Who doesn’t love a great story? So much can be learned, felt and expressed through storytelling. But, most importantly, stories can foster better understanding across cultural and social lines.
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Whether it be film, song or even comic books and digital media – stories, which are able to truly reflect the global village in which we live, can only help open up new horizons and shift perceptions for the better.
This week on Full Frame, conversations with cultural storytellers who are spurring change.
Eddie Huang: Returning to China
When you bring up Eddie Huang’s name, a few things come to mind: chef, hip hop fan, T.V. host, rebel and storyteller.
Huang is the Taiwanese-Chinese American author who wrote, Fresh Off the Boat, a best-selling memoir, that inspired the hit American T.V. sitcom of the same name. It’s all about Huang’s life growing up as a young boy struggling to fit in in suburban Florida.
In the last few years, Huang has connected even more deeply with his Chinese culture and has chronicled the journey in his latest book, Double Cup Love: On the Trail of Family, Food and Broken Hearts in China.
Eddie Huang joins May Lee in our Los Angeles studio to talk about his new book.
Gene Luen Yang: Ambassador for young people
Young kids often have an incredible imagination that helps them create marvelous characters and stories inside their heads. But as we grow up, that free spirit seems to fade; but not for Gene Luen Yang. He never let his love of superheroes, animation and storytelling disappear; instead, he made it into a stellar career.
Today, he is one of the most respected writers in the industry. His first graphic novel, American Born Chinese, was the first-ever graphic novel to be named a finalist for the National Book Award, and was the only graphic novel, ever, to win the coveted Printz Award in 2007.
Adding to his lengthy list of “firsts,” Yang was recently named an Ambassador for Young People’s Literature by the Library of Congress. He’s the first graphic novelist to receive the honor.
An advocate for using comics and graphic novels as learning tools, he’s currently promoting his educational platform “Reading Without Walls,” which encourages kids to read outside of their comfort zone.
Gene Luen Yang joins May Lee in our Los Angeles studio to talk about what inspired him to tell his cultural story.
Asian American Artists Foundation: Fighting for Hollywood diversity
The 2016 Academy Awards may go down as the most contentious and controversial ever as calls for greater diversity in Hollywood grow louder and louder.
According to a new University of Southern California report on diversity in media, more than half of all film, T.V. and streaming shows surveyed failed to portray one speaking or named Asian role on screen.
So, in 2012, Philip Fung, Julia Lam and Franklyn Chien, all Facebook employees, decided to channel their frustrations into making a difference. They created A3 Foundation, a non-profit group that set out to foster and support Asian-American artists in American entertainment media.
From San Francisco, both Julia Lam and Philip Fung join May Lee in our Los Angeles studio to talk about their foundation’s mission.
Hisham Breedlove: Hitting the high notes
Music is often used as a way to create a culture’s stories. It frequently becomes a part of people’s everyday way of life.
In Washington, D.C., commuters, normally bombarded with loud trains, are finding their daily ride to work soothed by a more pleasant sound—a mesmerizing countertenor.
Hisham Breedlove often performs at the entrance of train stations in Washington, D.C. where he accepts donations of appreciation.
Breedlove grew up in Zimbabwe, where opera music is a highly revered art form. Now, he hopes to foster that same appreciation for the art in the U.S.
In this week’s Full Frame Close Up, we introduce you to this singer who is offering people a musical experience where they may least expect it.
Connect with Hisham Breedlove on Facebook.