ISSUE 1 VOLUME 1
TheMagazine. The Movement.
Afro Asian to Blasian Parents Sued by their Child?
TRIPLE THREAT ENTERTAINER
1st Issue!! Actress, Model, Mom
Passion for the World
FEATURED CONTENT 3
ASIAN TO BLASIAN
IN THE NEWS
She changed the game for Blasian entertainers in an area of the world many of Asian descent would love to visit.
LEILANI KANA STYLE
CONVO WITH... VINNY PARTY-HEARTY
BLASIAN TODAY magazine
Dwele Beatty Tashika Jackson Leilani Perry
Angie Jin-Teab Dwele Beatty
Circulation: Published Bi-Monthly Online
WHAT ARE YOU? LET ME GUESS...
t has to be one of the most annoying questions in the world..."What are you?"
It bothers me more than it ever did because my family has become more culturally diverse.
Of course I take a pause to think about the question that was just posed to me, sometimes wondering why they asked.
There are several people in all cultures who would rather not see the diversity in their families.
I try to come up with excuses in my head--maybe they have just never seen anyone who looks like me, maybe they had limited experiences with other cultures.
I even try to tell myself that I don't look "typical", so it's okay. "You don't just look Chinese", they usually began. "I know it's something else also. So I inquire how they figured I was Chinese. I am Chinese, but how did they know? Are they well traveled?
Have you ever heard that before? I have heard it many times...so much that I have started "taking bets" in my head!
Yes there are Asians who are strong on this topic, but I believe there are just as many nonAsians who feel similarly. We used to call certain cities "melting pots", well as we look around the globe we can see various cultural blends--personally, I am one who celebrates it. This is why I have personally chosen to invest in Blasian Today magazine as co-publisher and staff member. I have noticed my Asian relatives who are multicultural have certain
challenges; sometimes the challenges come from the family, other times, just other things here and there. In speaking with them about their children, and their life in general (many were slighted because they were not fully Asian), I realized that they were not celebrated. This magazine is celebratory; we welcome the blends, we celebrate all aspects of who and what we are beginning with the facts that we are all children of the same universe. Blasian Today is about family and community; we don't trash talk, but talk about solutions to the issues in the world that affect us and our families.
We welcome all readers, contributors and staff. There is no requirement to read, contribute or join our staff--we just ask that you have an interest. When I was in college, I joined a certain Hispanic student association because my best friend was joining and I am fluent in several languages (Spanish being one of them). Some people didn't think I belonged and gave me a hassle, but there were others who saw it as an opportunity to teach me about them. BT will offer a chance for us to learn about each other while celebrating everything that makes us who we are.
CORNER OF PEACE; WORDS TO INSPIRE It is often said that many times if you open your eyes, whatever you are looking for is sometimes right in front of you, so for this issue, we didn't have to go far to look for inspiration.
We introduce to some and present to others, The Dalai Lama. His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. We implore the readers to visit the official site: www.dalailama.com to find out how this office has been a source of political and spiritual courage for over 6 centuries.
AFRO-ASIAN TO BLASIAN
The internet features a number of social media sites highlighting AfroAsian, Blasians, multi-cultural and multi-ethnic persons.
