Why do we dance? African-American social dances started as a way for enslaved Africans to keep cultural traditions alive and retain a sense of inner freedom. They remain an affirmation of identity and independence. In this electric demonstration, packed with live performances, choreographer, educator and TED Fellow Camille A. Brown explores what happens when communities let loose and express themselves by dancing together.
In 1916, one family battled against the unjust laws aimed at immigrants of Japanese ancestry. In doing so, they lent their own voices to the growing chorus of Asian Americans insisting: "We belong here."
On December 7, 1941 Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and prompted the United States to enter World War II. While many Americans were concerned about the war abroad, they were also paranoid about the “threat” of Japanese Americans at home. As a result, many Japanese Americans were forced into internment camps on American soil.
This chapter details the Chinese involvement in building the transcontinental railroad and the friction it caused between them and white workers, whom Chinese workers displaced from their jobs due to their willingness to work for less and not join labor unions.
In this interview, Luis Rodriguez describes how the systemic demoralization he faced in school and society at a young age drove him to join a street gang and how writing his book, Always Running, was an attempt to call his son and other young people in similar situations to change their lives.
Patricia Smith explores the nation's divide over how to deal with illegal immigration. She outlines the role of immigration in our history, notes the "wariness" felt over immigration ever since, and questions when and how Congress might act on the issue.
To cover is to downplay aspects of our identity that make us different from mainstream society. Kenji Yoshino argues that, although we live in an age where the law prohibits many forms of discrimination, people still face pressure to hide who they are.
In this excerpt from his memoir, Rodriguez provides a stirring recollection from his adolescence: the first time he experienced racism as a result of being an immigrant in America. As he says, the experience "stays with [him] like a foul odor."