About Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPIHM) was first started in 1992 by the United States Congress as Public Law 102-450. May was chosen to mark the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, as well as the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants. You can learn more about the history of how AAPIHM came to be through the Library of Congress. The broad umbrella of the Asian American Pacific Islander term captures all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia.
This May, come to the library to celebrate with us! Enjoy author talks, film screenings and craft workshops as well as great books, films and digital library resources that will help you learn more about the diverse accomplishments of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Date & Time
Japanese Arts and I: Origami Story Time
Thursday, May 4, 4 p.m.
Shepherd Park/Juanita E. Thornton Library
Special Event Courtesy of the Japanese Information and Cultural Center, a division of the Japanese Embassy. This origami story time introduces the Japanese phrase of mottainai (used to describe a sense of regret over waste) through the book "Mottainai Grandma," by Mariko Shinju. The story will be followed by an origami activity where kids will learn how to make a samurai hat out of recycled newspaper.
Making History: Celebrating AAPI Women in the Labs
Tuesday, May 9, 7 p.m.
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library
In conversation with Ashleigh Coren of the American Women's History Museum, US Mint director Ventris Gibson will discuss the new quarters featuring Anna May Wong and Edith Kanaka'ole. Coren and Gibson will lead an informal conversation in our MLK Labs space, and participants will have the chance to see the Library Labs in action and get some free giveaways for collectors of the American Women Quarters.
What a Waste! Story and Origami
Thursday, May 10 or Friday, May 11, 4 p.m.
The Japan Information & Culture Center staff will read Mottainai Grandma by Mariko Shinju, then lead participants in creating an origami samurai hat out of recycled newspaper. Have fun and learn ways to help the environment by participating in this great program!
Wednesday, May 17, 4 p.m.
Kids ages 6-14 are invited to explore the ephemeral India artforms of kolam and rangoli! We will be learning how to draw kolam using a grid of dots, then we will be creating our own larger rangoli designs filled in with bright colors. If the weather is fine, the rangoli portion of the program will be outside. If it is rainy, it will be inside.
Friday, May 19, 1 p.m.
AOKI chronicles the life of Richard Aoki (1938-2009), a third-generation Japanese American who became one of the founding members of the Black Panther Party.
Silver Screening: Shanghai Express
Sunday, May 21, 1:15 p.m.
Cleveland Park Library
Drop in for a free, Sunday afternoon showing of the 1932 film Shanghai Express. In Shanghai Express, a traveler encounters an old flame on a train shortly before the transport is captured by a warlord. The movie stars Marlene Dietrich, Anna May Wong, Clive Brook and Warner Orland.
Monday, May 22, 6:30 p.m.
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library
MOAPIA and DC Public Library are hosting MOAPIA's annual “Foodelicious Night” as part of the 2023 Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month celebrations! Join us and enjoy exciting live cooking demonstrations by two of DC's AAPI chefs and get a chance to sample authentic Asian cuisine.
Fiction Books for Adults
Portrait of a Thief
Grace D. Li
Sparks Like Stars
Nonfiction Books for Adults
A Living Remedy
Qian Julie Wang
Asian American Histories of the United States
Catherine Ceniza Choy
Fiction Books for Teens
Queen of the Tiles
Wrong Side of the Court
H. N. Khan
The Red Palace
A Scatter of Light
A Thousand Steps into Night
Nonfiction Books for Teens
From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry
Almost American Girl
They Called Us Enemy
George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott and Harmony Becker
Fiction Books for Children
Brown is Beautiful
Supriya Kelkar and Noor Sofi
Nana, Nanek & Nina
Hundred Years of Happiness
Thanhhà Lại, Nguyên Quang and Kim Liên
Maizy Chen's Last Chance
John Cho and Sarah Suk
Nonfiction Books for Children
A Life of Service
Christina Soontomvat and Dow Phumiruk
Queen of Physics
Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds
Asian Americans Who Inspire Us
Analiza Quiroz Wolf, Michael Franco and Tuire Siiriainen
Stream DC Public Library Events
Stream author talks, panel conversations and maker talks with incredible writers, artists and activists, including local artist Rania Hassan, author Kat Chow, chef Eric Kim and more.
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