You may have never heard of the term Afro-Asian but at one point, it was popular and probably politically correct in identifying those who have Asian and African ancestry. Time changes everything and people also evolve. Similarly, the way certain groups want to be known to the world evolve and change. Many have not heard of the term Blasian, but as we were told recently, "you just know if it's you they're talking about--you know this is about you." Some people we spoke to prefer Afro-Asian and we also found there are many Afro-Asian alliances, groups, etc. There are some African-Americans who call themselves black and others may use general terms such as Asian rather than specifying any further ethnic origin. Others may see the generality in the term Blasian, but just like you can not take the heritage from those who say black and not African-American, we know that saying Blasian or Afro-Asian does not negate the origins that make up a person. We spoke to Roni Ross, CEO of Blasian Beauties agency who said, "I think Blasian covers more than just Black and Asian; if you are Asian and South American, to me, I would consider you Blasian." Of course ultimately, people are who they say they are, so it is their comfort level that matters. We encourage you if you haven't already, to search the web for groups that interest you and speak to who you are. No one's culture can or should be placed in a box--we still have too many things to learn about each other. 4
IN THE NEWS Maylasian Flight 370: What Happened?? Maylasian Flight 370 was an international flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. It lost contact with air traffic control on March 8, 2014 less than an hour after takeoff. A little over 6 hours later, Maylasia Airlines reported the flight missing. A multinational search and rescue effort, later reported as the largest in history, began in the Gulf of Thailand and the South China Sea. On March 24, 2014, the Malaysian government confirmed two independently made analyses by the British Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) and Inmarsat, and concluded "beyond any reasonable doubt" that the aircraft had gone down in the southern part of the Indian Ocean with no survivors. Earlier search areas were abandoned and all search efforts are being concentrated on the Australian-led area.
Even more recently, an Austrailian company asserted that it may have found wreckage of the downed jetliner. Though thousands of miles away in the Bay of Bengal off the coast of Bangladesh, the company states it's only suggesting the evidence of aluminum and titanium fitting mesasurent of the aircaft should be investigated.
The Families The pain, the questions, the waiting. We can not imagine what and how the families of passengers of Flight 370 are feeling, but pain, questions and waiting are just a few things they have had to deal with. The families need prayer, love and answers.
ABOVE: A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 lands at Los Angeles International Airport in February 2013.
We will not get into what was not done by the Malaysian government, for there were many governments, agencies, and private companies who have stepped up to bring peace to the families. What are your thoughts? Has this tragedy affected you or someone you know personally? E-mail us your thoughts or share with us on our Facebook page.
LEFT: Families pray constatly for their loved ones.
200 Girls Missing? How many of our readers have read this story? NIGERIA - The Islamist militant group Boko Haram has threatened to sell hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls abducted during a raid last month. A French news agency said it had obtained a video from Boko Haram showing the group's leader Abubakar Shekau claiming responsibility for the kidnappings by saying "I abducted your girls; I will sell them in the market by Allah."
"It is disheartening that someone would make such a terrible boast," Doyin Okupe, spokesman for President Goodluck Jonathan, said in an interview with CNN. "It is to be expected of terrorists," he added. "No group can affect our resolve. We will see this through to the end. We have the commitment and capacity to get this done. No matter what this takes, we will get these girls."
The girls were reportedly taken because they were going to school. Boko Haram is said to mean "Western education is sinful."
Even weeks after the kidnapping, Africa's most populous country seems to be no closer to finding them.
One of the main goals of Boko Haram is to carve out a Muslim state in northern Nigeria.
This has triggered complaints of inadequate handling, many of which are expressed on Twitter with the globally trending hashtag: #BringBackOurGirls. Nigeria's finance minister said Monday that her country is committed but should have done a better job explaining the situation to the public.
ABOVE -Celebrities, high-ranking world officials, and others have taken to twitter and instagram. This is a post from singer, Mary J. Blige. 6
ABOVE - Protesters have gathered
in several Nigerian cities wanted the government to do more to "bring back our girls."
The United States is sharing intelligence with Nigeria to help in the search, according to a U.S. official with direct knowledge of the situation."We are sharing intelligence that may be relevant to this situation. You are going to see a focus on this in all three channels of government: diplomatic, intelligence and military," the official said.
Slow Coverage? Many protests have occurred beginning in Nigeria, followed by London, Los Angeles, other cities and the World Wide Web. While the world was fixed on whereabouts of an airliner, NBA Finals, Justin Beiber, Beyonce, and the Ukraine, 200 girls trying to get an education, were kidnapped.
When Parents Say No, Their Daughter Sues-yes, in court. Excerpts taken from www.cnn.com.
