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                                Documentary "Asian Americans" premieres amid coronavirus-related discrimination

                                2020-05-13 02:52:47 GMT2020-05-13 10:52:47(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

                                SAN FRANCISCO, May 11 (Xinhua) -- A five-episode documentary series entitled "Asian Americans" has launched in the U.S., with its first two episodes premiering on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) on Monday.

                                The series delivers "a bold, fresh perspective on a history that matters today, more than ever, as America becomes more diverse and more divided while facing unimaginable challenges," PBS said on its website.

                                Led by a team of Asian American filmmakers, the series examines the significant role of Asian Americans in shaping American history and identity, from Chinese rail workers' long-forgotten contribution in the 1850s to modern refugee crises in a globally connected world.

                                During a digital town hall recently organized by the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) in connection with the series' premiere, U.S. Congresswoman Judy Chu said that for many Asian Americans, it's not just the health risks of the coronavirus that are cause for concern right now, but also "the anti-Asian bigotry that this pandemic has incited."

                                "There's no better time to reflect on the history of contributions of the AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) community," said Chu, the first Chinese American woman elected to U.S. Congress.

                                "This is especially true when it comes to addressing anti-Asian hate crimes," she added.

                                "We must continue to push back against the xenophobia every time it rears its ugly head ... Our history has shown us that Asian Americans have often been used as it goes in times of crisis," she noted. "We are seeing this again today, which is why it is more important now than ever that we stand united and make our voices heard."

                                The rest of the documentary's three episodes will air on Tuesday. The premiere is also a part of the films and performances program of San Francisco's Asia-Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month.

                                The month of May has been celebrated as APA Heritage Month for the past 15 years in San Francisco.

                                Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's APA events cannot take place as usual.

                                San Francisco Mayor London Breed called for the fighting of discrimination and hate amid the COVID-19 pandemic at the virtual opening of APA Heritage Month.

                                "During this global pandemic, the APA communities are facing unfair treatment, prejudice, and threats simply because of who they are," she said. "There is no place for discrimination and hate in our city or our country."

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