Janice Chang is an illustrator/designer from Los Angeles who recently graduated from Art Center College of Design. She loves creating characters, people watching, eating and admiring food, stop-motions, ceramics, and last but not least, chips. Her work can be found at janicechangart.com.
In the seventh grade, I saw a video of a Tongan man, Matangi Tai, who was brutally attacked by police in Arizona. He later died due to a suspicious “unknown cause”. The lack of transparency regarding the cause of his death, along with the physical abuse he experienced prior to his arrest, were both alarming factors to my community when considering the history of terror between people of color and police.
Like most young immigrants, I came to the United States for reasons outside of my control. At 9, my family moved to California from Singapore with every intention of moving back within a few years. In fact, my mother had paid next year’s school fees in advance to reserve my spot, and even purchased some of the textbooks for the next year so I could work through them while overseas (I was an impressively industrious student at the time).
In February of 2014, I delivered a sermon to my Southern Baptist church, sharing that I had changed my mind on same sex marriage. I no longer believed that Scripture taught that it was wrong to be in a gay or lesbian relationship.
It was a Thursday morning when I heard. I had been getting ready for work. I was looking forward to the weekend because my wife, Ellen, and I were going to a friend’s wedding in Minnesota. We planned to visit my parents while we were in the state. In preparation, I gathered a few things to bring with us, including some enlargements of our wedding photos for my mother and a book for my dad.
AROUND 2:40 A.M. on September 4, 1977, 17-year old Melvin Yu and two other members of the Joe Boys gang, all heavily armed, stormed the Golden Dragon Restaurant in San Francisco’s Chinatown. They’d been tipped off about the whereabouts of the leaders of two gangs allied against them, the Wah Ching and the Hop Sing Boys.
Tu Shan’s silent desperation began to take its toll. As housing costs in the San Francisco Bay Area skyrocketed, he feared that he and his wife would no longer be able to afford to live there.