Engaging Power and Politics in An Immigrant Family

Politics. One of the three things — the other two being money and religion — we are warned never to discuss lest it wreak havoc in our conversations. And havoc it does wreak. There is legitimacy to this warning.

Naming the Violence of Charlottesville

The obelisk of General Robert E. Lee represents more than just a memorial; it represents the lingering presence of white supremacy in America. It represents the power structures that the Confederate Army was fighting for. Racial superiority based on genealogy. Racism normalized.

Cultivating Appetites

After unloading the last box of books into my new office, a voice echoed from the hallway. Eat na tayo! Eat na tayo! Pastor Kevin, let’s eat!

Hearing the Ghost of Grandma

Grandma was my primary guardian growing up. And like many of our guardians in Chinese immigrant families, Grandma was a mystery, a fish out of water. It may be because of how she mystified me that I never had the ears to hear her stories before she passed away.

Excavating the Trenches of Chinese Memory

My soul was riveted as I read the story of Marie in Madeleine Thien’s “Do Not Say We Have Nothing”. Marie was a Chinese Canadian who grew up with an absent father. The reason behind his trek back to China was a mystery — that is, until the unexpected arrival of the daughter of one of her father’s closest confidantes.

Culprits

I grew up searching for family. When I found it in the corners that I did, they were like filters in a kaleidoscope phasing in and out of this endless placeholder.

Severance by Ling Ma: A Book Review

I don’t read dystopias. Not until now, that is. It might be because dystopias can be too grim or too cynical. I’ve heard from way too many people that after the election, they’ve foregone reading dystopian novels because it is just too real. And it’s true; there is already too much death around us.

Home Is Where the Heart Is

IT IS OFTEN SAID, “Home is where the heart is.”

Black and Yellow

MY INITIAL REACTION to the 2014 film “Selma” was one of disappointment. Don’t get me wrong — the casting and acting were top notch, the cinematography was beautiful, and I was definitely moved to tears in certain scenes.

The Reign of God

"The Reign of God: A Gospel Story" (2017) by Issey Fujishima is a graphic novel that attempts to reclaim the humanity and complexity of Jesus as a person in history. How human was Jesus? How much did he struggle with his calling?

Memory, Identity, and Violence

Recreating memory is often seen as a liberating phenomenon. Whether it’s expressed through songs, journal testimonies, or stories passed down across generations, memories can be powerful tools for families and close communities. But I am skeptical about its resonance for creating multicultural and caste-transcending communities in the Indian context.

Coalition-Building for Social Change

Imagine a suburban city in America which, in response to a rapidly growing Asian immigrant population, tries to make English the official language of the city, while also attempting to pass an ordinance that requires all business signs to display English lettering.

"If Beale Street Could Talk" Film Review

Director Barry Jenkins’ film, “If Beale Street Could Talk” (2018), stays faithful to the central theme of love in James Baldwin’s original novel while adding Jenkins’ own voice.