The Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (CRLS) is a very diverse place- With many cultures, languages, and people. We are very accepting of each others’ differences and we admire each others’ strengths. However, I noticed something strange about the CRLS that I never really thought about before. The school doesn’t celebrate or even take a moment to focus on Asian Pacific-Islander American Heritage Month. It’s not entirely the students’ faults, but neither is it the fault of the school. May, which is APIA Month, is a very hectic month where Seniors in high school prepare for Finals and graduation. I think it is important that everybody, not just Asians and Asian-Americans to learn about the history Asians, Asian-Americans, and Pacific-Islanders in America. I actually went around my school and asked a few questions. I asked:
“Do you know what APIA Month is?” “Do you know what Black History Month is?” “Do you know why it is important to celebrate Black History Month?”
Surprisingly, all, but one person I asked didn’t know what APIA Month was, yet they all knew what Black History Month was. They said it was important to celebrate Black History Month because this way, past experiences can be avoided in the future and we can learn about the struggles that people had to go through. And is this not the same for Asians? Was the experience for Asians not horrible at all? Were their plights not important or of any relevance?
People can learn more about Asian and Asian-American history by visiting Boston’s very own Chinatown, which is not just a place for food, drink, and clothing. There are many murals placed on the walls of buildings. There are still remnants of the past lingering in Chinatown, despite it modernizing and growing upwards and skywards. Take time to learn about Asians and Asian-Americans because they’ve played a vital role in American history, such as with the Transcontinental Railroad or with the murder of Vincent Chin, something that people should really research on. Justice is for everybody, it is not black and white.
–Eric Tao, Oak Terrace Youth