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The Chinese American Museum discusses First Vote
Alternating, all-consuming feelings of dread and resignation, cringey “inspirational” celebrity videos, an interminable line of aesthetically driven Instagram slideshows urging followers to register, phone bank, and vote: These are just some of the experiences many of us are enduring with white knuckles as Nov. 3 approaches at breathtaking speed. Even if all your faith in electoral politics evaporated long before America broke your heart in 2016, it just might be possible that the documentary First Vote can rekindle the idealism you learned in elementary school social studies classes. Included in World Channel’s documentary series “America Reframed,” First Vote follows four Chinese Americans—including a Tea Party candidate and a UNC professor of race and racism—from the presidential election of 2016 to the 2018 midterms. Directed by Yi Chen, herself a Chinese immigrant and first time voter, First Vote’s thesis is implicit in its contrast: the United States prohibited people of Asian descent from voting until the eerily recent 1952; now, Asian Americans are its fastest growing ethnic group. Watch the film before or after an online discussion with the Chinese American Museum featuring Chen, John Yang, President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and local activist and business executive Yilin Zhang. The discussion begins at 1 p.m. on Oct. 19. Registration is available at chineseamericanmuseum.com. Free. —Amy Guay