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‘Hapa Tales’ at Oakland Asian Cultural Center

OAKLAND — Eastwind Books of Berkeley presents “Hapa Tales and Other Lies” on Friday, Nov. 30, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Oakland Asian Cultural Center, 388 9th St., Suite 290, Oakland.

In her first work of literary nonfiction, “Hapa Tales and Other Lies,” Sharon H. Chang explores her Asian American and mixed-race identity through the prism of returning to Hawaii as a tourist. But what begins as a journey to discover herself turns into much more as she learns the true history of the islands, Hawaii’s Indigenous children, and the Native Hawaiian Sovereignty Movement.

This special Oakland Chinatown event will include readings and discussion with Chang and Northern California writers Asha Sudra, Wei Ming Dariotis, Nia McAllister and Fredrick D. Kakinami Cloyd.

• Sharon H. Chang is an award-winning author-photographer-activist with a lens on racism, social justice and the Asian American diaspora. She is author of the critically acclaimed academic book “Raising Mixed Race: Multiracial Asian Children in a Post-Racial World.” Her writing has also appeared in Racism Review, Hyphen Magazine, South Seattle Emerald, The Seattle Globalist, AAPI Voices and International Examiner.

• Asha Sudra is an artist, educator, and revolutionary. Originally from L.A., she worked as a community organizer for workers/tenant rights, anti-police brutality, and anti-domestic violence, as well as a coach with the nonprofit Playworks in East Oakland. Her passion for social justice informs her work educating youth. She is currently an 8th grade teacher and is actively training teachers around California how to teach with a social justice lens in order to create authentic change using Teaching Tolerance.

As a performer, she has toured London showcasing her poetry, including at the famous Troy Bar; emceed the Womxn’s March in January 2017 and performed in 2018; and performed at the March for Our Lives event in 2018. She has also emceed the Womxns Showcase for all three years, featured at Cinequest Film Festival in 2017 and 2018, and graced the cover of South Bay’s Content magazine in August 2017. KQED created a short documentary on Sudra and her artistry this summer. Her music, art and spoken-word act as a mirror into the passion and activism she lives out daily.

• Wei Ming Dariotis, a San Franciscan born in Australia, is an associate professor of Asian American studies, with an emphasis on Asian Americans and Chinese Americans of mixed heritage and Asian American and Chinese American literature, arts, and culture, at San Francisco State University. She co-curated and co-edited “War Baby/Love Child: Mixed-Race Asian American Art,” an art exhibit and related book.

Dariotis was the special guest editor of the 2012 issue of Asian American Literatures: Discourses and Pedagogies, on mixed-heritage Asian American literature. She also co-coordinated the inaugural Critical Mixed-Race Studies Conference at De Paul University in 2010. Her poetry has been published in Mixed Up, Too Mixed Up, 580 Split, and “Yellow as Turmeric, Fragrant as Cloves: A Contemporary Anthology of Asian American Women’s Poetry.”

• Nia McAllister, living at the intersection of blackness, womanhood, art, and activism, uses writing as her sharpest tool for understanding and interrogating the complexities of her mixed identity and the world around her. As a Bay Area-born poet, avid reader, environmental justice advocate, and museum professional, she draws creative inspiration from ideas of home, environment, and identity. In her work at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) and as a Bay Area Liaison for Blasian Narratives, she enjoys connecting her artistic outlets with opportunities for community engagement.

In recent years, McAllister has begun contributing to online poetry collectives, cultivating networks of writers through social media, and regularly performing at and hosting open mics around the Bay Area.

• Fredrick D. Kakinami Cloyd was born in 1955 in Ōme, Tokyo to an African American father in the U.S. military and Japanese mother. He received a master’s degree in cultural anthropology and social transformation. He has been a teacher and consultant in cross-cultural, intercultural, diversity and anti-oppression trainings for over 40 years, and is regularly involved in academic, arts, cross-cultural, interdisciplinary spirituality and social justice/anti-oppression programs in person, online, in print, and on radio and television.

He has been published in Oakland Word and The National Japanese American Historical Society Journal, as well as on Discover Nikkei, an online journal. His poem “For Kiyoko, Epitaph/Chikai” was published in Kartika Review’s spring 2012 issue and was exhibited in the “Generation Nexus: Peace in the Postwar Era” exhibit for the grand opening of the MIS Historical Learning Center for NJAHS in San Francisco in 2013. His essay “On Being a Black-Japanese Amerasian Being” is included in the 2017 anthology “The Beiging of America: Personal Narratives About Being Mixed Race in the 21st Century.”

Cloyd was a chief organizer for the first-ever symposium on Japanese war brides at the University of Southern California in June 2018. His first book, “Dream of the Water Children: Memory and Mourning in the Black Pacific,” is due for release in March 2019.

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