Speakers talked about how the two groups worked together in the civil and LGBTQ rights movements, the challenges Asian and African immigrants face, and the violence the police have executed on both Asian and Black communities.  

Zhang Zhiming

The rally in Cadman Plaza Park.

This article originally appeared in Sing Tao Daily.

Translated by Rong Xiaoqing from Chinese

Hundreds of Blacks and Asians gathered at Cadman Plaza Park in Brooklyn in the afternoon on Oct. 11 for a joint rally. The organizer said the purpose of the event was to have Asians and Blacks better understand each other’s suffering from racist violence and to build a bridge between the two communities.  

The activity included a rally, a march and a celebration. Speakers talked about how Asians and Blacks worked together in the civil rights movement and the LGBTQ rights movement, the challenges Asian and African immigrants face, and the violence the police executed on both Asian and Black communities.    

Rohan Zhou-Lee, the organizer of the event and an Asian Black, said that while America is more and more racially divided, he hopes the activity can unite Asian and African American people to fight against police brutality together. He also said the deaths of Yang Song, a Asian masseuse in Flushing who fell from the building where she worked while she tried to flee from a police operation and Breonna Taylor, a Black medical worker in Kentucky who was shot during a police operation, cannot be repeated.    

Participants marched after the rally. A few dozen participants dressed in their traditional costumes, celebrating Asian and African histories and cultures with dancing, music and cuisine. 

“Call Her Ganda,” a documentary about the murder of Jennifer Laude, a transgender Filipino woman who was brutally killed by U.S. Marine Joseph Pemberton, was also presented online as part of the activity. Pemberton was recently granted a pardon by Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte. October 11 was the anniversary of Laude’s death.

Mr. Ji, a 31-year-old Chinese man living in Manhattan, said both Asians and Blacks are minorities and they should unite to protect their rights together. Ji said the participants of the event seemed to be from different backgrounds but all of them aimed to reach equality via peaceful communications. 

Whitney Hu, who is running for the City Council in district 38 in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, said that the activity was an excellent opportunity to unite Asians and Blacks to fight against their common sufferings. Hu called for more Asian and especially Asian young people to participate in similar activities to make sure Asians’ voices are heard.