Crossing East Relations

Ellen Choy (right) Photo: Brooke Anderson Photography

Crossing East: Relations is a one-hour documentary special produced by Dmae Roberts, executive producer of MediaRites’ Crossing East series with Robynn Takayama and Alan Montecillo. The documentary addresses AAPIs and the Model Minority Myth and the historic relationship between AAPIs and African Americans. As part of a 10th anniversary celebration of the Peabody-winning radio series Crossing East, which aired on 230 public radio stations around the country we’ve been producing this documentary as well gathering more than 100 hours of oral history recordings for the Crossing East Archive.

For more info visit the MediaRites Crossing East: Relations page.


Origination/Creator: MediaRites

Title of Collection: Crossing East Oral Histories, Interviews and Transcripts

Date of Collection: 2004 January 1-2006 February 1

Size:  more than 200 hours of interviews

Format:  mp3

Language: The material is in English

Repository: Crossing East,

Media Rites, Portland, OR,

Abstract: The Crossing East Oral Histories, Interviews and Transcripts presents a view into the lives of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans throughout United States history. The collection contains the digital interviews and transcripts collected during 2004-2006 for the Crossing East public radio series of eight original one-hour documentaries that aired on 230 public radio stations nationally from 2006-2007.


Access Restrictions: Collection is open for research.

Copyright: The copyright interests in this collection remain with MediaRites Productions. Collection materials are for nonprofit, educational purposes only. For broadcast and reprint uses, contact MediaRites for permission.


In 1984, MediaRites Productions was established as a nonprofit organization operating out of Portland, Oregon. They strive to promote an understanding among diverse communities through the arts, education and media projects.  MediaRites Productions focuses on creating and distributing original work that tells true life stories and how those stories can, by increasing understanding across communities, ultimately improve society for us all. Their award-winning work focuses on unrepresented peoples such as recent immigrants, disabled youth, the homeless, or those with terminal illness.


The records of the Crossing East Asian and Pacific Islander American history series include audio and transcripts of interviews and oral histories with scholars, community experts, elders and community members. The interviews were conducted between January 1, 2004 and February 1, 2006. The records contain more than 200 hours of interviews which were used to create the Crossing East public radio series of eight original one-hour documentaries that aired on 230 public radio stations nationally from 2006-2007. The audio and transcripts for interviews is organized by radio show and segment. Also included in the collection, unaired interviews not included in the programs and the music accompaniments.

Interviews range from scholar accounts of historical events to personal stories and histories. Notable interviews include those with actor, George Takei and with scholars and experts: Judy Yung, Jeffrey Barlow, Dia Cha, Catherine Ceniza Choy, Bill Ong Hing, Franklin Odo, Gary Okihiro, Jaideep Singh, Ronald Takaki, Linda Trinh Vo, Ji-Yeon Yuh, Jack Tchen, Ah Quon McElrath, Barbara Kawakami, Bill Puette, Lee Tonouchi, Valarie Kaur, Bruce LaBrack, Professor Dawn Bohulano Mabalon, Betty Tisdale, Nguyen Qui Duc, Senator Mee Moua, Alberta Lee and family of Wen Ho Lee, Helen Zia, Reverend Norman Fong, Edward Chang, Angela Oh, Aqueela Sherrills, Sharmala Rudrapa, Shavali Shah, and Yuri Kochiyama.

Musicians’ performances in the collection include: Angelo Pizarro (guitarist and composer), Wilma Pang (Professor at San Francisco City College), Ledward Kaapana (Master Slack Key Guitarist), Russel Baba and Jeannie Aiko Mercer of Shasta Taiko , Jared Rehberg (Singer/Songwriter), Jon Jang (Jazz Pianist), Daran Kravanh (Accordionist) and Aishwarya Venkataraman (Violinist).


Program One: First Contacts Program One: Segment One: Unsung Sailors


Program One: Segment Two: Kanaka Village


Program One: Segment Three: Manila Men


Program One: Segment Four: Bitter Strength

Program Two: Frontier Asians Program Two: Segment One: Ing “Doc” Hay

Program Two: Segment Two: Frontier Women


Program Two: Segment Three: Asians in Agriculture

Program Three: Raising Cane – Program Three Segment One: Hard Labor


Program Three Segment Two: Picture Brides


Program Three Segment Three: Strength & Resistance


Program Three Segment Four: Plantation Life


Program Three Segment Five: Pidgin English

Program Four: Exclusion and Resistance Program Four: Segment One: Angel Island


Program Four: Segment Two: Paper Sons


Program Four: Segment Three: Defining America

Program Four: Segment Four: Seeds of Citizebship


Program Four: Segment Five: Cambodian Deportation

Program Five: Brides and Children Program Five: Segment One: Military Brides

Program Five: Segment Two: The Story of Ok Cha Yang


Program Five: Segment Three: I Am


Program Five: Segment Four: Unanswerable Question


Program Five: Segment Five: Baby Pictures


Program Five: Segment Six: Where I’m From

Program Six: Post ’65 Generation Program Six: Segment One: A Grocer’s Life


Program Six: Segment Two: The Family Business


Program Six: Segment Three: In Her Own Words

Program Six: Segment Four: The Teahouse

Program Six: Segment Five: The Paradox of the Fujianese

Program Seven: Refuge from War Program Seven: Segment One: Scholar Interview


Program Seven: Segment Two: Home is Always Somewhere Else


Program Seven: Segment Three: Refugee Dreams Revisited


Program Seven: Segment Four: Hmong in America

Program Eight: New Waves and New Storms Program Eight: Segment One: New Movement for Civil Rights


Program Eight: Segment Two: Sai-I-Gu


Program Eight: Segment Three: Taxi Turmoil


Program Eight: Segment Four: H1B Blues


Program Eight: Segment Five: Racial Profiling Then & Now


Music Feature: