Tag Archives: Gene Luen Yang

Erasing Asian American Achievement in Citibank Commercial by Replacing with Caucasian and African Americans UPDATED

Justin Lee Oliver Yeh Asian American MIT Students erased from Citicorp commercial JadeLuckClub

If you object to the erasing of Asian American Achievement by Citibank, please sign this petition:

Here’s the search result page for Citibank at Change.org.


I saw this on Racialicious, a great blog on the intersection of race and pop culture. It seems that Citibank made a commercial about a real story of two Asian American men used spit, chewing gum and sticks (ok just joking) to create a device to photograph near-space orbit.

“Two years ago, Justin Lee and Oliver Yeh, two Asian-American MIT students, made international headlines when they used inexpensive, readily available materials to photograph near-space orbit on a $150 budget. They describe their project here, and received national media coverage.” Racialious 

Great story, right? Citibank apparently thinks so and makes a commercial that apes this story BUT recasts the story removing the Asian Americans for two Caucasians and an African American males. AND the African American takes a back seat to the Caucasians. See here:

And yet, there is persistent media coverage portraying Asian Americans as techy, even nerdy. What do you make of this commercial? Should Citibank be allowed to “rewrite” history into its own racial preferences that erases the true identities of this very real achievement? Please comment!

Would you protest to Citibank? If so, talk to her:

Executive Vice President, Global Marketing and Corporate Affairs, Citi
Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Women & Co., Citi

p.s. Wired: The $150 Edge-of-Space Camera: MIT Students Beat NASA on Beer-Money Budget

From cartoonist Gene Luen Yang who explains why he won’t be going to see the movie The Last Airbender.





Best Asian American Children’s Authors & Illustrators

Asian American Children's Young Adult Book Award JadeLuckClub PragmaticMom Pragmatic Mom Asian American Tiger MomThere is the Pura Belpre Award, established in 1996, and presented to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.

And the Coretta Scott King Book Awards which honor new African American authors and illustrators with less than three published works.

Don’t forget the Africana Awards which honors outstanding authors and illustrators of children’s books about Africa published in the United States.

One more:  the Tomas Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award which honor authors and illustrators who create literature that depicts the Mexican American experience.


There are plenty of children’s book awards for multicultural children’s books, but where is the one for Asian American’s Children’s Literature honoring best Asian American children’s books? That’s right, there isn’t one. YET …


I’m partial to [Put Your Name Here] Asian American Children’s and Young Adult Book Award which honor authors and illustrators who create literature that depicts the Asian American experience. Do you want to name this award? Let’s talk! It really isn’t so hard to do, right? First you need the $ sponsor. Some legal stuff to set up a non-profit and put the money into a trust. Then define the award and categories– I’d let the name sponsor have a big say. Next would be creating a committee to set up rules, regs and procedures, and pick the first judging committee.  A fancy logo would be nice.  Get the publishers on board to send the books to the judges. Fire it up, pick some winners, have a fancy award dinner, and communicate it. It could even be for a specific nationality, like best Chinese children’s books!


And who should win it? I’d put my money on one of these authors (assuming that we can go back in time to make our awards if the award must be given during year the book was first published). I think these are some of the best authors that are either Asian American OR depict Asian American themes or characters in Children’s and Young Adult Literature.

And I know I am missing a lot of good books out there. I’m new to Young Adult lit.

Please help me add more candidates. What are your favorite authors or books in this new-you-and-I-are-creating Asian American Children’s or YA Literature genre? Please share in comments section. And pick your winner!

Mitsumasa Anno

 To examine or purchase any book, please click on image of book.

Sook Nyul Choi

Yansook Choi

Cynthia Kadohata

Rose Kent

Marie G. Lee

Grace Lin

Lenore Look

Bette Bao Lord

Jon Muth

Soyung Pak

Linda Sue Park

Mitali Perkins

Allen Say

Wendy Shang

Jordan Sonnenblick

Yoshiko Uchida

Rosemary Wells

Janet S. Wong

Gene Luen Yang

Taro Yashima

Lisa Yee


To view any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.