Represent, Represent! Asian-Americans in Hip-Hop is out to break this silence. Asian-Americans kicking open doors and blazing trails in the music industry will share their experiences, and Justin Hoover and Ninochka McTaggart, who curated the Chinese American Museum's "Don't Believe the Hype: L.A. Asian-Americans in Hip-Hop" exhibit (Nov. 4), will do a Q&A. DJ Phatrick also will be on deck, because what would a night discussing Asian-Americans in music be without seeing them in action?
The pernicious and patronizing "model minority" label attached to the Asian-American community is often overlooked and brushed off when discussing the harm inflicted by ethnic stereotypes. Silence only perpetuates this vicious cycle: Society assumes Asian-Americans are destined to be only doctors, engineers, etc.; Asian-American parents start believing the hype and steer their kids away from other paths in life; society then sees only the success stories and ignores the challenges faced by the individual ethnic groups that form the greater Asian-American community.