My conversation this episode is with Phil Yu and Jeff Yang, who partnered with Philip Wang to write and curate the first definitive book about the increasing prominence of Asian American culture from the Nineties till today. Much more than a descriptive history of this unprecedented surge, their amazing book "RISE" oftentimes gives the reader experiences of the culture itself!
Attorney Dale Minami is most known for leading the legal team that overturned the conviction of Fred Korematsu. Forty years earlier, Korematsu had defiantly disobyed Executive Order 9066--which unjustly incarcerated over 100,0000 Japanese Americans during World War II-- which led to Korematsu v. United States, widely considered one of the worst and most racist SCOTUS decisions in American history.
According to the Dept of Homeland Security, domestic terrorism is a greater threat to the safety and well-being of Americans today than any potential outside forces. The recent mass-shooting and killing of Black Americans in Buffalo, NY, is just the latest terrorist attack. The young white gunman's rage was fueled by something called "the great replacement" theory. The Two Kens decided that it was time to talk about this.
Actor Dennis Dun is seared in our collective memories from his iconic role in "Big Trouble in LIttle China" (1986), but before he hit the big screen, he was learning his craft on stages in the Bay Area. In this episode he shares why he jumped at the chance to return to the stage in "King of the Yees," while also recounting how Director John Carpenter cast him in "BTILC," which soon became a cult classic.
Many fans of rock and roll somehow either missed "Fanny," or forgot about this first commercially viable, critically acclaimed all-female rock band, founded and fronted by Filipina Americans sisters June and Jean Millington. I tracked June down and she packed in more stories in her episode than any other guest!
This is a special episode for several reasons: My friend Patrick Hare is on the ballot in LA County to be a Superior Court Judge; the election is a month away on June 7th, but voters can mail in their ballots early; he would bring some unique and needed perspectives to the bench; I believe that once you hear from him, many of you will cast your vote for him, too.
And even if don't live in LA County, I think you'll find Patrick to be a fascinating person and our conversation to be worth a listen.
Starting on May 20th, veteran actor Christopher Chen will be in acclaimed American playwright Lauren Yee's "King of the Yees" at the historic and charming Sierra Madre Playhouse (Sierra Madre, CA). Learn why he's so excited to be cast in one of Yee's plays, and to be directed by the legendary Tim Dang.