Note: I'm not of Asian, and/or Pacific Descent. I'm not claiming to know what it's like to experience life as someone from this heritage, nor am I claiming these are the absolute most influential people of this race. I'm simply stating my opinion in honor of this month.
The month of May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month here in the United States of America(USA).
This is a period for the duration of the month of May for recognizing the contributions and influence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the USA. This not only includes Asian/Pacific people born, and raised in the USA, but also immigrants from the 59 countries which represent Asian/Pacific people.
Let's get this started.
Yuri Kochiyama(1921-2014)-American Civil Rights Activist
Yuri Kochiyama was a Japanese-American liberation activist and a pioneer of the intersectionality movement. Born in California to Japanese immigrants in 1921, Yuri lived what she felt was an “all American childhood”. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, her life would drastically change; Yuri’s father was arrested by the FBI, accused of being a “threat to national security”, was detained for six weeks and died just days after his release.
George Helm Jr.(1950-1977)-Musician
George Helm Jr was a Native Hawaiian musician, singer, activist and Native Hawaiian cultural expert. Helm was also a philosopher and considered the pioneer of modern Hawaiian sovereignty ideals, and he prided himself on living in the traditional ways of his ancestors. Helm was on the frontlines of activism, and in 1975, he became heavily involved in the efforts to protect the island of Kaho’olawe.
Sombath Somphone(1952-Present?)-Community Development Worker
Sombath Somphone is a Laos community development worker and activist who has been missing since 2012. Born in Laos in 1952, Somphone would spend his high school years in the United States and attend university in the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi. Born into a large, poor farming family, Somphone was dedicated to sustainable farming practices that would benefit the Lao people; he received a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s in agriculture.
Eugene Cho is a Korean-American pastor, human rights advocate and author. Born in South Korea and raised in San Francisco, California, Cho is a radical voice within the world of evangelicalism. He is the founder and former pastor of Quest Church, a multiethnic congregation in the Seattle, Washington area.
Miss Diamond Doll(1990-Present)-Social Media Influencer
"Miss Diamond Doll" prefers to keep her real name a secret, for reasons unknown. She was born in Toronto, Ontario(Canada) in 1990, and immigrated to the USA in 2010, and she now lives in Los Angeles, California. Her ethnicity is Indian, and she is proud of her Indian upbringing, as well as her Hindu Religion. She is currently a fashion model for plus-size women, as well as a Social Media Influencer. She embraces a positive-vibe only lifestyle, and is currently helping encourage other young women.
Anna May Wong(1905-1961)-Former Actress
Anna May Wong(born Wong Liu Tsong), was the first Asian movie star in the USA. Born in Los Angeles, California, Wong grew up near Chinatown, but was sucked into the dream of becoming a film star at an early age. She gave herself the stage name “Anna May Wong” when she was eleven-years-old. Wong and her family lived in a racially diverse neighborhood and were, surprisingly, allowed to attend public school. They faced extreme racial attacks from other students. Wong described their experience as follows, “we tried to walk unconcernedly home from school, always with a larger and larger crowd of our tormentors around us shouting, ‘ch*nk, ch*nk, Chinaman. ch*nk, ch*nk, Chinaman.’
Larry Itliong(1913-1977)-Former Labor Organizer
A key figure in the farm labor movement, Larry Itliong first moved to the United States when he was a teen and immediately began advocating for better rights.
Born in The Philippines, Itliong was a natural activist who began advocating for himself and his fellow workers while traveling around different states. Itliong lived and worked in Alaska, Washington and finally California, where he crossed paths with