Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities encompass a wide range of cultures, hardships and lived experiences, and each one is an important part of the American narrative. Their stories are American stories, and their voices deserve to be heard. That’s why we’re highlighting a few of the stories from our AANHPI participants, to help people find connection and understanding by amplifying their words.

Whose voices do you want to see included in the narratives of Asian American and Pacific Islander history? By sitting down with someone you love for a StoryCorps conversation, you’re showing them that their stories matter and preserving them for generations.

StoryCorps Connect makes it possible to interview a loved one remotely and then upload it to the StoryCorps archive at the Library of Congress.

No More Questions!

Strong-willed Kay Wang allowed her son and granddaughter to ask her a few brief questions about her adventures in life — from disobeying her mother and rebuffing suitors while growing up in China to late-life escapades as a detective for Bloomingdale’s.

"This is where we can find the things that are familiar to us and that no one's going to laugh at us.”
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From China to Philly

Deborah Wei’s parents came to the U.S. from China in the 1960’s. When they settled in the Philadelphia suburbs, they were the only Asian family in their neighborhood. Deborah came to StoryCorps with her daughter, Kaia Chau, to remember how her mom began to feel at home.

“We’re this unbroken chain of family.”
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The untold story of Joseph Kahahawai

In 1931, a young Native Hawaiian man, Joseph Kahahawai, was wrongfully accused of sexually assaulting the wife of a U.S. Navy officer, and was murdered by her relatives. His niece, Kim Farrant, and her family never spoke about her uncle. She tells her sister Joy Kahahawai-Welch, how she first heard the story.

“He sacrificed a lot of his family time to make a better world for us.”
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A Father Who Fed the Nation

Larry Itliong was a Filipino migrant worker who led the historic Delano Grape Strike of 1965—advocating for better wages and working conditions for his fellow Filipino workers. At StoryCorps, Larry’s son, Johnny, reflects on the sacrifices his father made on the picket lines.

“Finding you took 55 years.”
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From estranged to inseparable

For many years, Hansen’s disease, also known as leprosy, was widely misunderstood, and some wrongly believed you could catch it from a handshake. At StoryCorps, Doug Carillo and Linda Mae Lawelawe, siblings who spent 54 years apart due to the stigma of Hansen’s disease, sat down to discuss how this shaped their lives.

“When I buy a new book, I don’t start reading the first page. I smell it.”
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A Love Story in 10,000 Books

Alagappa Rammohan has amassed enough books over the course of his life to fill a small library. He shares his love of the written word with his daughter, Paru Venkat, and his plans to donate all of his books to his hometown in India.

"I thought that my best friend was lost forever."
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An Ocean Away

Born in Hong Kong, Pak Yan and Joe Chan were inseparable as kids, but when Joe was in the 6th grade, his family moved to the U.S. The friends lost touch for 38 years until Pak tracked Joe down. At StoryCorps, the two friends reflect on their reunion, picking up where they left off.

Lola’s Work

Kenneth Tan celebrates the life of grandmother, Crescenciana Tan, whom he called Lola. He remembers Lola’s hard work and unwavering commitment to her family. 

“She wasn’t like the mothers of my friends...she lived and breathed dancing.”
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My Mother the Performer

In the late 1930’s, dancer Dorothy Toy debuted on Broadway with her partner Paul Wing. It capped years of hard work on the Vaudeville circuit and launched them to stardom. Decades later, her daughter Dorlie came to StoryCorps to remember her mother’s life and legacy.

Driving Lessons

Muhammad Faridi talks to his father about what it was like to grow up as the son of a NYC cab driver. Although he used to be embarrassed to talk about his family, Muhammad learned to be proud of his father’s work.

“If I’m in front of a blank sheet of paper with a pencil, I find such solace.”
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From Internment to Disney

Willie Ito dreamed of becoming an animator, but his dreams were put on hold when his family was sent to a Japanese American internment camp. At StoryCorps, Willie reflects on his internment and his career as an animator at Disney

“It wasn't your typical home. But it was a home for us.”
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Growing Up in the Hollywood Laundry Business

“We lived in the back of the laundry in Hollywood. It wasn’t your typical home. But it was a home for us.” Sisters Suzi and Donna Wong lived minutes from big movie studios, but a world away.

"It was all about saving a life and not taking a life.”
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A Purple Heart Vet on What It Means To Be a “Hero”

U.S. Army veteran Richard Hoy tells his daughter, Angel, about serving as a medic during the Vietnam War.

“Because she was Asian, they wouldn’t accept her. Mom said she didn’t care; she enlisted anyway.”
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Remembering One Tough Veteran: Lieutenant Susan Ahn Cuddy

Susan Ahn Cuddy was the first Asian American woman in the Navy and the first woman gunnery officer teaching air combat tactics. Her children, Flip and Christine, remember her as a tough, yet loving mother.

From the Archive

David and Sophie Wong

David Wong talks with his daughter Sophie about how his life has unfolded since he immigrated from China in the 1940s.

Gloria Park and Julia Kim

Gloria Park talks with her daughter Julia Kim about creating meaning in their personal lives, ideas around home, and self care.

Julia Tinker and Carlene Tanigoshi Tinker

Julia Tinker and her mother Carlene Tanigoshi Tinker talk about their respective Japanese American identities. They also discuss Carlene’s experience in an Amache internment camp, dealing with racism, and returning to Amache as an adult to help preserve the history of those interned.

Phu Van Huynh and Phu Huynh “Sam”

Phu Van Huynh talks with his brother Phu Huynh “Sam” about his experience being incarcerated for 25 years. The two brothers talk about apologies, their family, their past gang involvement, and how Phu Van is helping to better his community after getting out of prison.

Al Pola and Mani Mahadevan

Al Pola connects with Mani Mahadevan over their experience as immigrants and discuss topics like cultural identity, police perceptions of the public, and racism.

Joselyn Geaga-Rosenthal and Jason Yap

Joselyn Geaga-Rosenthal tells her son, Jason Yam, about her arrival to the United States, including the trip by ship, and about her political awakening in the U.S.

Jake Van Yahres and Jason Spellman

Jason Spellman and Jake Van Yahres discuss how growing up around Charlottesville, Virginia and attending Virginia Commonwealth University influenced them.

Billy Taing and Jill Hanhong

Cousins Billy Taing and Jill Hanhong discuss Billy’s upbringing, the changes that led him to gang life and the crime that changed his life.

Cecilia Chung and Annalise Ophelian

Cecilia Chung is interviewed by friend and colleague Annalise Ophelian. Cecilia talks about moving to San Francisco in the 1980s, being a trans woman, and the unconditional and supportive love from her family.

Veronica Seymour and Marian Atkins

Marian Atkins shares her mother’s life story with her daughter, Veronica Seymour. She survived WWII as a child in Japan, immigrated first to Taiwan, then to the U.S. She later passed away from dementia.