May 2024: Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

In celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPIHM), we selected featured resources that spotlight the diverse cultures and experiences of Asian American, Pacific Islander, and Native Hawaiian communities.

Museum of Science Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Image credit: Museum of Science.

The AAPI Heritage Month 2024 page in Asian Studies guide provides open sources and searchable library resources using library OneSearch’s “QC + CUNY Libraries” and “SUNY Libraries” options.

Facts for AAPIHM

Since 1992, when Congress passed Public Law 102-450 designating May as the annual Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (AAPIHM), AAPIHM has become a month-long celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islanders’ contributions to the United States.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2022, the estimated number of Asian alone-or-in-combination residents in the United States was 24.7 million, and the estimated population of Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders was 1.8 million.

Below is a snapshot of AAPI in the national business based on the 2022 Annual Business Survey, data year 2021.

Image credit: U.S. Census Bureau.

Featured Books

Memory piece
New York: Riverhead Books, 2024

“Three Asian American teenagers meet in the New York suburbs in the 1980s. Drawn together by their shared sense of alienation from their conventionally domestic immigrant families, each wants to live a meaningful life.”

The best we could do: an illustrated memoir
New York: Abrams ComicArts, an imprint of ABRAMS, 2017

“Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family’s daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves.”

Narrating nationalisms: ideology and form in Asian American literature
New York; Oxford University Press, 2023

“Ling’s book rereads five works by John Okada, Louis Chu, Frank Chin, and Maxine Hong Kingston in order to reconceptualize the relationship between the past and present of post-World War II Asian-American literary history.”

Asian American is not a color: conversations on race, affirmative action, and family
Boston: Beacon Press, 2024

“A mother and race scholar seeks to answer her daughter’s many questions about race and racism with an earnest exploration into race relations and affirmative action from the perspectives of Asian Americans.”

Every drop is a man’s nightmare: stories
New York: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2023

“Megan Kamalei Kakimoto’s wrenching and sensational debut story collection follows a cast of mixed native Hawaiian and Japanese women through a contemporary landscape thick with inherited wisdom and the ghosts of colonization.”

Wei skates on
New York: Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2023

“Olympic gold medalist and three-time World Champion Nathan Chen delivers an inspirational picture book about facing your fears and finding the joy in sports, no matter the outcome.”

Digital Archives and Websites

Asian Pacific American History: “Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders can trace their histories to a region that spans more than half the globe. They have played key roles in shaping America’s past, leaving an enduring impact in areas such as work, politics, culture, and law. They have done so as immigrants, sojourners, settlers, refugees, citizens, non-citizens, residents, U.S. nationals, and members of overthrown sovereign kingdoms. ”

Annexation of Hawaii: Topics in Chronicling America: “The United States annexed Hawaii in 1898 at the urging of President William McKinley. This guide provides access to material related to the ‘Annexation of Hawaii’ in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.”

Chinese Exclusion Act: Topics in Chronicling America: “During the late 1800s, the Chinese Exclusion Act prevented Chinese laborers from immigrating to the U.S. This guide provides access to materials related to the ‘Chinese Exclusion Act’ in the Chronicling America digital collection of historical newspapers.”

Cherry Blossom Trees: Topics in Chronicling America:“ An early 20th-century gift of cherry trees from Japan to the United States became a symbol of friendship. This guide provides access to materials related to the ‘Cherry Blossom Trees’ in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.”

Streaming Media and Films

Asian Americans. Episode one, Breaking Ground: “This series traces the story of Asian Americans, spanning 150 years of immigration, racial politics, and cultural innovation. It is a timely look at the role that Asian Americans have played in defining who we are as a nation. In an era of U.S. expansion, new immigrants arrive from China, India, Japan, the Philippines, and beyond. Eventually barred by anti-Asian laws, they become America’s first ‘undocumented immigrants.'”

The Donut King: “The rags to riches story of Ted Ngoy, a Cambodian refugee arriving in America in 1975 and building a multi-million-dollar empire baking America’s favorite pastry, the donut. His story is one of love, hard knocks, survival, and redemption. Ted sponsored hundreds of visas for incoming refugees and helped them get on their feet teaching them the ways of the donut business.”

Raya and the Last Dragon: “Long ago, in the fantasy world of Kumandra, humans and dragons lived together in harmony. But when sinister monsters known as the Druun threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 years later, those same monsters have returned, and it’s up to a lone warrior, Raya, to track down the last dragon in order to finally stop the Druun for good. However, along her journey, she’ll learn that it’ll take more than dragon magic to save the world; it’s going to take trust as well.”

The Making of Asian America: A History: “In the past fifty years, Asian Americans have helped change the face of America and are now the fastest growing group in the United States. But as award-winning historian Erika Lee reminds us, Asian Americans also have deep roots in the country. The Making of Asian America tells the little-known history of Asian Americans and their role in American life, from the arrival of the first Asians in the Americas to the present day.”

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