The Secret History of South Asian & African American Solidarity

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, History, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-02-23 20:13Z by Steven

The Secret History of South Asian & African American Solidarity

NBC News

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

Most Americans know about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s adoption of Gandhian non-violent principles. Not as well known is the shared solidarity between South Asians and African Americans that dates back over a hundred years.

For African American History Month, one of the curators of the famed Berkeley South Asian Radical History Walking Tour, Anirvan Chatterjee, has launched a new digital project to highlight that hidden past, called, “The Secret History of South Asian and African American Solidarity.”

“Since the tragedy in Ferguson, I’ve been seeing a lot of Asian Americans working to engage anti-Black racism through conversations in their families and communities, protests, and direct action,” said Chatterjee, “but they’re not the first.”

Pairing period photographs with quotes and adding short historical captions, Chatterjee shows how African Americans repeatedly advanced South Asian rights, such as the NAACP passing a resolution in favor of Indian independence, Langston Hughes‘ poems about the oppression of South Asian freedom fighters, and Bayard Rustin, lead organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, forming the Free India Committee while in jail…

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