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[PRINT] AsianWeek's Celebrate its 25th Anniversary (August 1979)

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  • madchinaman
    John Fang s Dream By James Fang, Nov 12, 2004 http://news.asianweek.com/news/view_article.html? article_id=06f05f02e520f2eae9db9375d414cde3 It seemed like an
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 15, 2004
      John Fang's Dream
      By James Fang, Nov 12, 2004

      It seemed like an unsolvable situation: How could Asian Americans,
      given their wide variety of cultural, language and ethnic
      differences, communicate amongst themselves and, perhaps just as
      importantly, to mainstream America?

      Even within the ethnic Asian communities, how would first-generation
      Asian Americans — immigrants with the primary goal of economic
      survival — relate or communicate with third- or fourth-generation
      ones, who viewed themselves first as Americans but still retained
      the physical appearance of their Asian grandparents? What of the
      hapa community — Asian Americans whose mixed heritages defied a
      singular identity?

      In August 1979, one person, the late John Fang, with just a few
      employees and a splash of red ink on the cover, came up with a
      vision that would serve as a major cornerstone in binding, melding
      and molding a collective voice for our community: He founded
      AsianWeek newspaper.

      AsianWeek became the first and continues to be the only paper to
      publish weekly from a shared Asian American perspective, using the
      English language as a connecting source to bind all of us.

      It was a daunting challenge to cover an entire community as diverse
      as Asia and as wide as the United States. But carefully and
      meticulously, AsianWeek began to establish a nationwide network of
      correspondents and civic/community leaders. The job of these
      correspondents and community leaders was to provide a national

      AsianWeek harnessed this tremendous amount of data into a two-
      pronged directive: to advocate against injustices and to draw
      attention to Asian American individuals who were succeeding and
      making a difference in our community.

      AsianWeek acted as a forum in advocating for those Asian Americans
      who were defenseless and voiceless in the face of an uncaring power.
      Whether it was in bringing much-needed national and decisive
      exposure to the killing of Vincent Chin or in demanding justice for
      Wen Ho Lee and Capt. James Yee, the strength of AsianWeek has been
      its unequivocal eagerness to support our community.

      Conversely there has always been an equal effort given to
      highlighting those Asian Americans who, through their cultural
      background and hard work, have become successful symbols to both our
      community and all of America.

      AsianWeek has always and continues to place a special emphasis on
      the political involvement of Asian America. Politics in America is
      an immediate and tangible vehicle to ensure equal opportunity and
      social justice for all Americans. Regardless of party affiliation,
      the effort to become more politically conscious is essential to
      preventing miscarriages of justice like the internment of Japanese
      Americans during World War II.

      AsianWeek has been proud to report on Elaine Chao and Norman Mineta,
      the pioneers who became this nation's first Asian American
      appointees to the Cabinet, or former U.S. Sen. S.I. Hayakawa and
      former California Secretary of State March Fong Eu, who were the
      first to hold statewide offices in a major state. The appointment of
      California Supreme Court Justice Ming Chen is a major step — not
      only in terms of breaking through another barrier but also in terms
      of serving as a symbolic deterrent to those who might deny us our
      rights as Americans.

      In 1995, AsianWeek changed its format to a full-color one and
      converted itself from an exclusively paid circulation newspaper to a
      hybrid publication consisting of both free distribution and paid
      subscribers. AsianWeek also remains the only Asian American
      publication that has its circulation numbers audited by an impartial
      third party.

      Special sections, such as the exclusive APA guides to the Democratic
      and Republican conventions and the Summer Olympics, presented
      tangible examples of the newspaper's commitment to celebrating Asian
      Americans' achievements. In the spring of 2003, AsianWeek also
      partnered with the University of California at Los Angeles to
      produce a book on the 2000 Census, titled The New Face of Asian
      Pacific America.

      For the last 25 years, AsianWeek has been the mirror of our
      community, showing our triumphs and shortcomings, serving as both
      the face and conscience of Asian America. We were exhilarated when
      Ichiro Suzuki broke baseball's all-time hit record, cried when
      astronauts Ellison Onizuka and Kalpana Chawla died while reaching
      for the stars, laughed when Margaret Cho performed comedy, were in
      awe when Yo Yo Ma played his cello, and proud when entrepreneurs
      like Jefferey Yang taught America how to use the Internet.

      We are now filled with a sense of apprehension and optimism —
      apprehension because racism, bigotry and hatred continue to be the
      obstacles stifling our progress. Indeed, recently in San Francisco,
      the unofficial capital of Asian America, 20 white youths chased and
      beat five Asian American youths. Only one of the attackers has been
      caught, and his sentence was 100 hours of community service.

      Yet we are optimistic because the community's future is bright and
      filled with potential. This week, U.S. astronaut Leroy Chiao touched
      the heavens in his space shuttle and while in orbit voted in the
      U.S. presidential election. Back home, Timmy Chang, quarterback for
      the University of Hawai`i, broke the all-time college passing record.

      Space flight, football and democracy: What better symbolizes America?

      As our community and its voice in AsianWeek approach the future, we
      are ever-cognizant of our difficult past and current obstacles but
      also approach our journey and the Asian American experience with the
      determination and confidence given to us by our forefathers who came
      to America. Who knows, in the next 25 years, might we have an Asian
      American president?
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