Second Annual Blasian March Book Fair

The Blasian March Black Asian Book Fair is back for its second year in Chinatown! We are proud to once again build Black-Asian solidarity through storytelling and sharing knowledge.

On April 29, 2023 at Immigrant Social Services, 137 Henry Street in Chinatown New York, The Blasian March offers a free literary community event of all genres and ages from Black, Asian, and Blasian authors. Our second annual Blasian March: Black Asian Book Fair is a means to better build Black-Asian solidarity through shared storytelling between marginalized communities.

As we continue to build coalitions across racial communities, one crucial piece is missing: we don’t know each others’ stories. Many of us have yet to understand the perspectives and histories of the other groups. This action centers the idea that Black Asian solidarity must be rooted in the mutual building of trust. Our goals for this action are:

  • Amplify and celebrate Black, Asian, and Blasian literary voices. We also wish to include Native voices, respecting the history of this land.
  • Foster understanding across racial barriers by inviting attendees to read the stories of a different community.
  • Counter barriers to literature access by providing all the books for free.
  • Promote tangible action items and digital resources so the wider community can continue to participate.


Budget breakdown:
Books: 15000
Performer 1: 200
Performer 2: 200
Performer 3: 200
Panelist 1: 200
Panelist 2: 200
Panelist 3: 200
Moderator: 200
Children's Program Talent: 200
Travel Stipends: 2150
Safety Training: 200
Accessibility: 1000
Healer 1: 300
Healer 2: 300
Graphic Designer: 300
Videographer: 300
Marketing: 200
Emergency Expenses 200
Total: 21,550

Every penny counts, and we appreciate every single contribution! We are also looking for sponsors for the books, panels, water, food, or any other part of this action.

About The Blasian March
The Blasian March is a solidarity action between Black, Asian, and Blasian communities. This is achieved through education on parallel struggles against racial injustice and mutual celebration. Founded by Rohan Zhou-Lee in 2020, an LGBT organizer of Black and Asian heritage, the Blasian March centers Women, LGBT and Disabled folk. It also incorporates at each event Native solidarity. Now with four chapters in New York City, New Haven, Los Angeles, and Chicago, The Blasian March has been featured on World Journal, Gay City News, Hella Pinay, Hyperallergic, NBC Chicago, WNYC, a branch of NPR, Chicago Reader, Newsy, and CNN. For accessibility and inclusion, each action is paired with a digital action item toolkit, which folks may partake in by visiting www.blasianmarch.org.

Black Asian Book Fair History
The very first Black Asian Book Fair occurred April 23, 2022. Black, Asian, Blasian and Indigenous literature was purchased through crowdsourcing and the Blasian March partner Welcome To Chinatown. Other books were donated by The Rolling Library, Asian American Writers’ Workshop, and individuals in the community. Books were bought at local bookstores including The Lit Bar, Cafe Con Libros, Sari Sari Storybooks, Source of Knowledge, and Yu & Me Books. This action was sponsored in part by Haymarket Books. Attendance was 114, and out of 187 books only 11 were left. This collection also included Indigenous literature. Some books were also donated off site to tiny libraries in Harlem. After exceeding donation goals, $221 was donated to The Bronx Is Reading, an Afro-Latina-led organization that is currently fundraising to open the first children's bookstore in the Bronx. Other aspects of the event included safety item handouts from Soar Over Hate and voter registration with the Chinese Progressive Association. Food was provided by Welcome To Chinatown.

Leading up to the action, multiple Asian American community leaders shared the flyer, including news anchor Michelle Li and actress Gemma Chan. The morning began with energy healing and Drag Story Hour with the drag queen Flame. The afternoon continued with a safety training called pod mapping, a strategy devised by queer Korean disability justice organizer Mia Mingus. Performances that followed included Emmy award winner Suzen Baraka, whose poetry spoke on her Black and Korean experience. Iman Le Caire, a BBC 100 Women 2021 and Trans Asylias Founder, gave a speech demanding more support for Arab trans asylum seekers from the Biden administration and a belly dance. Performances concluded with Justin Hunte of Bloodline Dance Theatre, who danced a solo to Kendrick Lamar’s Alright. The action concluded with a panel discussing writing and Black-Asian solidarity. This included Vina Orden, writer, editor and fellow in residence at Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Suzen Baraka, The Kinswomen podcast co-founder Yseult Polfliet Mukantabana and Legal Aid Society attorney and GAPIMNY Co-Chair Jason Wu, whose writing can be found of Truthout, Teen Vogue, and more.

Last year's livestream may be accessed here , with subtitles and ASL interpreters included. Performances start at 1:24:40. Panel begins at 2:14:14.

Donations

  • Soar Over Hate
    • $500 
    • 1 d
  • Karen Du
    • $100 
    • 11 d
  • Rochelle Du
    • $20 
    • 11 d
  • Erica Hertzberg
    • $50 
    • 11 d
  • Anonymous
    • $25 
    • 18 d
See all

Organizer

Rohan Zhou-Lee
Organizer
New York, NY

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