The 1960's were a time of big changes in America. The civil rights movement helped African Americans and Latinos shape new identities.
A similar thing was happening among Asian Americans.
Now, the Chinese American Museum is hosting a new exhibit that traces that community's activism from the 60's to the 80's.
It's called "Roots: Asian American movements in L.A."
Near the entrance of the exhibit, there's a large gray wall dotted with multi-colored post-its. The notes have handwritten answers to a question displayed in huge yellow text that reads:
What does Asian American mean today?
"This really enables our visitors to engage with fluid identity. To share with us, what they think Asian American means. Our exhibit definitely gives one perspective of how we define Asian American, but it is a fluid identity."
That's according to museum curator Steven Wong, who partnered with Ryan Wong to put the exhibit together.
KPCC's Josie Huang headed there for a tour:
When folks first walk in, they immediately see an image that features women at the forefront. The women are organized in a large group, rallied together megaphones in hand to protest. Where is this scene from?
"This scene is from a photograph in Little Tokyo. It was a photograph from an anti-war demonstration and it resonates with me because there are primarily women marching with their hands raised. And for the Asian American movement women were the backbone and all too often their voices, their stories are sidelined to Asian American male activists.
So, it's nice to really represent and showcase as our signature image Asian American women fighting for their issues, fighting for equality."
Year of the People
"Within Chinese Astrology 1971 is the year of the boar or pig but ironically he developed this poster that says 'Year of the People, off the pigs'
...this was definitely inspired by the Black Panther party using police officers representing power structures, representing oppression and this is before community policing and so this was symbolically a way to represent a community fighting back against that oppression."
"There's this flyer, newsletter, about saving the international hotel. For the museum, it shows that the Asian American movement was a national movement coming from different places, but for me personally this was an artifact that was given to me by my aunt who was active in the Bay area."
"Roots" will be at the Chinese American Museum until June 11th. For more information, click here.
To listen to the full segment, click the blue play button above.