April 2021 Newsletter

Newsletter Index
• Editor's Message • Events • Getting to Know About Hate Crimes, Ourselves, and Others: Part 2 • My Personal Recollections of Qingming • Featured Books

Editor's Message

Hello Everyone,

Since we last wrote to you, there were two mass shootings (one near Atlanta and another in Indianapolis) with Asian Americans accounting for many of the victims. The motives of the shooters cannot be definitively attributed to Asian and Pacific Islander American hate, but these are sad days no matter the cause.

Someone recently asked me if I thought there was anything that could be done to help stop Asian American hate crimes through their website. I didn’t respond at the time – I wasn’t sure how.

I thought our AACP newsletter articles, part 1 from last month and part 2 this month, might make some difference. It’s really hard to say. I highly doubt that we can change the minds of any of the perpetrators, but if any of you that are reading this feel motivated to do something positive for our community and society in general, then I encourage you to do so.

As I mentioned in my March 21 blog entry we need to be brave and strong. Harassers tend to pray on those that they believe to be weaker than them. In addition anti-community crimes are really acts of terrorism and thus we should not give in to fear.

Part 2 of our series is about the historical interconnection between groups. If you could join with others in a positive and good way, even those outside your immediate “in group,” then you help to bind our society. When another group is in need of your support, lend them a helping hand if you can.

As I watch the marches to stop Anti-AAPI hate being led by young activists, I am heartened to see that some have already learned this at such an early age.

Stay strong, be brave, and be a force for good.


This month is National Poetry Month and so we’re featuring over a dozen poetry books for this month’s book selection. We’re also featuring some other interesting books including award winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen’s latest book “The Committed.” Have a look.


We're starting up our summer internship program again. Part of their tasks will be helping with our newsletter, social media outlets, and our store. If you know someone that is looking for an internship/volunteer opportunities, please get in touch with us.


We hope to be sending you a survey some time soon. We’d like to get your feedback on how we’re doing and if you have any suggestions on content and improvements to the newsletter. Until then, you can always reply to the emailed newsletter.

Thank you for being a loyal reader.


Thank you Philip for your article and for your help with this month’s newsletter. Thanks Susan and Pia for your input too.


Have a good spring, take care, and please get vaccinated.

Leonard Chan

Executive Editor


April 12: Poet Brian Komei Dempster interviewed by Shin Yu Pai for Lyric World (podcast)


Nichi Bei Weekly has a special virtual edition with lots of information on Japanese festivals across America (many are virtual). Check it out.


If you have an event that you would like us to mention and or to participate in, please feel free to let us know.

Getting to Know About Hate Crimes, Ourselves, and Others

Part 2: A Short Introduction on Our Shared History

By Philip Chin and Leonard Chan

(Continued from our March 2021 newsletter article "Part 1: Why Do People Commit Hate Crimes and What Can We Do About It")

One thing many people don’t realize in America is how interconnected the history of Americans, and especially minority Americans are. This interconnectedness demonstration how unity can serve both good and bad causes – when done for good, society flourishes. Here are some examples.

Read More

My Personal Recollections of Qingming

(The Clear Brightness Festival)

By Leonard Chan

When I thought about Qingming, I began to wonder how this cultural tradition came about.

Elephants, chimpanzees, gorillas, dolphins, horses, dogs, and other animals have been known to have death rituals. Even our distant human cousins, the Neanderthal, buried their dead and possibly placed flowers with the departed.

Some of my earliest memories are of going to cemeteries to pay my respects to people I never knew. As I would learn over the years, we had certain traditions and practices that we would do there. I would also learn that there were certain times of the year when we would do our visits – Qingming was one of those occasions.

If you’re one of those that turn away from anything that has something to do with death and dying, and would prefer to see the dentist before stepping foot in a cemetery, this article is more about my recollections of a cultural tradition than the morbid aspects of this subject. Please read on.

Read More

Featured Books

View full descriptions of all these featured books at Bookshop.org where you'll also have the opportunity to purchase them.

Children's Books

Special Poetry Month Selection

General Literature