Like many mixed race kids I felt that I didn’t belong anywhere, but I wasn’t really an outsider…

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2017-03-03 19:21Z by Steven

Like many mixed race kids I felt that I didn’t belong anywhere, but I wasn’t really an outsider: I was full of the invisible tensions of inside, hyper-aware of the contradictions and tensions my friends and peers ignored or never saw in the first place. I couldn’t put a name to any of it then, it was just this intuitive sense of the anger and hatred that pulse through modern life, how America in all of its contradictions hates itself and how that hatred is everywhere and nowhere to see, layered over with sanctioned forms of like and dislike, but never love, that spiritual love Mimi was drawing always closer to — never love because love is too close to hate for America to allow it into daylight.

Lawrence-Minh Bùi Davis, “Dispatch from the Floor of the Model Minority Factory,” The Offing, September 8, 2015.

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Dispatch from the Floor of the Model Minority Factory

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Media Archive, United States on 2017-03-03 19:00Z by Steven

Dispatch from the Floor of the Model Minority Factory

The Offing

Lawrence-Minh Bùi Davis, Founder
The Asian American Literary Review

for Mimi

Hard work is a glue, and he worked longer hours than anybody I’d ever known, from doors opening to doors closing, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. every summer day the Center was open, six and sometimes seven days a week, year after year after year. I liked him immediately. I used to call him the best boss I’d ever had. He was, for a long time. Frequently I’d close with him, and we’d sit around on top of those little kid-sized desks like two off-duty cops, exhausted and a little punchy, drinking cheap canned coffees he’d brought back from Taiwan for the staff. For reasons I wouldn’t figure out until much later, I saw in him someone I needed badly to be a good boss, a good person, someone I could be friends with, someone who could see a friend in me. I guess he saw a friend in me because I was always there, because he prized hard work over all else, because he prized my PhD-in-progress, and maybe too because he was lonely, even with his wife working beside him all those long hours. The immigrant work ethic fundamentally renders you lonely, even in the midst of fellow immigrants.

The work was private education, primarily prep classes for the Scholastic Aptitude Test, commonly known as the SAT, still the standard ticket for high school students of every race and region and class to gain access to American college education. The business was called Straight A Learning Center — owned and operated by Danny and his wife Ellen, who’d emigrated together from Taiwan in the early ‘90s. Straight A first opened its doors in 1998; I joined the Center in 2007, teaching a few classes that first summer, going full-time the next few summers, eventually going part-time bordering on full-time year-round.

Straight A came to offer a real future for me, money, security, and possibility of growth, as well as the opportunity to help young people from Asian American communities throughout Maryland’s Montgomery County and nearby northern Virginia. The Center promised a new kind of educational culture, and perhaps most importantly to me, because I’m Asian American myself, a way to support and give back to my communities.

But it all went wrong…

Read the entire article here.

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MXRS Podcast Episode 1: Lawrence-Minh Búi Davis and the Mixed Race Initiative

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Audio, Identity Development/Psychology, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2013-12-18 19:03Z by Steven

MXRS Podcast Episode 1: Lawrence-Minh Búi Davis and the Mixed Race Initiative

Mixed Roots Stories

Chandra Crudup, Host

Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni, Host

Mark R. Edwards, Host

Lawrence-Minh Búi Davis, co-Editor-in-Chief
Asian American Literary Review

We are thrilled to launch Episode 1 of the MXRS Podcast – bringing you the story behind the stories. Our first several episodes are in partnership with the Asian American Literary Review and its Mixed Race Initiative. Editor-in-Chief Lawrence-Minh Búi Davis is our first guest. Join us as our conversation winds its way through language, how we identify ourselves, the origins of the Mixed Race Initiative and its components, making our work more accessible, and much more.

Listen to the interview here (00:30:17). Download the interview here. Read the transcript here.

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Call for Proposals—Special AALR Issue on Mixed Race

Posted in United States, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2012-11-06 22:55Z by Steven

Call for Proposals—Special AALR Issue on Mixed Race

The Asian American Literary Review
1110 Severnview Drive
Crownsville, Maryland 21032

Lawrence-Minh Bùi Davis
Gerald Maa

Thanks to political organizing, scholarship, and the arts, not to mention media coverage, mixed race has become hyper-visible. So what’s next? AALR’s special issue on mixed race, due out in Fall 2013, won’t simply be a reexamination of race or a survey of mixed voices, important as both are. We envision our role as that of provocateur—inspiring new conversations and cross-pollinations, pushing into new corners.

What are the nerve centers of mixed race? How does mixed race mark fault lines the world over? We invite you to be the curators of this special issue, to tell us what about mixed race we need to address—and how.

All contributions to the issue will be collaborative, “mixed” in nature, bringing together folks across racial and ethnic boundaries, across disciplines, genres, countries, languages, and generations. We see the issue as a meeting point for visual artists and writers, filmmakers and activists, students and teachers and scholars of every stripe—an incubator of new ideas and fresh approaches. Multilingual exchanges and formal innovations welcome.

In Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 the issue will be a focal point for a multi-institution synchronous teaching program that connects students and faculty across the world. So far 54 classrooms in universities and colleges in seven countries have signed up. Our goal is an international, livetime, region to region, country to country conversation that builds academic, social, and civic community, a conversation that challenges and grows our understandings of race and mixed race as well as the tools and lenses we use to understand them.


All proposals should briefly outline:

  • who would be contributing to your collaborative project, with a 50-100 word bio for each contributor;
  • what subject matter your collaborative project would engage;
  • how it would engage that subject or set of subjects in terms of disciplinary approach(s), genre(s), and form(s) or format(s); and
  • why your proposed project would be vital to the special issue.

We are accepting proposals from fully formed groups; partial groups requesting to be matched with a writer, scholar, activist, visual artist, illustrator, musician, or filmmaker; and individuals requesting to be matched with a group.

Please direct proposals to and any questions or inquiries to Deadline for proposal submissions is 11/09/2012. We will inform of decisions by mid-December 2012. Final submissions of collaborative projects will be due February 2013.

AALR is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization. All donations are fully tax-deductible.

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