The Asian American Center and Carolina Asia Center co-presented their most recent event of a yearlong series called “Anti-Blackness and Alliance: A Series on Asian-Black Race Relations” on March 31.
Ji-Yeon Jo, director of the Carolina Asia Center, said she hopes this series can help create a space for showing solidarity, countering racial injustice and violence and improving racial relations in the country.
The AAC intends to introduce a wide variety of speakers, academics and activists in this series to discuss the complex interracial connections and discourse between Asian American and Black communities, according to their website.
Nitasha Sharma, who hosted the event, is the director of graduate studies in the department of African American studies at Northwestern University. At the event, Sharma encouraged the responsibility that Asian Americans have in being active participants in racial discourse, through both education and the acknowledgment of problems of complicity.
“Whatever our conglomeration of identities are in our access to privilege and lack of privilege — whatever it is — circumscribes our ability to navigate institutions and what institutions are there for you,” Sharma said.
Sharma covered three main points before opening the discussion to the audience:
- Responsibility and accountability of Asian Americans in thinking about and being participants in racial discourse in the United States
- The positions of Asian Americans in the economic, political and cultural spheres of the nation
- How the positions of Asian Americans in the nation’s spheres are informed by a global approach
Sharma then posed questions to the audience, such as, “How do you understand the racial positions of Asians in the U.S.?”
After asking questions, Sharma spoke on the position of Asian Americans in racial discussions, which is based on a hierarchical system or left out of these discussions entirely.