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The Blasian March
The Blasian March
The Blasian March
The Blasian March is a Black-Asian solidarity initiative through education and celebration. We educate on racial injustice towards Black/African, Asian, Blasian and SWANA peoples as a means of fostering understanding across communities. We celebrate all through performance art and literature to further foster unity and mutual appreciation. Within these intersections, we emphasize the voices of women, LGBT and Disabled folk. Folks of these intersections serve as chapter leaders in Los Angeles, Chicago, New Haven, Sacramento, and more being developed. In solidarity with those who were on this land before the United States was created and those impacted by U.S. influence in the Pacific Ocean, we uplift the voices of and actively include Native and Pacific Islander leaders and art. At every action we aim to provide voter registration, food, water, period and contraceptive care, ASL interpretation, and digital action items and resources for accessibility. Our first rally occurred during lockdown on Oct 11, 2020. Leaders honored Jennifer Laude, a trans Filipina murdered by U.S. marine Joseph Pemberton, read the letters of Palestinian organizers, and spoke on Asian experiences during the lockdown and in solidarity with the Black community. At our second rally, End The Violence Towards Asians, in collaboration with a team of women of color, photos of the protest sign Love Our People Like U Love Our Food went globally viral. Black leadership also took roles as speakers, medics, and safety marshals and led protest chants in solidarity.
About the Organization:
$0 - $50,000
Lack of knowledge about AAPI history continues to enforce the model minority myth and fuel subsequent violence. Because folks inside and outside AAPI communities don’t have fundamental knowledge about our struggles, many community members, including activists, have concluded that anti-AAPI racism is new, that we have no history of oppression in the United States, and that we are white adjacent. Such sentiment grew in activist circles when Florida governor Ron DeSantis ratified AAPI history in public schooling, but banned African American studies in AP courses. While this might reflect the 2020-2021 Stop AAPI Hate report, that 52.8 percent of Asian Americans and 57.5 percent of Pacific Islanders called for education and 49.7 percent of Asian Americans and 57.5 percent of Pacific Islanders want community-based solutions to counter violence, this contradicts the historic fact that the Asian American identity developed in solidarity with Black, Native, and Chicane student activists in 1968 . Modern attempts at solidarity fail because critical education like this and more are missing. Across the country, DeSantis isn’t the only one that is censoring parts of the AAPI experience to maintain white supremacy. In traditionally conservative regions, Asian literature is being banned at an alarming rate, particularly feminist and LGBT books. In traditionally liberal regions such as Chicago, New York City, and California, education budget cuts can significantly limit learning about AAPI experiences. Media has also played a role when a significant number of hate crimes publicized showed Black perpetrators in 2021, despite reports such as the Virulent Hate Project that 89.6% of anti-AAPI violence came from people, mostly cis het men . This has in particular upheld divisions between Black and AAPI communities. The segregation, censorship, and whitewashing of history will arguably further lead to the political isolation of AAPI communities from other people of color, our invisibilization, and fuel further ignorance that could lead to more violence. This is also a challenge to us as Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders because if we don’t know our history, who have been our allies in the United States, we cannot change this world for better.
We educate, empower, and uplift AAPI folk at all of our rallies and book fairs. By celebrating such voices through literature and art, we highlight AAPI communities that have been historically rendered invisible by the model minority myth, which doesn’t always apply to Pasifika experiences, and systemic racism. Since our founding in 2020, Blasian March has thematized the rallies to explore aspects of marginalization. For example, local leaders in Los Angeles held the Black Asian Trans* Solidarity Power Rally to emphasize Black, Asian, and Blasian trans people in 2022. In New York City, we have our annual Blasian Pride to celebrate Black, Asian and Blasian LGBT people despite widespread and growing homophobia and transphobia. We host speakers, performance art, as well as offer free food from African, Black and Asian cuisines, bought through Black and/or Asian-owned businesses thus far. During the march component, musical chants include “Justice for Asians! Justice for Black People!” or “Black Power! Asian Power!” With collective representation and celebration, we ensure that AAPI voices are seen, heard, empowered, and united alongside Black voices for our collective liberation. At the book fairs , we give free literature from Black, Asian, and Blasian writers of all ages and genres. In solidarity, we include Indigenous and Pacific Islander literature, resources, and action items through our digital toolkits. We also include banned books . Not only does this program educate non-AAPI about our struggles and experiences, but also offers us a chance to learn about ourselves. All books are either donated, sponsored, or purchased through fundraising at Black- and Asian-owned bookstores. By providing all these for free, we not only circumnavigate education budget cuts and the banning of books, but also rising AAPI poverty rates in an economic crisis tied to COVID-19. Other ideas being explored include a Black Asian film festival, photo exhibit, dance party, and a fashion show, all to celebrate AAPI, Black, and Blasian artists as well as educate people through these art forms. Should we receive funding from the Gold Futures Challenge, we wish to continue reimagining what Black-Asian solidarity can look like through arts and education.