Blogs Category: Asian American History

Before Brown v. Board of Education, There was Tape v. Hurley

Tape v. Hurley (1885) is one the most important civil rights decisions that you've likely never heard of. The parents of American-born Mamie Tape successfully challenged a principal's refusal to enroll their daughter and other children of Chinese heritage into the Spring Valley Primary School in San Francisco, California, seven decades before the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education.

“Her Name is Shizuko”—A Mother’s Influence

The following is a guest post by Karen “Kara” Chittenden, Senior Cataloging Specialist, Prints and Photographs Division. On April 26, 1942, a U.S. War Relocation Authority photographer documented a young Japanese American woman who was waiting in line to receive a family registration number before being removed to the Tanforan Assembly Center four days later. […]

Celebrating AAPI History through the Cherry Blossoms - Pic of the Week

Washington, D.C.’s cherry blossom trees reached peak bloom at the end of March of this year, bringing springtime to the region. This week’s Pic of the Week is a close-up of one of these beautiful trees. On May 1, 2012, President Barack Obama’s proclamation for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month recognized two major […]

Holehole Bushi: Franklin Odo on the Work Songs of Japanese Sugarcane Workers in Hawai`i

Japanese agricultural workers began immigrating to Hawai`i in 1868, primarily to work on sugar plantations. This immigration peaked in the late 19th century. At this time the population of Native Hawaiians was crashing. As Hawaiians had more contact with Europeans they contracted diseases that they had no immunity to. Sugar plantations, mainly owned by American […]

Ready for research: Documentation of Southern pottery, Southeast Asian cultures, and Armenian folk crafts

This is a guest post by American Folklife Center archivist Jesse Hocking, who is part of a new cohort of archives staff across the Library who were hired to help bring collections out of the processing backlog. The American Folklife Center is excited to announce that the collection of Nancy Sweezy (1921-2010), noted folklorist, potter, […]

Homegrown Plus: Traditional Hindustani Music with Soumya Chakraverty and Devapriya Nayak

In the Homegrown Plus series, we present Homegrown concerts that also had accompanying oral history interviews, placing both together in an easy-to-find blog post. (Find the whole series here!) We’re continuing the series with a concert and oral history with Soumya Chakraverty and Devapriya Nayak. This event was cosponsored with the Library of Congress Asian American Association […]