By “standing in solidarity” means that you are united behind a common goal or purpose. When you express support for a group or movement, you’re in solidarity with them. Oftentimes, one stands in solidarity against racism and discrimination and advocates for racial and social equality.
In light of the rampant racism and discrimination that had risen within the past few years, many minority groups are standing in solidarity with other people of color (POC) to advocate change and equal treatment. As the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community continues to face over a year of the worst harassment and abuse it has experienced in a while, many other groups of POC have taken a stance alongside the Asian community to combat the exponential growth in hate and racism. However, it’s not only the Asian communities that have experienced pain and suffering these past few years as many POC groups, especially the black community, have experienced lives lost. Many members of the AAPI community have also shown solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement by attending rallying events, protests, and spreading awareness of the issue.
Currently, news of minority groups supporting each other is widespread as the movement for equality and an end to racism is at an all-time high. Contrarily, in the past, it may have seemed like POC communities weren’t supporting each other in the United States—and that is mainly due to the white supremacy in the country and its push for stereotypes and pitting minorities against each other. The “Model Minority Myth” was thus created to place the Asian American community against other POC. Yet for years, the AAPI community has stood in solidarity with other POCs:
- 1960s: Asian Americans stood in solidarity with Civil Rights activists by beginning political movements and reaching out to government officials. At the time both groups took inspiration from one another to address racial inequality and discrimination.
- 1963: Yuri Kochiyama met with Malcolm X and since then they were joined by their friendship and political alliance. Together, a part of Malcom X’s organization for Afro-American Unity, the two fought for racial justice and human rights. Kochiyama organized groups of Japanese writers and atomic bomb survivors to meet up with Malcom X in Harlem to advocate against Japanese racism saying, “You have been scarred by the atom bomb… The bomb that hit us was racism.” Their friendship bolstered Malcom X followers to also discuss and advocate Asian history and representation. Since the death of Malcom X, Kochiyama has never faltered in her support for POCs. She has helped Japanese-Americans, African Americans, Puerto Ricans, Native Americans, and other Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
- 1965: Delano Grape Strike and Boycott: Filipino American grape workers walked out on strike against Delano wine grape growers and protested against poor pay and conditions. They asked Cesar Chavez, who led a Latino farmworkers union, to support their cause. On September 16, 1965, Cesar’s union joined the Filipino worker’s strike. This led Latino and Filipino strikers to work together and fight for a common cause.
- 1970s: Grace Lee Boggs is known for her advocacy for civil rights and labor rights. She is most notable for her work during Detroit’s Black Power movement. Married to African-American activist James Boggs, the two became well-known in Detroit for advocating labor and civil rights, feminism, Black Power, Asian Americans, and the environment. During the 1970s, they wrote Revolution and Evolution In The Twentieth Century which reviews revolutions within the twentieth century (Russian, Chinese, Guinea-Bissau, and Vietnamese) and the lessons learned from each of these struggles. They have continued their quest to speak up about civil rights, philosophy, and morals as they also shape the thinking of generations of activists. Even after the death of her husband in 1993, Grace Lee Boggs only strengthened her advocacy work in Detroit
- 2016: Letters for Black Lives was an organization created by Asian Americans to provide multilingual resources for people to talk about the Black Lives Matter movement.