With every passing year, the U.S. increases in its diversity and the “melting pot” that is immigrant culture continues to enrich every aspect of American life; unfortunately, there are many Americans who refuse to appreciate the contributions of those who come from a different backgrounds, still the negativity of such people is but an obstacle.
Asian Americans played a pivotal role in connecting the vast nation with railroads in the 19th century despite the hostility they encountered. Keep up-to-date with these Asian Americans, both new and old, who today use their respective platforms to promote Asian-American empowerment and continue to enhance American culture through their successes.
Justine Biticon is a Filipina-Mexican model who began her career as a contestant on America’s Next Top Model. Although she was one of first to be eliminated, she went on to greater things, as she later found her place with Ford Models. Biticon is always expressing how proud she is to come from a mixed background and she encourages other young women to break the mold like she has as an Asian model. Find her on Twitter: @biticonjustine
Will Jay, the pop singer/songwriter, is a Los Angeles native of Chinese and German descent. He kickstarted his career in 2012 as a part of the boyband, IM5, and since then, has accumulated a large fan base now that he is a solo artist. The music video he recently released for his song “Leading Man” addresses Hollywood’s tendency to whitewash roles that are meant for Asian Actors. Find him on Twitter: @willjaymusic
(images via wikimedia commons)
Jenny Han, the Korean-American author of the “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” series, not only writes about Asian-American characters, but she also speaks openly about the need for inclusivity within young adult literature. When asked about why she believes it is important to include such characters in her writing she told Bustle that “Everybody wants to be the hero of their own story.” Follow her on Twitter: @jennyhan
Korean-American actress, Arden Cho is best known for her role as Kira Yukimura on the MTV series “Teen Wolf.” She also modeled an advertisement campaign for the cosmetic brand Clinique in Asia in 2010. Yukimura also expressed her disapproval of the lack of diversity in Academy Award winners. Find her on Twitter: @arden_cho
Ryan Higa, or better known by his YouTube name, Nigahiga, is a YouTube personality and comedian of Japanese descent. Higa pokes fun at perceived Asian culture in America making videos with telling thumbnails such as, “Are Asian Stereotypes True!?” and “Can Asians Be Sexy?” With nearly 20 million subscribers, it is undeniable that his content is appealing to a large audience. Follow him on Twitter: @TheRealRyanHiga