jun 1, 1938 - 1938
First Filipino National Convention
This convention was the first time the Filipino American community came together in solidarity to advocate for themselves in spite of their regional, linguistic, and class differences. While this convention focused primarily on labor justice for Filipino laborers, it demonstrated how a common cause can unite the Asian American community regardless of their differences and how the power of this community can inspire resilience in an unaccepting society. During the early 1930s, the Asian American community was fragmented and the different groups within the Asian American community were also fragmented. The Japanese believed themselves to be above Filipinos in the American racial hierarchy, and the Filipinos were unable to reconcile the regional differences amongst themselves. These tensions obstructed progress and prevented the community from achieving their goals for justice and self-determination. However, with the persistent struggle of Filipino laborers at the hands of Japanese and white growers, the shared struggle was enough to bring a diverse group of Asian Americans to organize and discuss their plight and what steps they should take to resolve it. This convention not only facilitated the unity of the Filipino community but it also helped with Filipino organization. Following this convention, many labor groups such as the Filipino Agricultural Laborer’s Association (FALA) began to form and many strikes took place during the height of crop seasons. Collectively, Filipinos laborers were able to resist the racism and discrimination they experienced, and many of them were able to achieve some form of justice as a result. In addition, the convention planted the seed for the eventual militant identity of the Filipino American community as a collective identity was born out of the unity established following the convention.
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