It's been almost two months since a New Jersey high school senior sued her parents, accusing them of tossing her out of the family home when she turned 18 and refusing to pay for her private high school and college education. In a lawsuit, Rachel Canning of Lincoln Park, New Jersey, asked a court to have her parents pay the outstanding tuition for her private high school, pay her living and transportation expenses for the foreseeable future, use money from an existing college fund to pay for at least some of her college education, and pay her legal bills. March 18, Canning agreed to dropped the suit for child support against her parents and quietly ended the case. She moved back in with her
ABOVE - Sean and Elizabeth Canning showed up in court to testify their daughter had dropped the case against them.
parents and neither party made a public statement. The family court judge who heard the case stated that Ms. Canning "has a bright future," and added that everyone involved is "encouraged at this point to look forward and not look back." Claiming her parents refused to pay her bills if she didnâ€™t abide by their house rules and break up with her boyfriend, the Morris Catholic High School senior moved out in late October, two days before she turned 18. The honor student and athlete had declared that even though she is 18, she is not an "emancipated" adult and is still dependent on her parents. Canning sought child support of $654 per week, private school and college tuition, as well as payment of her legal bills. When asked by her attorneys why she all of a sudden wanted to drop the case, Canning simply stated "because I want to."
In the height of the conflict, Canning wrote a letter in which she apologized for her actions. The judge felt the words of the letter showed that there was hope for the family's relationship with each other. Canning further stated ""I really need to realize there are consequences for the things I do...I do miss you guys. I am trying to turn over a new leaf."
Many of our readers are from around the world, so there may be customs or practices, written or un-written that speak to how children should respect parents. This is definitely a hot topic that many have already weighed in on, but we look for your comments online. BT
CRYSTAL KAY: 4 REAL! Looking at Crystal Kay, anyone can see beauty and upon listening to her, you know she's talented. After her interview, we realized just how much talent and beauty run deep within her. An artist, radio host, and actress, we appreciate that Crystal took time to interview with us. Performing since 13, she sings in Japanese and English. With millions of records sold, she is considered a pioneer among Japan entertainers, paving the way for others behind her.
BT: I have read your background and see that you are from a musical family. Your father played bass and your mother was a professional singer with an album? How did their interest and love for music extend to you? Was it seeing your mother performing, watching your dad play? Did your parents say we want our daughter to be a star?
CK: It was a bit of everything. I grew up listening to records they listened to, from Earth Wind and Fire, Mase, Luther and the list goes on. They took me to every show they went to and I was always backstage taking photos with the artists. If I wasn’t at home watching cartoons or Michael & Janet Jackson videos and performances, I was on stage while my mom was performing or singing background with the other kids for my mom’s show or recording sessions. I felt it naturally that I was going to be a performer when I grew up. BT: You’ve sold over 2 million albums in Japan, at what point did you know that you were going to make it pretty big? CK: I never knew I was going to make it big and even though I have had a tremendously successful career in Japan, I feel like I’m still a developing artist…
There is so much more I want to do. I feel like this is the beginning, this is the official introduction to Crystal Kay, my new video, “Busy Doing Nothing” which was directed by Benny Boom is much more of a reflection of who I am as a person…as an artist. 8
CRYSTAL KAY BLASIAN TODAY
CK: That being said, I remember when I was 15 at my first solo gig in my hometown, Yokohama, I felt a strong sense of responsibility as an artist. I seriously didn’t think 500 people would show up and actually pay to listen to me live. That's when I felt I needed to really take all of this seriously because there were people "listening" to my music. Of course, it was such an honor, and it blew my mind, that my song “Together” was used as the theme song in Japan for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin. Also, I’ve worked with some incredibly talented people, like Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis and Bloodshy & Avant… so there are those moments when, I’m like, “Oh My God, I’m working with Jam & Lewis, or B&A…is this really happening?” It’s completely surreal. BT: What has really been the formula to your success?
CK: The formula to my success is just making sure I give 200% of me in the studio, no compromises, and giving my all in my performances. I want to know my fans had a great time at my show and I want to know they feel connected to me when they're listening to my albums. BT: Who are some of the people personally and professionally who have either been role models or influenced you?
