Why This Taiwanese American Helped Tell the Story of Chinese Railroad Workers

Max Chang was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah and is considered one of the first, if not first, Taiwanese American born in Utah.  Max is a Board Member of the Spike 150 Foundation which oversaw the sesquicentennial celebration of the completion of the nation’s first transcontinental railroad. May 10, 2019 marked the 150th year anniversary of the driving of a Golden Spike into a polished laurel tie at Promontory Summit, Utah to celebrate the completion of the nation’s first…

From Wild Lilies to Sunflowers: Discovering Taiwan’s Democracy

From fist fights in the parliament to protests that seem to rotate through Taipei every few months, Taiwan's democracy is oftentimes placed under intense scrutiny. “Look at how messed up Taiwan’s government is,” I’d hear often. But critics often forget this obvious precursor to democratic maturity: age. Taiwan is known as the beacon of democracy in Asia, as the only Han society to know freedom today. However, people also forget how young this fragile democracy is, or how recent…

Addressing Anti-Blackness Within the Taiwanese American Community

By Tiffany Diane Tso, edited by Leona Chen | original photography by Micheile Henderson Editor’s Note: I’ve been thinking a lot about (valid) accusations that Asian Americans, frankly, suck at standing up for others. And though there is no singular Taiwanese American immigration narrative, many families in our community arrived by way of H-1B visas, prestigious education, and the logical conclusion that obedience produces success. Diasporic Taiwanese of my parents’ and grandparents’…

The 228 Inheritance: Taiwan’s Revolution Is Here

Seventy-two years after Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek’s forces massacred more than twenty thousand Taiwanese in ‘the February 28th Incident’, Taiwan is in the midst of an unacknowledged revolution. You will not find the Taiwanese Revolution named in history books or identified in newspapers. Indeed, it is assumed that this revolution has yet to occur – or rather that it never will. Yet to occur, because there is no internationally-accepted Taiwanese Republic and never to occur,…

What Taiwanese Americans Can Learn From Taiwanese Politics

PHOTO CREDIT: MAX OH One of the opportunities of sitting at the masthead of TaiwaneseAmerican.org is continually engaging with the borders and expectations of this community. What does it mean to be Taiwanese, American, and Taiwanese American? What is our role as citizens of the diaspora? And, heavily on my mind in the aftermath of the November 24th election:   Do we need an acute awareness of — or even interest in — Taiwanese politics to identify as Taiwanese American? My impulse…

All Quiet: An American in Taiwan’s Perspective on 228

By Joyce Chen, edited by Leona Chen Editor’s Note: American-born Taiwanese Joyce Chen is a first-year international student at National Taiwan University. On the 71st anniversary of 228, Taiwan is, she observes, harboring a strange ambivalence. This is not to ignore the indigenous protests for transitional justice or the demonstrations that did occur this year. In Taoyuan, a group of young pro-independence activists covered the tomb of Chiang Kai-Shek in red paint to symbolize the estimated…

Green Island Secrets

Journalism & Scholarship Force Us to Bear Witness to Taiwan's Darkest Era By Dr. Chung-Chih Li, edited by Leona Chen Editor’s Note: In 1981, Professor Chen Wen-Cheng (陳文成), assistant professor of mathematics at Carnegie Mellon University, was taken for interrogation by Taiwan’s secret police under allegations of sedition. Despite official reports of a friendly and cordial interview, he was found dead the next day at National Taiwan University.  Thirteen broken ribs. Three fractured…

A Canon of Our Own: Q&A with Michelle Kuo, Author of Reading with Patrick

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="1050"] Author Michelle Kuo with her parents[/caption] I profess that I have been a bit of a book snob lately. I am reading 50 books in my 10 weeks of summer; 20 of which should have a focus on social justice, and 15 of which should be by or about Asian Americans. The more these categories overlap, the greedier I become. I have been desperately craving something for me, something that helps me navigate everything this world has become with the body I have.…

Taiwanese Music and the World: Interview with FireEX

By Darice Dan Chang Reprinted by permission of author and Ketagalan Media One of the challenges of writing about musicians from another country is that you have to feel each other out a little, figure out how much you know, or don’t know, about each other. For example, they don’t understand that you haven’t experienced them, that you can’t just Google.tw their names and have lived every nook and cranny their 10+ year career through the power of the internet. They don’t know that…

Representation in the Asian American Community: A Roundtable Discussion

There are some pretty cool and accomplished individuals in our Taiwanese American network. During our recent interview with the first Asian American Miss Louisiana, Justine Ker, TaiwaneseAmerican.org's Ho Chie Tsai posed a question to the friends gathered: "In the work you do or the role you hold, what does REPRESENTATION in the ASIAN AMERICAN community mean to you?" In this informal and completely impromptu discussion, Justine Ker (Miss Louisiana 2016 and medical student), Crystal Lee (Miss…