My Real Education at Cal

My Real Education at Cal

Last week while hobnobbing with writers at the Bay Area Book Festival gala atop the Memorial Stadium, which overlooked the UC Berkeley campus and the sparkling bay, I couldn’t help but give into nostalgia. Exactly 30 years ago I, a premed, graduated from that campus down below with a degree in biochemistry. But I didn’t become a doctor. I picked up the pen, dropped the test tube, and through some years of struggling, became a journalist and writer instead.

Yet if I didn’t learn how to write at Cal, it was certainly here that my literary life really began. A refugee boy from Vietnam at age 11, I barely spoke a word of English. I lived in a crowded apartment full of refugees where Mission Street ended and the working class of Daly City began. It wasn’t until I was a junior at Lowell High School in San Francisco, when a few of my Vietnamese friends were applying to Cal, that I first heard of the school. And I thought that maybe I, too, should apply.

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Undocumented Victims of Orlando Shooting Face Unique Challenges

Undocumented Victims of Orlando Shooting Face Unique Challenges

Jorge Rivas and Rafa Fernandez De Castro

Image courtesy of Orlandovictims.com

ORLANDO — Victor is recovering in an Orlando hospital room after being shot twice during the Pulse massacre last Saturday night.

The 24-year-old Salvadoran is being consoled by three friends at his bedside, but as an undocumented man with no relatives nearby and no idea when his injuries will allow him to return to work, he’s worried about how he’s going to pay for the hospital bills—and what will happen to him if he can’t.

Victor, whose name has been changed to protect his identity, is one of two undocumented immigrants who were shot and survived during the nightclub attack. The other, a 33-year-old Mexican named Javier, is recovering in the hospital and reportedly in stable condition despite taking a bullet to the abdomen.

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7th Annual Juneteenth Heritage Festival

7th Annual Juneteenth Heritage Festival

Los Angeles-Don’t ever allow anyone to tell you that they are bored, there is nothing to do. This past weekend, June 18-19, 2016, there were three culturally enriching events that were vying for my time.

Due to time constraints, I stopped by Leimert Park Village, near Crenshaw and Vernon for the 7th Annual Juneteenth Heritage Festival. The festival was held on Saturday, June 18, and Sunday, June 19, 2016. This year’s theme was “Faith, Family and Global Future.”

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Where Black is Brown-The African Diaspora in Mexico

Where Black is Brown-The African Diaspora in Mexico

Recent news reports stated that Mexico will finally acknowledge its Afro-Mexican population. “In 2015, for the first time ever, Mexico allowed its citizens to identify as an “Afro-Mexican” or “Afro-descendent” on its census. The results, more than 1.4 million people—around 1.2% of the population—said that they had African ancestry. Today, the majority of Afro-Mexicans reside in the states of Costa Chica, Guerrero, Oaxaca, and Veracruz—all places that were popular among escaped enslaved Africans.”

Where Black is Brown exhibition is designed to further the understanding of African influence and contributions in the Americas and to foster greater understanding among African Americans, Chicano/Latino, and Indigenous communities about their historical connections and their intermingled sangre (blood) that has produced beautiful and dynamic peoples of the Americas.

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The Consequences of a Brexit

On the Thames last week, supporters of Britain’s departure from the European Union sprayed those who oppose it. Facundo Arrizabalaga/European Pressphoto Agency In Britain, polls indicate growing support for a vote to leave the European Union — in a so-called Brexit — but the murder of a member of Parliament who was a prominent opponent…

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Style Africa, 2016, A celebration of African Creativity: Music/Dance, Film & Stage, Fashion, Cuisine, etc.

Style Africa 2016, A celebration of African Creativity: Music/Dance, Film & Stage, Fashion, Cuisine, etc.

Style Africa 2016, held annually, is scheduled for the 24th and 25th of June 2016 at the Fashion Theater, California Market Center in Los Angeles, CA. The event is produced by Africa Boku Talent, Inc., a 501(c)3 organization whose mission is to showcase and support African Creativity in music, dance, film, stage, fashion, cuisine, art and more.

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NAFTA’s Failures Finally Get Air Time, Thanks to Trump

NAFTA’s Failures Finally Get Air Time, Thanks to Trump

The last time Mexico took center stage in American politics was Sept. 6, 2001, when George W. Bush watched Mexican President Vicente Fox address a joint session of Congress in the nation’s capital.

Bush and Fox were friends, ranchers, businessmen, and came from the same rugged landscape that made their working together a done deal.

Both men were determined to take the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to the next step by addressing the limitations and flaws in that agreement. The limitations were political (no free movement of people across borders) and economic (no single currency for the United States, Canada, and Mexico).

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3 Things You Didn’t Know About Muhammad Ali’s Politics

Muhammad Ali: Playful Pugilist with a Purpose

In May of 1989, Muhammad Ali made a surprise appearance at a community dinner of the South Bay Islamic Association of San Jose, California (http://sbia.info/). It took us about three seconds to change the program and make him the keynote speaker for the evening. Ali spoke slowly, between a rasp and a whisper, and although time has dimmed my memory of the details, I can still recall the essence of his message: Take it easy. Enjoy life. Don’t take yourself too seriously but don’t forget you have a purpose in life as well.

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3 Things You Didn’t Know About Muhammad Ali’s Politics

3 Things You Didn’t Know About Muhammad Ali’s Politics

Muhammad Ali—the three-time heavyweight-boxing champion, the incredible humanitarian, the inspiration for the activism of athletes all over the nation—passed away on Friday, June 3, and the world is in mourning.

Muhammad Ali for many people was more icon than athlete. Like Jim Brown or John Carlos he was someone who inspired African Americans and Muslims to fight oppression, move beyond the comfort of success and speak out against injustice no matter the cost or inconvenience. Between the Will Smith-led biopic and various tributes over the years, most Americans know that Ali spoke out against the Vietnam War, converted to the Nation of Islam and was a global humanitarian. However, there are lots of facts about his life that haven’t been picked up by the mainstream press.

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Korean Media Endorse Hillary Clinton

The whole nation is paying attention to California, which will decide the presidential candidate for the Democratic party on June 7. Korean Americans are showing high interest this election season. Hillary Clinton is seen as the ‘presumptive nominee’ though Bernie Sanders has declared his intention to stay in the race despite the seemingly unfavorable odds.

The Korea Times officially endorses Hilary Clinton as the presidential candidate for the Democratic Party in this California Primary.

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