Ever found yourself reading live tweets from AAWW’s events and wishing you could be in the front row? Did you hear about the Open City Fellowship and wonder what reporting from Asian immigrant neighborhoods looks like? Want to see your favorite writers of color spouting thought bombs while perched on our green couch? Wait no more! We are proud to announce AAWW TV: our new AAWW YouTube Channel. We’ll be bringing you edited clips from our favorite events. Plus, watch captivating videos produced by our talented team of Open City Fellows. In time for the launch, we decided to glance back at the video archive and pick out some favorites from our growing collection.
Want more? Subscribe to AAWW’s YouTube channel. And look out for regular video posts in The Margins.
Lyrics To Go: Mighty Crown
Where do Asians fit into the world of Jamaican dancehall music? Japanese dancehall pioneers Mighty Crown talk about their shaky start, how people said that they didn’t measure up, and their current success in sound clash culture. Read more about their story in “Jah Guide Me Through” by Rishi Nath on Open City!
Roxane Gay on Running Away, Ina Garten, and Tones of Skin
If you love social justice but hate playing by the rules, Roxane’s your girl. In this clip, the bestselling author of Bad Feminist (2014) talks to novelist Alexander Chee about her culture pantry and serves up some no-BS media talkback with humor as dry as your favorite Pinot. She also catches us up on her life (past, present, and future), including a story from when she ran away from home.
Vijay Prashad: 9/11 and the War on Terror
Busting the model minority myth right from the start, Vijay Prashad jokes about how Muslims “were always whites on probation.” After 9/11, things changed: people were profiled, jailed, and Islam became a threat in America. Prashad thought, “Now we’ve screwed up so our probation is gone.” Still, he has hope, recalling the great taxi strike of 1988, how new social identities and confidence were born, how it can happen again. Prashad continues his thoughts on Islamophobia, social justice and American politics here.
Asian Club, Gryffindor, and the Writing Life: Miss Info Interviews Eddie Huang
“I think as a writer, as a human being, the most important thing is to have a voice.”
Whatever your thoughts may be on Fresh Off the Boat, you can’t deny that Eddie Huang is a force to be reckoned with. In 2013, we brought Hot 97 radio star Miss Info to chat with Eddie to talk about Asian Club, fighting to stay alive on a crashing plane, the time Harry Potter made him cry, and the importance of expanding the AAPI community. Check out a write-up of the event on The Margins!
Lyrics To Go: Twilite Tone
“I’m living moment by moment, like I always have. I’m creating the life I want to live it, the way I want it to be.”
Grammy-nominated producer Anthony “The Twilite Tone” Khan talks about the Chicago house music scene, how he met Common, and the night his beats almost blew Kanye’s head off. Don’t miss this peek into the mind (and Murray Hill studio!) of the man behind “Mercy.” Read more about “The Talented Master Khan” in a piece by Rishi Nath on Open City!
Open City: Parshaada
Open City fellow Sonny Singh and filmmaker and multimedia artist Shruti Parekh peer into a gurdwara kitchen to see how parshaada (roti) is made from scratch. The kitchen is full of song, and it feels like you can almost smell the rotis roasting on an open flame. Read more about it, and check out the recipe to this deliciousness, in “The Spirit of Parshaada” on Open City!
Junot Diaz and Min Jin Lee in Conversation
In this hilarious, insightful conversation with Junot Diaz and Min Jin Lee from our 2011 Page Turner Festival, the authors talk about the importance of writing for an audience, falling away from formulas, being too ethnic or not ethnic enough, and the joys of unintelligible reading. A parting piece of advice for aspiring writers from Pulitzer Prize-winner Diaz: “You’re an artist…how can you do anything fucking wrong?” Much to learn from the rest of their conversation, which you can find here.
Aamer Rahman on Iggy Azalea
Comedian Aamer Rahman warns, if you “don’t know who Iggy Azalea is, do not look it up.” Known for his “reverse racism” joke, Rahman talks about watching Iggy rapping with a sari on and promptly looking up crossbows on eBay (surprisingly cheap!). He has more to say on racism and why he would never resort to accents in Esther Wang’s interview with Rahman on The Margins.
Open City: Carmine’s Classic Coffee Shop
“This is where I am, this is where I’ve always been, and I think this is where I’m gonna die.”
The Classic Coffee Shop has been a beloved staple of the Lower East Side for more than 36 years. Hear owner Carmine Morales talk about making mixtapes, becoming the “old guy in the neighborhood,” and why serving coffee is more than just a job for him. Read more about Classic Coffee Shop in a piece by E. Tammy Kim on Open City!
Roxane Gay on Publishing and the Flattening of Difference
For Roxane Gay, writing is a “form of self-medication… It helps keep the crazy away.” We love her so much we had to put her on this list TWICE. In this clip from our September 2014 event with Alexander Chee, Gay talks about the meager advance for her first book, procrastinating as a critical part of the creative process, and why your writing is worth waiting for.