In 1977 the U.S. Congress (spearheaded by Representative Frank Horton of New York and Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawai’i) chose the first ten days of May to commemorate the history and contributions of Asian American communities here in the U.S. The week’s observance became a month, the very month in which the first Japanese immigrants came to the U.S. in 1843.
We also commemorate the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869 as the majority of workers who laid those railroad tracks were Chinese immigrants. And that’s why AANHPI Heritage Month is in May.
A People’s History of Asian America
Produced in partnership by the Center for Asian American Media and PBS Digital Studios, A People’s History of Asian America tells the history of Asian Americans through the microaggressions and stereotypes this community faces.
In this episode, Hosts Dolly Li and Adrian De Leon hear from South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander voices to explore the pros and cons of disaggregating Asian American as a statistical category.
RELATED: Watch the PBS Video “Are you AAPI or Asian American – It’s Complicated”
Read more about AANHPI Heritage Month on PBS here.