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The Intersection of Lunar New Year and Black History Month

Marilee Lin
Happy Lunar New Year!

Best wishes to all of our students who celebrate this most important of Asian holidays. May this Year of the Ox 🐂 be filled with happiness, good health, and prosperity.
On this day of celebration for people across Asian cultures, I actually would like to take a moment and offer some reflections in observation of Black History Month:
For some time, continuing into the present, many in this country have encouraged a rift between the Asian and black communities, mainly as a way to preserve their own power and maintain systems of white supremacy. This past summer, however, in the aftermath of George Floyd's murder and the advent of renewed anti-Asian hostility, we witnessed a turning point of cultural solidarity.
That was despite the voices that tried to cast blame for social unrest on law-abiding protesters, the same ones insinuating that COVID-19 was the fault of "foreigners," exploiting anger and fear of the pandemic to demonize China -- and, by extension, Chinese people or anyone with an Asian face. (On a personal note, I often found myself feeling guarded in public, even just walking down the aisles of Market Basket, shopping for my usual groceries but with a new and uneasy self-consciousness.)
As with any effort to oppress others or fuel hatred, some continue to rely on old narratives -- of the "model minority" vs. "welfare queens," for example -- and aim to keep power by emphasizing that division. Lately, those efforts have begun to collide with increased allyship among those who are discovering their common cause.

At Holderness, I hope we can stand with organizations like #Asians4BlackLives to promote opportunity, respect, and justice for everyone. Please take a moment to peruse the principles of allyship below -- ones I embrace as a Chinese American who aspires to do my part in cultivating a diverse and equitable community. How might you form your own manifesto of allyship?

However you might identify yourself, at the start of this lunar new year, please join me in the struggle as we work toward a vision of happiness, good health, and prosperity for all.

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