Quantcast
Latest Stories

Carlos Bulosan poem inspires US exhibit

By

Director of Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center Konrad Ng: Bulosan’s poem captures that aspiration and vision of America

WASHINGTON, DC—A traveling exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum, whose theme is based on one of renowned Filipino-American writer Carlos Bulosan’s poems, will make its next stop in Los Angeles next month.

The exhibit, titled “I Want the Wide American Earth,” will end its run at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History on Aug. 25. It will open next at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles on Sept. 14 and run until Dec. 1.

In an interview with the Inquirer, Konrad Ng, director of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, said Bulosan’s poem was selected because “it captured that aspiration and that vision of America” being home for Asian Pacific American immigrants.

Ng is a brother-in-law of US President Barack Obama, who is pushing for an immigration bill that would provide a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants, one million of them Filipinos.

Bulosan’s poems and stories deal mostly with the racism and discrimination he experienced as an Asian immigrant in America.

“You have someone who was born in the Philippines and, soon after the US-Philippine war, lived in the United States in pursuit of better opportunities. Like most immigrant communities, the life in the land of opportunity became an experience of hardship. And Bulosan wrote these great poems and stories [about the experience],” said Ng.

“‘I Want the Wide American Earth’ for us captured that aspiration and that vision of America being the home for everybody, specifically for Asian Pacific Americans.”

Chicken skin

Ng said he was a fan of Bulosan.

“I love [Bulosan’s] work. His work… as they say in Hawaii, [gives you] chicken skin… when you think about something that inspires you and makes you feel something deeply. I think Carlos Bulosan has got some terrific poems,” Ng said.

An excerpt from Bulosan’s poem reads: “Before the brave, before the proud builders and workers/ I say I want the wide American earth/ For all the free./ I want the wide American earth for my people./ I want my beautiful land./ I want it with my rippling strength and tenderness/ Of love and light and truth/ For all the free.”

The exhibition—the first of its kind undertaken by the Smithsonian—celebrates Asian Pacific American history across a multitude of cultures and explores how Asian Pacific Americans have shaped and been shaped by the course of American history.

Images on 30 panels tell the story of the first Asian immigrants’ participation in the gold rush, the transcontinental railroad, on both sides of the American Civil War and the building of the nation’s agriculture.

The Asian Pacific American population now stands at more than 17 million and growing. Filipinos, numbering 3.4 million, make up the second-largest Asian group in the US according to the latest census. The number is believed to be much higher than the census count. There are an estimated one million undocumented Filipinos in the US.

Chinese-Americans make up the largest Asian group, with more than 4 million. Indians from the subcontinent are the third-largest, with 3.2 million. Other large Asian groups include the Vietnamese, with 1.7 million; Koreans, with 1.7 million; and Japanese, with 1.3 million.

“I Want the Wide American Earth” is a collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. The exhibit is on the third floor of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Carlos Bulosan , Exhibit , Global Nation , Konrad Ng , Philippines , Smithsonian Museum , US

  • Anonymous

    Before former President Erap mentioned yesterday of why US are interested in the peace agreement of the Philippines and the MILF, I posted in my comment my analysis which are proven to be true. PNoy’s hands are both tied up by the US who most likely advise him not to wage an All-Out-War against the MILF. The selective air strike is only used to calm down the call for justice of the Filipino people, and to stop the military from demoralizing. The truth is those operation will soon be stopped when the public opinion die down. I heard from the locals that out in General Santos open sea there is already a highly secretive huge naval base. In addition, Mindanao is considered as the food granary of the country; rich both in petroleum and gas fields which GB and US big corporations are very much interested in exploiting. That’s also why US and Australia (proxy of Great Britain) get involve recently in the Spratly island dispute with China.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/QQ4FDYYGVVNQ5HXVM2CBX6XA4I Fan

    2-3 sorties/day using ov-10, thats the best we can give, back to the past pilipinas

  • Anonymous

    All out war and all out justice against whoever is responsible for the traitorous killings of soldiers and civilians.  Never negotiate with the devil. You will look ridiculous and stupid. All you need is to humor the devil for  3 to 6 months to get to know the devil. Erap’s occasional street wisdom are sometimes golden nuggets.



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

  • Obama, family cause a small stir at Easter service
  • Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  • Ancient enigmatic carvings in danger of disappearing
  • Tagle: Hope comes with warning on Easter
  • New plant to boost supply of clean energy
  • Sports

  • Goodbye MGM, Las Vegas for Pacquiao?
  • Rain or Shine drops Ginebra in big hole
  • Ateneo whips CSB; Davao debuts with win over FEU
  • PH pug Hipolito Banal decisions Colombian in Aiba
  • Former Pacquiao sparmate Porter keeps IBF title
  • Lifestyle

  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Korean animation comes of age
  • Entertainment

  • Easter musings
  • Solenn in shorts
  • Unmerry mix of attention-calling moves on ‘Mini-Me’ TV tilts
  • Persistence pays off for The 1975
  • Special section in LA fest for Filipino films
  • Business

  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Golden Week
  • Bourse to woo Cebu stock mart investors
  • Supper power
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • Search for Etihad passengers launched
  • Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • OFW died of Mers-CoV in Saudi Arabia, says family
  • Aquino, Obama to tackle US pivot to Asia during state visit
  • Marketplace