, it's not just the health risks of the coronavirus that are a cause for concern right now, but also "the anti-Asian bigotry that this pandemic has incited".

Chu, the first Chinese American woman elected to US Congress, adds: "There's no better time to reflect on the history of contributions of the AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) community.

"This is especially true when it comes to addressing anti-Asian hate crimes.

"We must continue to push back against the xenophobia every time it rears its ugly head .... Our history has shown us that Asian Americans have often been used as it goes in times of crisis.

"We are seeing this again today, which is why it is more important now than ever that we stand united and make our voices heard."

The rest of the documentary's three episodes aired on Tuesday. The premiere is also a part of the films and performances program of San Francisco's Asia-Pacific American Heritage Month.

May has been celebrated as APA Heritage Month for the past 15 years in San Francisco. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's APA events cannot take place as usual.

San Francisco mayor London Breed calls for fighting against discrimination and hate amid the pandemic while addressing the virtual opening of APA Heritage Month.

"During this global pandemic, the APA communities are facing unfair treatment, prejudice and threats simply because of who they are," she says. "There is no place for discrimination and hate in our city or our country."


The PBS documentary series, Asian Americans, examines the significant role of Asian Americans in US society, politics and pop culture over the past few centuries. The show features reflections from Fresh Off the Boat star Randall Park (above) and is co-narrated by actor Daniel Dae Kim (top). AP



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