The stories presented by Roots give a sense of how the early Asian American movement sought to overcome atomization and define itself.
Also on view are several editions of the newspaper Gidra (1969–74), which served as the major communications arm of the Asian American movement.
Despite the radical claims of the movement, Asian American artists and activists had plenty of blind spots, as the exhibit takes pains to demonstrate.
“Asian American” was once a radical marker of identity, yet today it can feel like a rather innocuous or less meaningful designation.
Roots: Asian American Movements in Los Angeles 1968–80s continues at the Chinese American Museum (425 North Los Angeles Street, Los Angeles) through June 11.