CK: Personally, I would say no doubt my mother. She was singing before I was born which makes her my mentor and the closest person I could look up and turn to. She never sugar coats any of my flaws and gives me straightforward advice. I can really appreciate the fact that I have someone like her this close because I get the advice right then and there. It has saved me years of trying to figure it all out on my own had it not been for my mother’s candid advice. Professionally, Michael and Janet Jackson. They've been my idols and role models since day one. I wanted to become an entertainer because of them. They inspire, give hope, and spread the message of love, happiness and unity through music like no other. For me, that is the template: Michael & Janet Jackson…with my own personal touch and unique style. BT: What kind of singer do you consider yourself to be?
CK: I consider myself to be a tri-cultural international pop singer. I don’t really box myself into a specific category or genre… I’d like to brand my own style and sound as “Yokohama Ratchet Pop!” That’s me. (copyright that!) Also, I’m not a Harajuku Girl—“Yokohama Ratchet Pop” is the girl on the motorcycle blasting through Harajuku. BT: I read that singing is not the only thing you do as an entertainer…can you tell about some of the other things you do? Is there one that you enjoy most?
CK: I've always been interested in acting along with singing. I think the ultimate entertainer is a singer and an actress, whether you’re singing or delivering lines, you’re giving a show. I got to experienced both worlds when I did the 2008 Pokémon film theme song "Giratina to Sora no Hanataba: Sheimi" and also played the voice of "Nurse Joy's Chanse”, it was the best! I've done a bit of acting for a drama series in Japan as well and did a musical for the first time last year. I really enjoyed doing the musical because it helped me realize and see how much more there is to performance whether it’s singing or acting. From enunciation, body language, facial expression to movements, everything has to be so captivating and getting to learn this on stage was so much fun. I can’t wait to tour and share the Yokohama Ratchet Pop experience live on the road with the world. 10
BT: Do you have siblings? If so, are they in entertainment. How do they feel about having a star in the family?
CK: I am the only child. I wish I had many siblings!!! BT: How often do you go to the U.S.? Have you or do you plan to play to the U.S. market more?
CK: I moved to New York last year, I’m officially a NYC girl now! I still go back and forth to Japan every month for family and business obligations, but I plan to stay in the US and I don’t want to go back until I make it here and I’m on tour! I want to establish myself for the worldstage, here in NYC. BT: You seem to have made a breakthrough being a multi-cultural artist in Japan…do you see yourself as someone who was able to pave the way for others? What challenges if any has being multi-cultural particularly, Black and Asian have you had to deal with as an artist? Or has it given you an advantage?
CK: I grew up not seeing people like myself in entertainment or even in my everyday life at school, etc. So while I didn't set out to be a trailblazer for mixed kids, I suppose in many ways I have. Just being out there in the public eye and not looking like everyone else is the first step in people embracing other backgrounds, but I don't think of it as giving me an advantage or disadvantage…I am how I came to be and I am multi-cultural. It is me. #Blasian. BT: What is life in Japan like for Blasians—being Crystal Kay has that made life for you a little easier?
CK: I think life for #Blasians is much, much easier than 20 years ago. People are more used to the idea of mixed raced people and we are starting to see cool Blasians that are singers, tv personalities, dancers and models. I hope the growing generation of mixed kids will help make Japan more of a melting pot like the US. BT: What do you do when you’re not singing? Any hobbies?
CK: When I'm not singing I work out! I go watch movies because I LOVEEEE to go to theaters (don’t mind riding solo) and I catch up with close friends over dinner. I also love going to see live shows. BT: The U.S. has a very diverse population and musical genres--what’s it like in Japan?
CK: Japan is very particular when it comes to musical genres. We have “enka” (which is the Japanese version of country music), there is rock, folk, j-pop bubble gum music (that is often sang by young girl and boy groups), and singey rap music (that is also very popular amongst Japanese youngsters). Although Japan isn’t as diverse as the US, we have racially mixed singers and non-Japanese singers who are very successful in Japan. Jero is a quarter Japanese and black “enka” singer and Chris Heart is a black singer that sings completely in Japanese and sounds totally Japanese. I feel in Japan, people really enjoy uplifting songs no matter who sings them and appreciate talent no matter what color they are.
