AAPI Heritage Month

It's AAPI Heritage Month. Learn more about what this month is and check out our book list.

What is AAPI Heritage Month?

May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. While it’s important to recognize the contributions of Asian/Pacific Americans all year, this special time provides an opportunity to highlight Asian and Pacific Americans. Asian/Pacific Americans is a very broad term. According to AsianPacificHeritage.gov, this term includes:

  • The entire Asian continent
  • The Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji, and the Solomon Islands)
  • Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, and the Federated States of Micronesia)
  • Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, and Easter Island)


How did AAPI month begin?

According to History.com, there was a decade-long effort in the 1970s to recognize the work and contributions of the AAPI community. Rep. Frank Horton from New York and Sen. Daniel Inouye from Hawaii proposed that the first ten days of May should be officially designated to honor the AAPI community. After years of back-and-forth resolutions, Public Law 102-450 was passed to declare May Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. It was renamed to Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage Month in 2009.


Learn more about AAPI heritage from our book list

Asian American History and Culture: an Encyclopedia : An Encyclopedia

Author: Huping Ling and Allan W. Austin

Get the e-book here.


Making Asian American Film and Video : History, Institutions, Movements

Author: Jun Okada

Get the e-book here.


Asian America : Forming New Communities, Expanding Boundaries

Authors: Huping Ling, Peter Li, Haiming Liu, Min Zhou, Ling Arenson, Linda Trinh Vo, Allyson Tintiangco-Cubalse, Wei Zeng, Wei Li, and Yuan Shu

Get the e-book here. 


Asian American Political Participation : Emerging Constituents and Their Political Identities

Authors: Janelle S. Wong, S. Karthick Ramakrishnan, Taeku Lee, Jane Junn, and Janelle Wong

Get the e-book here. 


Margins and Mainstreams : Asians in American History and Culture

Authors: Gary Y. Okihiro, Moon-Ho Jung, and Moon-Ho Jung

Get the e-book here. 


Asian Americans in Higher Education: Charting New Realities : AEHE Volume 40, Number 1

Authors: Yoon K. Pak, Dina C. Maramba, and Xavier J. Hernandez

Get the e-book here.


As the Leaves Turn Gold : Asian Americans and Experiences of Aging

Authors: Bandana Purkayastha, Miho Iwata, Shweta Majumdar Adur, Ranita Ray, and Trisha Tiamzon

Get the e-book here.


Desis Divided : The Political Lives of South Asian Americans

Author: Sangay K. Mishra

Get the e-book here.


Asians and Pacific Islanders in American Football : Historical and Contemporary Experiences

Author: Joel S. Franks

Get the e-book here.


Pacific Identities and Well-Being : Cross-Cultural Perspectives

Authors: Margaret Nelson Agee, Tracey McIntosh, Philip Culbertson, and Cabrini ‘Ofa Makasiale

Get the e-book here.


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— Vanessa Lane is the Content Marketing Lead at Concordia University and can be reached at vanessa.lane@cuaa.edu. When she's not at work, she can be found playing with her kids or watching NBA basketball with her husband.

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