Toward an Afro-Asian Hip-Hop Pedagogy

Authors: J. Lorenzo Perillo (University of Hawai'i, Mānoa) , Kellee E. Warren (University of Illinois, Chicago)

  • Toward an Afro-Asian Hip-Hop Pedagogy


    Toward an Afro-Asian Hip-Hop Pedagogy

    Authors: ,

Keywords: Afro-Asian, hip-hop, culturally sustaining pedagogy, Chicago, Filipina, African American

How to Cite:

Perillo, J. & Warren, K., (2023) “Toward an Afro-Asian Hip-Hop Pedagogy”, Conversations Across the Field of Dance Studies 42. doi:


In the past decades, a burgeoning literature has explored Afro-Asian formations as an analytical lens for framing questions of race, gender, and diaspora. As universities continue to diversify curricula, coursework in dance forms with roots in marginalized communities lead to more polycentric and polyrhythmic intellectual practices. Drawing from an auto-ethnography of an Asian American Hip-Hop dance course, we reflect critically on how women students remake male-dominated dance into a transformative space for expressing alternatives to colonialism, patriarchy, and anti-blackness.1 We suggest that Chicago Hip-Hop dance histories are amplified by their articulation with Afro-Asian cultures and histories, utilizing what racial justice educator Django Paris conceptualizes as culturally sustaining pedagogy (CSP).2 In the context of Filipina/x/o and Black relations, Hip-Hop dance pedagogy in Chicago reveals the contested and intersectional formation of counter-narratives. As a first-generation Filipino diasporic professor and Black woman professor in the special collections library, we critically reflect on histories of Afro-Asian formations, our experiences teaching the course, and how our students documented their experiences and knowledge through oral history interviews.

Dance educator Moncell Durden offers a useful description of Hip-Hop dance: “Hip-Hop social dances feature multiple rhythms, as well as movement that generates and expands from multiple centers; in other words, it is polyrhythmic and polycentric.”3 On the one hand, the polyrhythmic and polycentric elements of Hip-Hop social dances inform our own intellectual moves as we add, expand, and extend the methods of Afro-Asian studies that often rely on textual analysis.4 On the other hand, our course employed critical race studies, feminist, and queer Afro-Asian studies unlike conventional university Hip-Hop dance courses—which often center virtuosity without any substantial engagement with Asian-Black relations in either scholarly or creative ways. As Brenda Dixon-Gottschild says, “we need to keep ourselves off center in order to stay on target.”5 Dance studies amidst the COVID-19 global pandemic and anti-Asian attacks call for deeper and more sustained engagements with Filipina/x/o and Black choreographies.6

In Chicago, historical segregation has impacted the educational outcomes for Black and Asian peoples in particularly significant ways. Black and Asian college students face disparate obstacles to academic success that correlate to the presence or lack of Black Studies and Asian American Studies courses and programs. Additionally, Black and Asian faculty and staff and leadership often support resources and programming for students, but the institutions fail to retain valuable faculty and staff.7 “Uncovering the Diversity of Asian American Students at the University of Illinois at Chicago” (UIC) is a multi-year demographic survey that was conducted annually from 2011 to 2015 to collect basic information about UIC Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander (AANAPI) students, with a focus on collecting data disaggregated by ethnicity. The 2017 report paints a picture reflective of the Chicago metro area. With a total of 1,700 respondents, most identified with Indian American, Chinese American, Filipino American, and Korean American ethnic categories.8 In its recommendations, this study states:

Though the responsibility for serving Asian American students should not fall solely to Asian American Resource and Cultural Center (AARCC) and Global Asian Studies (GLAS), the reality is that those programs are where Asian American students often first connect to UIC for support, but these programs are often grant-funded, and when grants expire, UIC does not fill in the gaps. In short, certain cohorts of students are able to benefit from this programming.

It is important to recognize the particular social and historical contexts in order to understand the course as a response to the issues of educational segregation, exclusion, and inequity. Whereas most Hip-Hop dance courses are located in Dance and Performing Arts departments, the institutional location of the course in Global Asian Studies enabled a particular cultural literacy within a history of student and faculty advocacy and activism since the 1990s.9

One of the critical features of the Asian American Hip-Hop dance course was an oral history project which consisted of a series of workshops in oral history methods across five semesters and resulted in a digital archive of voices from the Chicago Hip-Hop dance community. The workshops highlighted oral history as one research method of historians and a method used frequently by marginalized people in order to create a counter-narrative to traditional archival materials held in the Special Collections library; traditional university special collections libraries and archives often leave out voices of students, women, and LGBT people. Unlike other university-based Hip-Hop collections that focus on industry authorities and celebrities, this archive centers student-generated material with nearly 100 audio-visual oral histories that are now preserved in the UIC special collections library. In addition to the oral history project, each semester of the course consisted of weekly seminar-based discussions and studio-based dance workshops, student-led group presentations, and a final research project that involved instructor one-on-one meetings, preliminary bibliography, library research info-session, oral presentations, and a “draft and re-write” of a term paper or creative film. Weekly readings and viewings, discussions, and dance workshops were themed varying from history, cultural politics, Afro-Asian connections, Asian American Dance studies, Archives and Preservation, Women of Color Feminism, Virality, Queering Hip-Hop, and Hip-Hop Competitions.

