Gathered at the iconic Boston Chinatown gate this week, Asian American leaders pledged solidarity with Black community members.
Each year, many of these leaders gather to observe the somber anniversary of the death of Vincent Chin, killed in a race-based hate crime 38 years ago. This year, they vowed to stand with the Black community in combating racial injustice of all kinds during an event Tuesday.
“As a nation, we vowed to never forget the millions of African Americans who suffered the evils of slavery," said state Sen. Dean Tran. "We continue to honor their unbreakable spirit and the countless contributions they have made to our great nation."
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“As Asian Americans, we have benefited from their civil rights movement and we should stand side-by-side with our brothers and sisters in the Black community to combat racism, discrimination and prejudice in order to achieve social justice and equality for all," Tran continued.
The show of solidarity comes amid widespread calls to end systemic racism following the death of George Floyd, who died when a former Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes.
Sanjay Kaul of the World Hindu Council of America called the event a "wonderful display of the diversity within the Asian American community, including us brown-skinned Asian Americans.
"We understand the discrimination our Black brothers and sisters face, and we want to show them they are not alone," Kaul said.
The multicultural event displayed the diversity within the Asian American community. Speakers also included Frank Celozo of the National Federation of Filipino Americans, Al Wong of the Kahuani Foundation and Wilson Lee of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance.
"I am a man of color who stands up with our Black brothers and sisters who is great who is grateful for all the real opportunities in America," Celoza said.
"The time has come to make this a top priority and to make sure all citizens are treated equal, including brown skin people like myself," said Anil Saigal of the Indian Association of Greater Boston.
Attorney and community advocate Linda Champion was mistress of ceremonies. Boston City Councilor Ed Flynn was also among the attendees, while dozens of others watched via Zoom.
"The history of the AAPI community is standing up for justice, respect, and dignity for all making sure making sure our African American brothers and sisters are treated with respect," Flynn said.
The event was sponsored by Boston’s Chinese American Heritage Foundation, which pays tribute to the thousands of Chinese indentured servants who built the Transcontinental Railroad.