Where do we go from here? Recap for May 2019’s AAPI Shenanigans
[Image description: The Raising Luminaries / BFL logo featuring a multiracial feminine-presenting child reading a book and cocking an eyebrow at you. Flowers and stars exploding everywhere!]
(When I call you ‘friends’ I’m not being casual about it. I mean it with all my heart, you are my people and I treasure you.) Truly.
Today and this month kind of ran off the rails into chaotic shenanigans, and I’m…strangely okay with it.
I am usually not okay with things falling apart. But now I have you, my people, and wow, gosh. When things tumble gently apart, it reminds me that I’m young, I’ve got a kyriarchy to smash, and I’m not alone in smashing it.
So I mean it, you really are quite dear to me. I couldn’t do this without each and every single one of you.
ONWARD! May’s Intentions: Dismantling the kyriarchy for American Asian & Pacific Islander (AAPI) Month
For this month’s intention, I deviated from our annual May plan to focus on topics relating to oppression, bias, and the multi-dimensional experience of AAPI folks. Since this is our first month really digging into this topic, it was basically all research, and very little production. I see my job as having two parts – revealing what you need to know to smash the kyriarchy (infodumping) and then giving you the tools to do it (calls to action, books to read with your kids).
That seems kinda simple, except it’s like, the objective of two small organizations packed into one working mom’s schedule. Hubris!
This month was entirely infodumping. Even though I hustled this month, I didn’t make booklists, and it looks like a very ‘slow’ month. For those of you who love to eat up the books, thank you for being patient with me.
(I originally wrote “sorry about that” and then remembered last month’s post in the Luminary Brain Trust about how apologizing for things is a way of being complicit in oppression. Still practicing!)
So that’s why I’ll be following up this month’s recap with a poll. Even with this new schedule, I am trying to do too much, so vote here to let me know what vital parts of BFL I should focus my attention to (and what I can let slide).
RECAP: PUBLIC BOOK COLLECTIONS ON BOOKSFORLITTLES.COM
Coming clean – I am having a very hard time juggling all of our channels. Since public book collections have to be designed for newcomers who have no idea what we do, I have to do this weird dance of being concise, snappy, and creating a sense of urgency and trust, all in inverted-pyramid structure, with SEO-friendly headlines and links that don’t break. It’s very stressful.
And I’m also trying to coordinate our topics with the Collaborator Laboratory voting system, which at this point is a mess that needs a week of hand-coding and usability testing. Ai-ya. My goal this month was to spin a chunk of our top-most voted request for not yucking someone’s yum (quite the SEO-unfriendly title) through the lens of racist sentiments about Asian food.
I’m too close to this issue – from my own experience watching my friends gag as my grandmother sucked the eyeballs out of a lobster’s face (she was hardcore and I adored her), and worried about straying out of my lane because Asia is a HUGE PLACE with lots of foods and cultures and as a light-skinned, assimilated Chinese American, I hold massive privilege when it comes to all that.
Also I spent some time parenting solo while my partner flew across the country to say goodbye to his mother. Also And then she died. So there was that emotional exhaustion of all that, too. Aaand I just found this and now I am crying again.
Oh friends. She was just THE BEST AND MOST WONDERFUL. Both as a MIL and a role model. I am so grateful she lived to see her children grow, and that, with any luck, my kids will hold memories of time together with her forever. How fucking lucky are my kids that they got to have this luminary as a grandmother?
Also I did finally clean up the Single Mamas & Feminist Fathers post for mother & father’s day. So that’s good.
TL:DR; It’s 95% done but didn’t finish it. Thank you for being awesome and understanding.
NEW UNPOLISHED BOOK COLLECTIONS
(patreon-only access, click here to access)
So many good ideas and booklists I wanted to make – non-toxic AAPI boys, #OwnVoices AAPI makers, death of a grandparent, anti-China-doll Asian girls, I was gonna compile all of those!
I spent 20 hours each week researching the perfect books for these lists. And them I ran out of time and spoons and couldn’t make a list for you.
So instead I picked through out our huge collection of dragon books and compiled a common theme of Western Fairytale Dragons With a Feminist Spin. Because my procrastination and relaxation is just being productive on something super non-urgent.
Thank you for understanding why that ran off the rails.
Here is where the meat is. I assembled all the topics I WANT to talk about regarding AAPI issues, but always put off because everybody else’s challenges seem so much more important. I spent about three hours a day researching specific issues that I knew existed but haven’t been able to tease out.
Wanted to boost other activists, rather than just ranting and reinventing the wheel. Then I’d create tantalizing excerpts or write out a reason why readers should click through. I averaged 2 posts a day, sometimes more if I just couldn’t shut up.
Anyway, I’ll continue that for the rest of the month. You can click through to the Raising Luminaries Page. There are too many articles, rants, and calls-to-action to list here.
Was gonna create a non-FB syllabus for our smart friends who avoid social media, but I ran out of time. Click here to catch up on Facebook. I’ve got uhh…50 more topics I need to cover and we have 4 days left to the month erm….HUBRIS!
SALTY LANGUAGE WARNING: I had a lot of cussing in me today. I am frustrated with our local community dragging their heels on accountability and the tedious work, then rushing in to be white saviors. CUSS GRUMBLE CUSS.
- This month’s intention post (public): Dismantling the Model Minority Myth, Centering Asian Voices & Deviating From the Plan: May 2019
- Problematic tropes in kidlit video: (Patreon only): They ALL Eat Worms In China – Orientalism In Kidlit
- Good Finds: Hope, Searching & Laughter: Best in Kidlit for May 2019
- Recap (you are here)
Still working on this! Work on our 2019 theme is mostly local and behind the scenes.
But i’m thinking after we’re done with our current weekly topic discussions on complex trauma and stewarding hard experiences as activists and helpers, I’m going to move into discussing PODS. If that’s a thing you’re into, be(come) a Luminary member and come hang with me and my goofy cat gifs in the Luminary Brain Trust
Mia Mingus is amazing, btw. Oh gosh I still haven’t told you about her for AAPI month! AAAAH!
Meanwhile: Alison S. is rockin’ new members in the BFL group, April B. is planning kickass things for the Student Ignition Society, Kerry P. is taking on all the emotional labor and hard work of our local racial justice group, and Rebecca B. is still saving me a huge peace of mind tagging me on broken links and bugs.
COMING UP NEXT MONTH
Honestly shit is just going to hit the fan over here at Bumblebee Hollow. Camp is EXPENSIVE and the Earthquakes will be home for the majority of the summer. We had a two-week plan to ship the earthquakes across the country to stay with Grammy while I caught up on work, but Grammy is dead now.
On the 18th, we have to be three different places at once for the last day of two different school years and it’s also R2’s birthday. And father’s day and Nathan’s birthday and holy crap people keep it in your pants 9 months before June because IT’S EVERYBODY’S BIRTHDAY. Also don’t forget to grow all of your own food and homestead or something and stock up for winter because GLOBAL WARMING IS COMING I can’t even how even do people find time to mow the lawn?
Let’s reassess what’s up for pride month next Monday.
ALSO PS I ADORE YOU thanks for being in this chaos with me.