Asian Australians pen letter to parents about anti-Blackness

August 25, 2016

An Australian version of an open letter from Asian Americans in solidarity with Black Lives Matter has been circulating on social media.

“Letters for Black Lives” is a project that began in the United States to initiate cross-generational conversations between young Asian Americans and their families about anti-Blackness and police violence. The original letter has since gained 200 contributors, 30 translations, and dozens of audio and video recordings.

Activist and student Bridget Harilaou has written an Australian version focusing on Aboriginal incarceration and deaths in custody, and racial profiling of First Nations people and African youth.

Harilaou was motivated to write the letter after witnessing anti-Blackness and anti-Aboriginal racism within her Chinese community and wider Asian Australian communities.

“Anyone who is interested in anti-racist struggle in a settler colonial country should be invested in having solidarity and having these hard conversations with your family. Indigenous people shouldn't have to educate everyone else on their struggles. It's about us taking those steps and trying to bridge the gaps between communities of colour.”

The letter is intended to serve as a resource for older generations of Asian Australians who are restricted by cultural and language barriers from engaging with these issues. She hopes it will encourage them to use their community influence to support First Nations people.

[Bridget Harilaou is looking for translators to make the letter accessible in different languages. To help please email]

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