For those who haven’t yet heard or managed to miss any of my previous posts on the topic, May is Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month! As part of my ongoing posts throughout the month, I will be recommending some books for AAPI Heritage Month starting with books by Pasifika authors!
At the beginning of the month, I spoke about May being Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPIHM) and there were some people who didn’t know what it was – that’s okay! A year ago when I first started book blogging I had never heard of AAPIHM either. It’s thanks to a really great awareness raising post by Pasifika blogger Anjulie Te Pohe in her post about the erasure of Pacific Islander books during AAPIHM that I started learning more about this erasure and AAPIHM more generally.
To kick off my AAPI Heritage Month themed posts I wanted to start off with a basic question – What is Asian American & Pacific Island Heritage Month?
A whole new month has arrived quicker than it should have and it brings Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPIHM) with it. For those who don’t know what that means, AAPIHM celebrates the culture, traditions, and history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. The reason that I emphasize the and in that sentence is that many Pasifika peoples are erased during AAPIHM. This was first brought to my attention by a Pasifika blogger who wrote about Pacific Island Books and Erasure in the Book Community, and which inspired me to write an awareness-raising article trying to bring this to the attention of bloggers I was in contact with.
I had a few ideas for different posts I wanted to do today, however after seeing Anjulie Te Pohe‘s awareness-raising post ‘Pacific Islander Books and Erasure’ I decided that I wanted to bring it to others’ attention as well. As Anjulie explains, “Though there are many Pacific Islander (PI) books they aren’t often discussed in the book community. This was highlighted in Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month in May when Pacific Islanders were all but erased from the conversation.”