It’s rare that I ever just share someone else’s content on this blog. I’m doing it here because Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware captures my feelings about the Kavanaugh nomination so precisely and, in his understated manner of delivery, so powerfully. My tears began just moments into his speech; by the end of it, I was sobbing.
Hers isn’t a household name yet, but actress Chantal Thuy’s growing body of artistic work will undoubtedly win her many more fans soon. Among her various projects, she has a recurring role on The CW’s Black Lightning, DC Comics’ first ever TV show centered on an African American superhero.
Chantal plays bartender, bookstore staffer, and comic book geek Grace Choi, a bisexual Asian American woman who has a budding romance with one of the title character’s two daughters, a medical student named Anissa Pierce (played by Nafessa Williams). Grace’s special powers have yet to manifest on the show, but her back story is laid out in the DC Comics source material; she’s half-Amazonian, giving her a common ancestry with Wonder Woman. Thus, in the comics, she possesses superhuman strength, endurance, and self-healing. Hopefully, we’ll see her powers at work on the TV version of Black Lightning this season!
But Chantal doesn’t just portray an extraordinary character. She’s an extraordinary person, which I’ve found as we’ve interacted over the last year. In this Feminist Asian Dad interview, Chantal discusses bisexual and Asian American identities, her family’s refugee experience, what she does for fun, and much more. It’s a truly heartfelt conversation which I know you’ll enjoy! (And it’s been gently edited for length and clarity.)
Sometime in the next few days, longtime Arizona Senator John McCain will say the last of his good-byes to his family, friends, and fellow Americans. As that sad moment comes and goes, we’ll be hearing many more praises and critiques of his life and career. I’d just like to mention two significant things about him that might get overlooked in all the news coverage. Ironically, they should be among the parts of his life that get the most mention, because they illuminate qualities that most of us will want in our next president, particularly in contrast with our current one.
AUGUST 18, 2018 UPDATE: After watching both Crazy Rich Asians, which was a deeply emotional experience for me, as well as the delightful To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before on Netflix, the scene I’ve embedded below came to mind. It’s from Supergirl on the CW network, and it features two wonderful actors in a flashback: Izabela Vidovic as a young Kara Danvers/Supergirl and Ivan Mok as bullied schoolmate Kenny Li.
I’ve read some Asian-American women comment over the last few days that it would have been hugely helpful, when they were younger, to see themselves represented by the main characters in romantic comedies like Crazy Rich Asians and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. In a similar vein, it would have been significant in my own youth to have seen myself represented in a scene like this:
Cloak & Dagger’s thrilling first season sailed away into the sunset last week, wrapping up what has been, for me, one of the very best television productions I’ve experienced in my 47 years. Its depiction of humanity has been outstanding, a credit to everyone from the writing team to the actors on screen. But it has reached my echelon of “best shows ever” through its relevance and timeliness, all without becoming preachy.
If you haven’t seen the entirety of season one, watch all ten episodes on Freeform or Hulu before reading further. Heed the warning of my personal Klaxons: SPOILERS AHEAD! SPOILERS AHEAD!
Looking back on this journey that began, amazingly, only on June 7, there are so many things about Cloak & Dagger that I treasure; I just jotted down a list of 50! My previous post about the series looks at a few in detail.
But since this is the Feminist Asian Dad blog, I’ll use this series recap of sorts to focus on the characters Ivan Hess, played by Tim Kang, and his daughter Mina, whose present-day version is portrayed by Ally Maki and whose teenage version is played by Hannah Hardin. All three actors are ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL.
Back from a weekend of speaking, connecting, and schlepping in D.C.!
Collage top left: Speaking on a panel about blogging as a means of advocacy for OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates‘ national conference
Top right: With friends old and new! Panel organizer and moderator Aryani Ong, who has served on the staff and boards of numerous AAPI advocacy orgs; research scientist and author of Reappropriate (the longest-running Asian-American feminist blog), Jenn Fang; and campaigns and communications expert Tonia Bui, author of the Politics Within Politics blogContinue reading
Keeping Hope Alive
Resisting is EXHAUSTING. Calling out our president’s constant lies and hate-mongering, and trying desperately to protect those abused and traumatized by his policies, have been so wearying to our souls.
That’s why we need hopeful stories as much as ever right now. Stories – in film, TV, books, theater, dance, or some other form – have a profound ability to comfort, encourage, and inspire. They can lift our hearts and sustain our motivation during hard times, like this Trumpian dark age, which has sucked so much life out of so many of us.
I sometimes find hope in true stories. But I’m also renewed by fictional tales, especially those set in superhero, sci-fi, and fantasy worlds. Those genres don’t suit all tastes, I know. Yet even if you’re not a nerd, if you are a fellow Trump resister, I believe there’s no better story to sustain your activist spirit than Marvel’s new TV superhero series on Freeform, Cloak & Dagger.
It certainly has refreshed me. So seriously, binge it now before the next episode comes out this week! But if you remain unconvinced, read on!