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Self Evident: Asian America's Stories

Dec 7, 2020

During this year’s protests for Black lives, the national conversation was filled with calls to have uncomfortable conversations about anti-Blackness. This push, to talk about racism with our loved ones, has been both championed and criticized — but how do these conversations actually go down, and where do they lead?

To find out, we spoke with three cousins who created a conversation toolkit for Filipinx families, and made the nerve-wracking decision to test drive on a video call with their entire extended family.

Then we caught up with two friends who grew up in a redlined suburb of Detroit, to learn how their experiences with present-day school segregation have shaped their expectations about what’s needed to move towards justice.

To unpack our own thoughts on all of this, we hopped on the phone with our show’s co-founder, Talisa Chang, to hear about her experiences leading an abolition reading and discussion group for the past six months.

Along the way, we grappled with how these conversations can feel like way too much to handle, yet perhaps not enough to make a difference — and ultimately, how keeping these conversations going can help give Asian Americans the resolve and capacity to act in defense of Black lives in America.

Reading and Listening


  • Produced by James Boo, Harsha Nahata, and Julia Shu
  • Edited by Julia Shu
  • Sound mix by Timothy Lou Ly
  • Music by Blue Dot Sessions and Epidemic Sound
  • Self Evident theme music by Dorian Love


Thanks to the Ocampos (Anthony, Ivy, Patricia, and Paul), Maya, Ragen, and Talisa for speaking on this episode! We’re also grateful to Marissiko Wheaton for introducing us to Anthony Ocampo, and to Gilded Audio for helping us record with the Ocampo cousins.

And big thanks to Annie Tan, Audrey Agot Fox, Ceci Villaseñor, Christynn Morris, Elisa Rapadas, Jenny Lee, Kaitlyn Borysiewicz, and Parag Rajendra Khandhar for sharing their experiences with us as we were reporting this story. You can see and hear some of those experiences on Instagram and Facebook (follow @selfevidentshow).

Special shoutout to Jack Shu, one of our biggest supporters on Patreon. If you want to join Jack in supporting our mission and making our work sustainable, please become a member at