Karen Ishizuka and Diane Fujino
Karen Ishizuka and Diane Fujino

“There was a time when ‘Asian American’ was not merely a demographic category, but a fight you were picking with the world.” — Jeff Chang in preface to “Serve the People: Making Asian America in the Long Sixties”

After keynoting the closing ceremony of a Asian Pacific Islander Issues conference at UC Berkeley and speaking to a standing-room-only audience at San Francisco State University, Karen Ishizuka will be speaking on her new book, “Serve the People: Making Asian America in the Long Sixties” (Verso Books) at UCLA on Thursday, April 14.

She will be joined by Diane C. Fujino, author of “Heartbeat of Struggle: The Revolutionary Life of Yuri Kochiyama” and “Samurai Among Panthers: Richard Aoki on Race, Resistance and a Paradoxical Life.”

Drawing on more than 120 interviews and illustrated with striking images, the book tells how Japanese, Chinese and Filipinos in the U.S. in the 1960s and 1970s reclaimed their history and civil rights and transformed themselves from Orientals to Asian Americans. Selected by the Chronicle of Higher Education for its Weekly Book List of April 1, 2016, “Serve the People” has been picked up as required reading in college courses and is destined to become the definitive history of the making of Asian America.

Fujino remarked, “Karen Ishizuka interweaves captivating stories, documents, and images with historical context to create a highly engaging account of the Asian American Movement of the late 1960s and 1970s.”

Having written biographies of Kochiyama and Aoki, Fujino will join Ishizuka in talking about the importance of telling history from the perspective of those who lived it.

Their talk, which is free and open to the public, will be from 12 to 1:30 p.m. at the UCLA Young Research Library Presentation Room. Light lunch will be provided, so RSVP is required: http://servethepeople-aasc.eventbrite.com.

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