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“Roots,” a new exhibition at the Chinese American Museum, argues that Asian American identity has always been political.

With that in mind, the museum commissioned a zine with works by young Asian American artists and activists to accompany the exhibition.

AdvertisementThrough photographs, protest literature and art, the exhibition depicts Asian Americans’ formative steps to shed the “Oriental” label and choose their own American identity.

It tells the story of Asian Americans forming civil rights organizations at UCLA, UC Berkeley and other colleges, while gradually becoming aware of one another through newspapers, protests and conventions.

But many things have also changed, said Karen Ishizuka, author of a recent book about the origins of the Asian American movement.

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