May 2024

Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month

The month of May is Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month.  Just as African American History and Heritage Month began as a one-week emphasis of “Negro History Week,” AAPI Heritage Month began as “Pacific/Asian American Heritage Week.”  May was selected to commemorate the first Japanese to immigrate to the US.  The selection of May also commemorates the immigration of Chinese to the US.  It is important to note that many immigrants from the Asian continent immigrated to California through Hawai’i.  As the masses entered the US from Asia, their nationalities were often erased.  Japanese, Chinese, and Koreans were often reduced to immigrants from the “Flowery Kingdom.”  May, therefore, presents an opportunity to learn the distinctive histories of the many peoples who immigrated to the US from across the Pacific Ocean.