BT: We were very excited to speak with your team about an interview. BT magazine deals with all topics, issues, concerning Blasian, African, Black and Asian cultures and the world in general. What would you like to see BT magazine accomplish— is there a need for a BT magazine?
CK: I would love to see BT magazine flourish all over the world because there are so many mixed people all around that are so unique in their own ways. And for mixed people outside of huge countries like the US and the UK where diversity is more common, I think it can be really helpful and encouraging to see the different types of mixed people and cultures in the magazines and mass media so that mixed kids growing up in less diversified cultures would not feel alone.
BT: You are the first person to be on the cover of BT Magazine and it is our honor to have you there. What does this mean to you?
CK: Thank you so much! This is my first cover outside of Japan and this means a lot to me! It is such an honor to be a part of BT and to be one of the voices for the Blasian community. I really want to be a role model and influence many others out there that are just like me. I want to help inspire kids and young adults to follow their dreams and encourage them to believe in them because anything can happen.
BT: How do you personally embrace being multi-cultural? I know you are still working on Korean, but you do understand correct?
CK: I love it! It defines me. You get to have an intimate understanding of the cultures because it is part of you. I love being able to speak fluent Japanese and English and being able to read and write Korean. When you understand more than one culture, it opens up more opportunities to connect with different people from all over the place, and it really helps me be open minded as a person as well.
Where would you like to be in 10 years?
In 10 years I would love to have a few Grammys and have done a couple of world tours and be the one to have bridged the gap between the east and west with my music. Oh! and be happily married with multiracial kids :) What’s next for Crystal Kay?
Taking over the world! I've been recording so many great things in the studio. I can’t wait to release and perform them soon and introduce myself to the world!!! Off stage, Crystal in 5 words or phrases?
Determined, Happy, Curious, Love for all, and YOKOHAMA RATCHET POP! For those who don’t know you or your music, but after reading this, really want to learn more about both, how can they find out more about you to listen and support?
Social Media and the web! Find me at the following: Website: crystalkayusa.com Facebook: facebook.com/crystalkayOfficial Twitter: @ckay26 Instagram: @ckay26 Tumblr: ckay26.tumblr.com 12
Leilani Kana Style
Leilani Perry is a relatively new Atlanta wardrobe stylist ready to style the world!
My love for fashion was there as a child but I recently gained insight that this is something that I needed to pursue.
there I have many outfits I have arranged. My style ranges from classy, edgy, vintage or even young and hip.
I began using a well known app called "Polyvore" to piece together an outﬁt so that viewers could see what she I was able to do.
I strive to keep things “lady like” no matter what style; I believe that a woman can still be classy and sexy with a fully covered body.
Shortly after, I began blogging on blogspot.com, and used Instagram to gain exposure;
One day I hope to share this and other positive things through style and inspire young ladies worldwide.
Getting dressed is fun! We wake up and start our chaotic day as an adult, why not dress up everyday? It boosts your conﬁdence, and you just feel good when you look good! This is all important because nobody wants to be around a grouchy grinch.
• "I think there is beauty in everything. What ‘normal’ people would perceive as ugly, I can usually • see something of beauty in it." — Alexander McQueen BLASIAN TODAY
WARM WEATHER is FINALLY HERE! Find me on Instagram: @leilanikana My blog: www.leilanikana.blogspot.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/ leilanikanastyle
TOP RIGHT: Chambray top, polka dot pants, pointy toed shoes with a woven straw hat. RIGHT: Floral print summer dress. Perfect for 80 degree Spring temps in Georgia.
â€œI dressed up as a little girl and would pretend to be a princess-Why should I stop now?" Leilani Perry
Each issue, we will feature a conversation with a person we feel brings something extra to the magazine and the community. If we should have a conversation with you or you have someone in mind for us, let us know.
