Blacklist: A Film by Christina Hu

Starting in the early 1970s, thousands of Taiwanese immigrants came to the United States each year, in pursuit of higher education and better lives for their families. Yet, mostly untold, is the story of how hundreds of these Taiwanese in America were put on a blacklist by the government in Taiwan, for speaking out for democracy and human rights in Taiwan while they were in the United States. Once outside of Taiwan, that generation of Taiwanese graduate students were exposed to the values of freedom…

A Rose By Any Other

My Chinese name is 陳克聞. Seven strokes for the first character of my given name, fourteen for the second, because the fortuneteller told my grandmother that this mathematics of words was auspicious. I write my name with one stroke fewer than the prescribed number, so perhaps all my misfortunes are a result of bad penmanship. No one uses 陳克聞. At home, I am 哥哥, “older brother,” except when my mother, in exasperation, calls out all three syllables of my name for dramatic effect.…

Rally for UN Membership for Taiwan

By Jenny Wang, co-organizer of Keep Taiwan Free“Growing up, my parents always told me that I’m Taiwanese, and to never let anyone tell me otherwise. As I grew older, I started to learn more about the complications of Taiwan and our Taiwanese identities. As a Taiwanese American, I’m always striving to protect my Taiwanese American identity - an identity that I cherish - and by doing so, I became more active in protecting Taiwan and helping to promote Taiwan in the international community.”…

Summer in Taiwan and #blacklivesmatter

The police officer suspected of murdering Philando Castile looks like he could be my father, my uncle, my brother. Asians and Asian Americans do not deserve to be silent. I’m spending the summer in Taiwan, learning and unlearning what it means to occupy a Taiwanese body in an American space; an American body in a Taiwanese space.My thirteen-year-old cousin asks me about my two best friends in college. They are handsome, black, and male. A computer programmer and a gifted medical student.She…

228 and the Power of Storytelling

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="735"] "For those of us who remember that every struggle is for a glory beyond our own." Drawing by Leona Chen, December 2015[/caption] (Amma, I may be studying Walt Whitman, but I am writing my way back to you.) I was born in 1996, the year of Taiwan’s first direct presidential election. Exactly two decades later, we have named the first woman president of Taiwan (and the second female head of state in the history of East Asia). And while we have tremendous…

The Top 10 TaiwaneseAmerican.org Facebook Posts of 2015!

Miss Taiwan, cats, Taiwan making the world's #1 whisky, hot nightmarket vendors, Taiwan's first woman president--and more! Check out 10+ of the most popular TaiwaneseAmerican.org Facebook posts of 2015. Happy New Year! 1. Miss Taiwan takes a stand.// < ![CDATA[ // < ![CDATA[ // < ![CDATA[ // < ![CDATA[ (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3";…

Paths and Patterns: experiences in translingualism

We’ve fallen into a pattern, my new friends. And some of my old friends, in this new context. It’s a new thing, for them, but feels familiar, comfortable, for me. You see, it’s natural for me, because it’s how I grew up.I grew up in the US, in the heart of the Midwest, a daughter of Taiwanese immigrants. Mandarin was my first language, but ceded her position as mother tongue to English early on, in a country where assimilation was survival. My parents, though, my beautifully centered…

In Honor of Taiwanese Ancestry and Identity

Throughout my own life, the Taiwanese American community has been synonymous with family. The people around me inherently understood Taiwan’s culture and history; these were so deeply embedded that we could even claim polarizing political differences within our Taiwanese ethnicities. This upbringing was such a privilege; I am grateful to my elders and surrounding friends for fostering this sense of awareness.But I have come to realize that simply identifying as “Taiwanese American” or…

Tongues like Swords: American Privilege in Taiwan

Being an American is a funny thing. Because, being an American carries some serious cultural currency in most parts of the world, mostly due to the fact that since the end of WWII the US has held hegemonic power, both militarily and economically. (Not to say we are or are not necessarily well-liked, but that’s a different question altogether). In many parts of the world, the sort of idea that “West is best” has been very pervasive, and this manifests itself in all facets of life. This is…

Taiwanese Americans in Solidarity

Although systemic racism is the oldest motif in American history, recent events – including the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson and the protests in Baltimore – have prompted us to thoroughly confront what it means to be a person of color in the United States.As Taiwanese Americans, our phenotype generally assigns us to a vague “Asian” aesthetic.This “Asian” aesthetic then ascribes us to certain privileges and disadvantages.Historically, the Asian American community has…