L.A. Clippers Assistant Coach Natalie Nakase: The F.A.D. Interview

I’ve had the privilege of interviewing several outstanding Asian American women for my blogs over the years. A couple of weeks ago, I was delighted to chat via phone with Los Angeles Clippers assistant coach Natalie Nakase. She’s made herstory as the first woman of color to serve in such a capacity in the National Basketball Association (NBA); her ultimate goal is to someday become a championship-winning head coach in the league. We covered a lot of ground in our conversation, including the main themes of this blog: gender, race, and parenting that empowers Asian American girls and women.

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Representation Matters a Lot in Indie Film “For Izzy”

Will Yu, the creator of activist movements #StarringJohnCho and #SeeAsAmStar, daily tweets, “Representation matters today.”

If that’s true – and I’m of the opinion that it is – then the award-winning indie film For Izzy matters as much as anything I’ve seen in years. It’s a heartbreaking, yet hopeful story that presents several types of characters rarely seen in other productions.

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Black Lightning Actress Chantal Thuy: The F.A.D. Interview

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!

Grace and Anissa Bookstore
Grace (right, played by Chantal) and Anissa (left, played by Nafessa Williams) meet for the first time. Grace holds an issue of The Outsiders comic book, an allusion to the DC Comics superhero group that includes both Grace and Anissa.  (Image: The CW)

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.)

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