A Conversation With... Vinny Vinny Party-Hearty stays pretty busy in her community, working a career, perfecting her craft and being a full time mom. A native of the Philippines, she stood out to us because of her determination, intelligence and chameleon like personality.
Tell us about Vinny...what are some things people may not know about you? I graduated from a top university in the Philippines with a Bachelor’s in Food Science/ Technology, have 2 children under the age of 10, I work as a Quality Systems Manager and an Internal Auditor--I have to travel pretty often with this job. I am scheduled for several acting roles--one is a lead, so I am very excited. Both roles are paid, so that is great!
What is your passion? My passion is making the world a better place. Whether in my main job, being in law school, doing law, modeling or acting; I like to make people feel good, I like to be nice, friendly and warm. I can easily relate to anybody. My passion is more than just a profession!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? I enjoy what I do and it all comes natural. I am really
looking forward to traveling the world; I want to hone my skills, do more movies—I want to give out tickets to my detractors first!
I also want to be debt free if five years, see my kids grow and watch them be more independent. Who knows I may continue with my law.
What kind of acting roles have you done so far? I have been a zombie and have been an extra in several others.
If Playboy asked you to pose, would you? Probably…I am an artist at heart, so nudity is not bad, it’s just how it’s depicted…done tastefully, it’s art or beauty.
How do you define Blasian? Black and Asian, [but] I don’t think that all people can be put in any one box. Just because someone is Blasian, they still may not like Asian food. Are there Blasian stereotypes? I think amongst Blasians there are, but I have also felt that being mixed has stereotypes. We get black and Asian stereotypes, not on time, can’t drive.
Is there a Blasian community or are there just Blasian people? There are Blasian people trying to start a Blasian community. It is good that we are trying to connect to [something] that we didn’t necessarily have when we were younger—Blasian people trying to build a community.
What advice would you give to models and actors? That it takes hard work, it’s not all glamour; try to learn from every gig, every event. You need to take something from everything that you do. It’s a great experience…it’s character building, it’s a challenging job.
You're a native of the Philippines, your children are black and Asian, what would you like to see BT accomplish? I want BT to connect people…bridge cultures so that people will feel good reading it. Not just all politics, beauty, I’d like to see things that cultures share and be a different magazine from all the rest. It would be great to bridge other cultures!
CONNECT WITH VINNY!! www.facebook.com/LuvFinn instagram.com/bnena01
IF YOU HAVE A
BUSINESS AD, AN ARTICLE, A STORY, EMAIL US: email@example.com
SHARE YOUR TRIUMPHS, YOUR CONCERNS, COMMUNITY NEWS, YOU & YOUR CHILDREN'S ACHIEVEMENTS, RECIPES, FASHION, ART, ETC.
A GREAT TEAM! A GREAT STAFF! JOIN A MOVEMENT, JOIN US TODAY! We are still looking for more great people to help with Blasian Today magazine. This is worldwide, historical, relevant and necessary.
any people have supported this first historic issue of Blasian Today, so our list of "thank you" does not run short.
While some may focus on what was not in this issue, we want the focus to remain on the fact that we have realized a goal; this goal was for something in print format that provided an outlet, that informed, that celebrated--that is about cultural unity. We have chosen our own identity; we don't want to be anyone or anything else, but a light to our community--as Vinny Party-Hearty said, "a bridge" for all cultures to take interest in what we print. Our staff has labored day and night; they have questioned and interviewed many; they have researched, bounced ideas, given their time away from their own families. We can now sit with a cup of coffee, thankful that the staff believes in BT's mission and did not give up. We vow to be true to everything we should be and ensure the continued evolvement of this endeavor.
JOIN US ONLINE: WWW.BLASIANTODAY.COM facebook.com/blasiantoday twitter.com/blasiantoday instagram.com/blasiantodaymagazine JULY:
Shikiri Hightower-Gaskin CEO, China Royal Clothing