This episode originally aired on June 13, 2022. It was re-aired and updated on Oct. 17, 2022.
This Week on One Detroit, Arts & Culture:
It’s been nearly 40 years since the tragic death of Chinese American Vincent Chin put Detroit in the national headlines. At the time, Detroit had a thriving Chinatown district near Cass Avenue, but Detroit’s Asian American community was hit hard after hearing the news of Chin’s murder.
While Detroit’s Chinatown eventually closed in 1996, more new activity will be seen there this week. Chinese American artist Anthony Lee has been commissioned by the American Citizens for Justice (ACJ) to paint a Vincent Chin mural commemorating the 40th anniversary of his death. The mural will be on display at the corner of Peterboro Street and Cass Avenue.
One Detroit’s Senior Producer Bill Kubota met up with Lee in his studio space to talk about the meaning behind his new Vincent Chin mural and the significance of its placement in Detroit’s former Chinatown. Plus, they discuss Lee’s other work around metro Detroit, including in numerous businesses like the Whistle Stop, and how he worked with legendary Detroit artist Gilda Snowden in his early years.
Then, Kubota heads over to a budding Asian American artist collective that’s forming on Detroit’s Southwest side. He talks with Shingo Brown, an artist and the curator of the Art Buddies collective, about the Asian American artistic community he’s working to form in Detroit.
Through A New Lens: Revisiting ‘Who Killed Vincent Chin?’, Asian American Civil Rights Nearly 40 Years Later
June 2022 marks the 40th anniversary of Vincent Chin’s murder, a hate crime that sparked the modern Asian American civil rights movement still seen today, and Detroit was its epicenter. It was June 19, 1982, when Chinese American Detroiter Vincent Chin was brutally beaten to death with a baseball bat outside of a nightclub in Highland Park. His killers served no jail time.
At that time, New York filmmakers Christine Choy and Renee Tajima-Peña set out to tell the story of Vincent Chin’s murder and what unfolded after with Detroit Public TV’s Juanita Anderson, but making a documentary of that scope at a local PBS station was a gargantuan challenge. In 1988, the film was nominated for an Academy Award and, in 2021 it was inducted into the National Library of Congress’ Film Registry.
Nearly four decades after the film premiered, the filmmakers and Anderson come together once again with Detroit-area filmmaker Chien-An Yuan to talk about the making of the “Who Killed Vincent Chin?” documentary, the Asian American civil rights movement they covered in real-time, and the significance the film still holds nearly 40-years later.
Detroit-native emcee and producer Frankie P. has received notable traction in Detroit’s local hip-hop scene over the last few years, but her journey as an artist started way before that. She was in the seventh grade when she decided she wanted to become a hip-hop artist, and has since performed at a variety of landmark Detroit locations, like the Charles H. Wright Museum and the We Found Hip-Hop Foundation, and alongside iconic artists, such as Big Sean, Logic, Laurie Love, and more.
Watch Frankie P. perform her original song “fad.e,” co-produced by Grammy Award-winning producer Quentin Dennard II, on Detroit Performs: Live from Maygrove.“
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Watch One Detroit every Monday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET on Detroit Public TV on Detroit Public TV, WTVS-Channel 56.