Basahin Mo Yan, Marías: May
We at Marías hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy during these unprecedented times. We want to apologize for our delayed responses as we juggle incorporating many facets of our life into our home space. We also want to let you know that there is no obligation or expectation for you to produce; your mental, emotional well-being comes first.
For those of you who would like to participate in our book club, we have three choices for the month of May. We created our book club with the intent to only choose books written by BIPoC. In the States, May is Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Heritage Month. As a Filipinx mag, we chose books written by Filipinx writers.
However, we want to bring to light the unequal representation of Asian Americans over Pacific Islanders. We acknowledge that the communities with Pacific Islander history and heritage deserve their own month to honor and celebrate their culture. Within Asian American literature, there is a saturation of East Asian representation (e.g. Chines, Japanese, Korean) while Desi, South Asian, and Southeast Asians are often "invisible Asians", this phenomenon named by psychologists, E.J.R. David and Kevin Nadal, as erasure of brown Asians. They combat and disseminate this knowledge via Twitter with the hashtag #BrownAsiansExist.
We urge young academics and activists to see possibility beyond representation and to seek to dismantle ableist, imperialist, white supremacist, cis-heteronormative, anti-black, anti-Latinx, anti-immigrant, anti-Indigenous sentiments and structures. While we may fall into a marginalized identity, this does not excuse ignorance. We all have our privileges. We have to acknowledge our predecessors who paved the way for us and move their work forward.
We have one novel and two books of poetry to choose from. This is not a race. The accomplishment will be the knowledge and awareness taken away from reading any of the books you choose to complete.
America is Not the Heart by Elaine Castillo
All Heathens by Marianne Chan
Documents by Jan-Henry Gray
Thank you for the love and support for our online indie lit mag. We are growing and educating ourselves on spheres outside of the Filipinx American perspective. We appreciate your kindness and patience as we continue to learn.
Please be kind to yourselves. Ingat! Sincerely, Keana Aguila Labra Editor-in-Chief of Marías at Sampaguitas