Need Help with Asian American Month Programming?  This is For You.

By S.D. Ikeda, Editor


In our annual hunt for interesting APA Month filler tidbits, the Village editors recently stumbled on this terrific “Great Asian Americans” Wall Poster Series distributed via Amazon by

More inspirational and educational than sexy and cool, these are hardly likely to sweep the dorm rooms and school lockers of Asian America.  But for all those desperate folks responsible for organizing APA Month programming at their school or organization who have written to us over the years seeking help, this is for you.

Each poster is 17 by 22 inches, and is accompanied by text detailing the great figure’s biography and accomplishments.  Discounted from an already-low price of $11 each, the series is an excellent start for teachers and others who want to recognize a few of Asian Americans who have made contributions to sports, literature, architecture, entertainment, and politics.

We anticipate that for all you more-politically-Asian-than-thou, rabid media representation critics out there, this series will inevitably raise all sorts of questions: Why these great Asian Americans and why not others?  Are these “the greatest” in their fields (why Kristi Yamaguchi but not Michelle Kwan)?  Why are they all of East (mostly Japanese Americans or Chinese Americans) or Southeast Asian descent?

All we can say is, hey, that’s business, apparently.

However, we are hope that people (especially teachers) buy a lot of these posters so that the creator produces more — and more diverse — posters in the series in the future.

Oddest of all, we found these posters hidden away in Amazon’s Kitchenwares category, of all places!  It’s hard to imagine, for example, who would hang a poster of Dr. Haing S Ngor there beside the cookbooks and spider plants, hanging woks and still life prints of fruit baskets.  However inspirational it may be, one can’t think of a less likely place to reflect on the extraordinary life of the doctor-turned-actor who survived the genocidal Khmer Rouge, delivered an Oscar-winning re-enactment of his torment in The Killing Fields, and was then murdered in the U.S. probably as a result of his life’s dedication to human rights activism.

Nonetheless, the story of this great man’s life — like those of the other influential Americans of Asian descent in the series — is one that deserves to be heard and appreciated, in May or or year-round.

So check ’em out and encourage the company to make more!



Other Readings of Interest


Stewart David Ikeda is author of the book, What the Scarecrow Said (HarperCollins-Regan Books), about the Japanese-American immigration, internment and relocation experience, and has taught writing and Asian-American Studies at the Universities of Wisconsin and Michigan, and at Boston College.

Former Director of Online Content and Editor-in-Chief at, he is a new media planning, editorial, and diversity consultant, and served as Editor of the Asian-American Village Online, Editor of Diversity Employers Magazine, and VP of Online Publishing for IMDiversity, Inc. is committed to presenting diverse points of view. However, the viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at IMD.