Connecting with My Ancestors & Standing up to False Narratives

Posted by Alina Liao on

Lunar New Year Reflections in My Racial Healing Journal

"I feel the unconditional love and support of my ancestors when..."

HAPPY LUNAR NEW YEAR! As part of this special day, I took time to journal in my BIPOC Journal for Healing and Liberation, with this prompt about deepening my connection with my ancestors. Getting in touch with the strength and wisdom passed down from our ancestors can do a lot for our wellness.

In response to the prompt, "I feel the unconditional love and support of my ancestors when..." I journaled about my grandmother, my NaiNai. Because of my limited Chinese, I wasn't ever able to have much of a conversation with her, but I remember her fierceness as she spoke. I think about the story my dad told me, how she wasn't allowed to attend grade school because she was a girl, but she educated herself with her brother's textbooks. She eventually became a science teacher and then professor in Taiwan - a rarity for women in her time.

When I think about how she defied so many norms, I feel her unconditional love and support as I work to build a life for myself that is true to my independent, at times rebellious, nature. Feeling that love and support drowns out the negative voices I grapple with - the voices of those who say I'm doing things wrong. In remembering her story, I remember that she is in me, in my cells, in my DNA. I too can forge a path that is true to me, just as she did for herself.

"I stood up to a false narrative about myself and my race when..."

This is another prompt in our BIPOC Journal for Healing and Liberation, which I also journaled about today. Standing up to false narratives about ourselves and our communities contributes to our healing and liberation.

Today, I wrote about how every time I and others in the AAPI community speak up against racism - both anti-Asian racism and racism against other BIPOC communities - we defy the model minority trope. Because the model minority trope isn't about Asians being "hardworking." It's really saying, Asians "know their place" to be quiet, passive, subservient in allowing racism. That's what makes us "models" for white supremacy. That's how the model minority myth is used to perpetuate white supremacy and racism against all people of color.

Well, to the contrary, there IS a history of activism in the AAPI community, and I'm seeing Asians use our voice to combat racism in multiple ways. We are speaking out against anti-Asian racism. We are standing up in solidarity with BIPOC communities. We are having hard conversations about ending anti-Blackness and racism within our own communities. Doing this work is part of wiping out the model minority myth. 

 For additional resources, check out: 

#IAMNOTAVIRUS 

Asian Mental Health Project

 

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