The Black Lives Matter movement in New York City has lit a fire underneath a longstanding struggle against police violence. The criminalization of the lives of people of color is etched into the cityscape, imprinted in the shadows that haunt the cavernous towers of the projects. The city's neighborhoods are constantly walking a taut tightrope between security and terror, and the two so easily shade into each other when the halogen lights glow too dimly, and in a desolate corner of Pink Houses, visions are clouded by fear. And the tightrope snaps. Bang.
The following is an excerpt from the introduction of Serve the People: Making Asian America in the Long Sixties, a groundbreaking new history of the Asian American movement by Karen L. Ishizuka (Verso, 2016).
Wherefore Asian America?
Discovery cannot be purely intellectual but must also involve action; nor can it be limited to mere activism, but must include serious reflection.