Contrary to popular opinion, Asia is not a monolith, and our literature is as diverse as our personal histories. With nearly 50 countries, and thousands of different cultures at hand, an incredible range of Asian writers and stories can be found to delight all kinds of readers. I’ve focused this list on Asian characters as written by Asian authors, setting out to include as many genres as I can. Read: 100 Must-Read Books by Asian Authors | BookRiot
A bookseller explains how Kamila Shamsie’s call for gender equality in the industry, and the fiery debate it provoked, could lead to greater diversity all around. READ MORE: Battling bias on the shop floor: how bookstores can support diversity | Books | The Guardian
Millions of African Americans will soon be able to trace their families through the era of slavery, some to the countries from which their ancestors were snatched, thanks to a new and free online service that is digitizing a huge cache of federal records for the first time.
Handwritten records collecting information on newly freed slaves that were compiled just after the civil war will be available for easy searches through a new website, it was announced on Friday.
The records belong to the Freedmen’s Bureau, an administrative body created by Congress in 1865 to assist slaves in 15 states and the District of Columbia transition into free citizenship. READ MORE: African American family records from era of slavery to be available free online | Life and style | The Guardian.
I recommend Vincent Lam as an Asian-Canadian writer you need to be reading!
Rosa Parks was more than just the woman who refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus in 1955. Letters and photos that belonged to the civil rights activist offer new insights into her complexities. Parks legacy has been somewhat simplified by the history books.
Her archive goes on display for the first time on [February 4, 2015] at the Library of Congress, after long legal disputes hid the documents from public view for years. Researchers and the public will have full access to Parks archive of letters, writings, personal notes and photographs for the first time. About 7,500 manuscript items and 2,500 photographs from the civil rights activist, including a pocket-sized Bible, letters from admirers and her Presidential Medal of Freedom, are part of the collection.
Wandering the grand halls of Scone Palace in Scotland you might stumble on a pretty portrait of two beautiful women in 18th-century clothes, seemingly affectionate sisters. Not so unusual — except one of the “sisters” is black.
Who is that, you might well wonder, as did Misan Sagay, then a young British college student of Nigerian descent, long accustomed to being the only black face in most British rooms. She stopped short upon spotting the painting while touring the palace near her university.
“I was stunned. And taken aback,” says Sagay, now in her 40s and a screenwriter (Their Eyes Were Watching God). The castle brochure named only the white woman in the portrait, Lady Elizabeth Murray. When she returned a few years later, Sagay says, there was more information on the label, naming the black woman as Dido, “the housekeeper’s daughter.”
“So the silent black woman had a name,” says Sagay. “But I looked at the portrait and the way they were touching, and thought, ‘I don’t buy this. There is more to this than meets the eye.’ ”
Indeed there was. Sagay dove into drafty palace archives to learn more, and years later the result is Belle, written on spec by Sagay, directed by Amma Asante, a British woman of Ghananian descent, and starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw,a British woman of South African descent.
Back in 2010, when Dana Saxon decided that she wanted to trace her family’s lineage, her expectations were low. “I thought, for people who survived slavery, there’d be little public information,” she says. What happened next “blew her mind”–and led to the creation of Ancestors Unknown, an international nonprofit that is bringing the past to the most impressionable among us: young students.
Saxon discovered that public archives had not completely ignored the existence of the enslaved, who legally were considered the same as property. While putting together the puzzle of her family’s past, she had an epiphany: “There were so many ancestors waiting to be discovered, waiting to be appreciated for what they did to help get us to where we are today,” she says. Knowing that most school curriculums do not include the names and contributions of people from the African Diaspora, she “wanted to find a way to help young people place themselves and their ancestors in the larger context of history.”
The Mission of Ancestors Unknown… “To inspire the personal and academic success of students throughout the world by introducing them to their unknown ancestors.”
A 16-year-old First Nations teen from Moose Factory, Ont. is set to join an elite cadre of superheroes that includes Batman and Superman.
DC Comics unveiled Equinox as its newest character to CBC News on Friday. She’s the latest superhero to join Justice League United, a five-issue series penned by Toronto artist Jeff Lemire that will see its first issue released on April 23.