Originally published on May 28, 2021. Updated on May 12, 2022.
Taiwanese and Chinese American Chien-An Yuan and his friend Jon Eaton grew up in Bay Village, Ohio together, where for the first 30 years they spent their friendship talking about and sharing their thoughts on music, movies and pop culture — some of their favorites being “Dangerous Minds” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” It wasn’t until the death of George Floyd in 2020 that Yuan and Eaton’s conversations started to delve deeper into issues of race, police brutality and each of their lived experience as Americans.
Yuan and Eaton, who now live in separate cities from each other, reconnect via Zoom to share their reactions to the George Floyd murder and reflect on their shared and divergent experiences growing up in their homogenous Ohio suburb.
Plus, the two discuss how their friendship has grown deeper over the last three decades. “There’s trust. Even if we vehemently disagree about something, it’s not going to be enough to break a friendship,” Yuan says.
On Deeper Conversations About Race After George Floyd’s Murder:
Chien-An and Jon reflect on how their conversations started out during the pandemic, then deepened after George Floyd’s murder.
On Growing Up in Bay Village:
Chien-An and Jon reflect on their shared and divergent experiences growing up in their homogenous Ohio suburb
On their divergent experiences with the police:
Chien-An and Jon talk about their divergent experiences with law enforcement.
On 30 years of friendship leading to trust, deeper conversations and understanding:
Chien-An and Jon reflect on how 30 years of friendship laid the foundation of trust to talk about deeper topics.
For AAPI Heritage month, in partnership with WDET, Detroit Public TV is amplifying the voices of Southeast Michigan’s AAPI community by inviting them to have meaningful conversations and sharing their stories all throughout the year. If you have a story about your family’s history, your own personal experience, how you identify, favorite traditions, or other important stories that you want to share, click here. Introductions for this story are produced by Dorothy Hernandez, WDET.
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