1975 shot of a victim of police brutality. Photo by Corky Lee.

The Chronicler of Asian America: On Photographer and Activist Corky Lee

“We await our moment, in pursuit of the picture that Corky envisaged, a portrait of a community that is too large and too brilliant.”
Woman creating a "zine", using a presumably Xerox photocopy machine.

American Counterculture, Glimpsed Through Zines

Zine-making is a tradition shared by the young and alienated, people enamored with the fringes of culture. Can a museum exhibit capture its essence?
Tupac shirtless in the shower, wearing gold chain and covered in soap suds

Why Tupac Never Died

It’s because the rapper’s life and work were a cascade of contradictions that we’re still trying to figure him out today.
Illustrated J. Crew cover, showing a blonde white couple wearing "preppy' clothing sitting by a river; a young man's khaki shorts, boat shoes, and school books on a campus; a crew team on the water. Illustration by Nada Hayek.

J. Crew and the Paradoxes of Prep

By mass-marketing social aspiration, the brand toed the line between exclusivity and accessibility—and established prep as America’s visual vernacular.
A picture of the author as a teenager with his parents, in his bedroom decorated with rock music posters.

My Dad and Kurt Cobain

When my father moved to Taiwan, a fax machine and a shared love of music bridged an ocean.
Illustration of Vincent Chin on red background surrounded by smaller illustrations of videographers, protestors, and grieving people

The Many Afterlives of Vincent Chin

Chin’s killing, 40 years ago, has inspired documentaries, young-adult books, and countless works of scholarship. What do we want from his story, and the people who tell it?
Almighty Kay Gee, of the Cold Crush Brothers, throwing out posters of the group at Harlem World, circa 1981.

The Photographer Who Captured the Birth of Hip-Hop

As a teen-ager, Joe Conzo, Jr., took intimate pictures of the Bronx music scene. He’s lived several lives in the time since.
Protester standing with sign that says "End the Violence Against Asians"

The Muddled History of Anti-Asian Violence

It’s difficult to describe anti-Asian racism when society lacks a coherent historical account of what it actually looks like.
Graffitied Robert E. Lee Statue with child playing basketball.

The New Monuments That America Needs

Every statue defends an idea about history, but what if those ideas are wrong?

What We Lost in the Museum of Chinese in America Fire

The question remains whether spaces like MOCA will remain vibrant in a future where notions of community grow more abstract.

The Asian-American Canon Breakers

Proudly embracing their role as outsiders, a group of writer-activists set out to create a cultural identity—and a literature—of their own.

In "The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda," Ishmael Reed Revives an Old Debate

If “Hamilton” is subversive, the mischievous Reed asks, what is it subverting?

When Immigrants Are No Longer Considered Americans

The history of immigrants in the U.S. teaches that no amount of assimilation will protect you when an alien requires conjuring.