jul 20, 1973 - 1973
Release of A Grain of Sand: Music for the Struggle by Asians in America
The release of this album during the peak of the Asian American movement was an unconventional yet highly effective form of resistance made by Chris Kando Iijima, Nobuko JoAnne Miyamoto, and William “Charlie” Chin. This album and its music were used as a way to voice the struggles of Asian Americans and make a statement about who Asian Americans were. The artistic talent of translating political statements into music was something unseen within the Asian American community, and this talent that Chris Iijima possessed was a powerful tool for expressing Asian American politics and reaching people in a way that a speech could not. The song “We Are the Children” on the album was one of the many song performed by Iijima, Miyamoto, and Chin as they traveled around the country to demonstrate their resistance to mainstream ways of thinking and help Asian Americans “find their voices.” The music also allowed for the Asian American community to have some form of representational belonging, and it was also a way to document their history in a format that transcends time. The album also illustrated a new form of culture that was created during the Asian American movement: Asian American culture. This was a culture of resistance and community, and it united the Asian American community and facilitated collaboration with other racial groups. The album could be seen as the soundtrack of the Asian American community, and it had an enormous impact on how Asian Americans tell their story and how embracing their culture could become a form of advocacy against racism and for justice.
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