Asian Americans have played a pivotal role in the development of this country, yet when you flip through history books, the photos you tend to see of them are limited at best: sepia-colored pictures of Chinese laborers building railroads in the mid-1800s, or images that document the harsh, disquieting realities of Japanese Americans forced into internment camps during World War II.
But what about the happier, more domestic lives they lived? It’s rare to see photos of them carefree and just existing in the United States. (Let’s face it: When we conjure up images of the typical American family in, say, the 1950s, most of us immediately think of white Anglo-Saxon Protestants and families like the one depicted in “Leave It To Beaver.”)
Because representation matters, and because it’s Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we asked our readers to share photos of their Asian American ancestors ― specifically, their parents and grandparents ― at rest and in love.
See what they had to share and say below.
Note: Submitted captions have been lightly edited for style and clarity.