Global Asian Performance Digital Archive Flyer


The Asian American Hip-Hop dance course and digital archive serves a need specific to Chicago’s students, but it also points to the necessity for collaboration across Asian American and Black learning communities that advance cultural legibility, exchange, solidarity, and fluidity. This course and this archive are unique because they shed light on traditionally obscured Afro-Asian relations in the Midwest. Django Paris’s work on culturally sustaining pedagogy (CSP) is applicable to the Afro-Asian relations in our course because he notes that similar relations happen naturally between Black, Indigenous, Asian, and other students of color. Paris identifies this concept as cultural fluidity.10 Cultural fluidity is attributable to marginalized students who often use Hip-Hop culture and African American Vernacular English (AAVE) to traverse cultural boundaries not only to connect with other cultures but also to their own. Paris further acknowledges that culturally sustaining pedagogies (CSPs) are articulated in different ways by different communities.11 We augment CSPs by contending that embodied knowledge—that is, dance and music—is just as important as the written or spoken word, which is rooted in colonialist power relations. As creators of this course and oral history workshop, we adhere to Paris’s assertion “that we look to sustain African American, Latina/o, Asian American, Pacific Islander American, and Indigenous American languages and cultures in our pedagogies” and “must be open to sustaining them in both the traditional and evolving ways they are lived and used by contemporary young people.”12

A Brief History: African American and Filipina/x/o Connections

As part of naming how racialized gender-based violence and anti-Asian violence are not isolated, we acknowledge the multiple historical encounters by which African American and Filipina/x/o peoples were placed in relationship to empire-building and colonial education.13 We also invite engagement with the complexities of intracommunal relations or how both African American and Asian American communities are not monolithic.14 Many sources document African American and Filipina/o encounters on the West and East coasts and emphasize that those interactions were mainly based on the needs of capital—that African Americans found themselves in competition with ethnic groups that had already established working relationships with white industry on the coasts. Hiring marginalized workers was at the whims of white workers. For example, some white workers would not work with Filipina/x/os, but they would work with Mexicans; some white workers would work with Blacks, but would not work with Japanese.15 There is documentation on sociocultural relations between African American women and Filipinas.16 That said, Afro-Asian formations are not as easily legible in the Midwest. Encounters between African Americans and Filipino/as often happened through labor relations, education, or activism though they had many things in common.17 Sintos Coloma contends “colonial education in the Philippines was largely inflected by and patterned after the curriculum for African Americans in the US South. In other words, since Filipino/as were discursively configured as “Negroes,” the schooling for African Americans became the prevailing racial template for the colonial pedagogy of Filipino/as. Such historical connection links the colonial and racial conditions of Filipino/as and African Americans, and offers a generative empirical site for transnational and comparative analysis of race and curriculum.”18 Developing Hip-Hop dance curriculum in Global Asian studies enabled students to name racialized gender-based oppression that engages these multiple histories and explore their practical manifestations in the oral history and digital archive process.

Histories of Afro-Asian formations tend to focus on relations between men or what Reddy and Sudhakar refer to as “utopian heteromasculinism.”19 Reddy and Sudhakar describe utopian heteromasculism as the ritualistic diplomacy between men to which many male-dominated societies and ethnic groups are accustomed. For instance, African American men such as Carter G. Woodson and John Henry were educators who taught in the Philippines; however, they held the erroneous belief that they were a civilizing presence for Filipino peoples. Sociologist, historian, and Pan-Africanist, W.E.B. Dubois’ relationship to China and the Chinese people is well-documented, emphasizing that men’s perspective is often foregrounded in narratives about Afro-Asian formations.20 Indeed, Pereyna argues that “current scholarship seldom analyzes Filipino and African American feminist solidarities, often privileging masculinist Afro-(East) Asian nationalisms.”21 In contrast, our collaboration revealed that there is a notable history between not only Black and Asian peoples in general, but also Black and Filipina women specifically and that history emphasized “a complex and contradictory definition of solidarity based on both a narrative of unity and one that took seriously the differences, inequalities, and hierarchies between and within racialized groups and anti-imperialist histories.”22 For example, the reality that Black Filipina/os and Filipina/os racialized as Black continue to face anti-black oppression in the Philippines subverts how Black and Asian peoples are often reduced to separate or oppositional groups.23 In popular culture, media representation, and dating culture, Black women and Filipinas face similarly hypersexualized stereotypes like the Jezebel and “Mail Order Bride.”24 In the workplace, some Black women and Filipinas were forced to contend with similar racio-linguistic violence in the policing of both African American Vernacular English (AAVE) and Filipino language.25 These varied experiences of gendered and classed discrimination and resilience, challenge the impermeable borders between Filipinx and Black racial categories and further strengthen commonalities experienced through Hip-Hop dance.

Creative Dialogue


So, we had many plans about how this critical reflection on our collaborative instruction experience would be documented but events starting in 2020 reshaped them quite a bit. We could not simply ignore those events in the conversation. As someone who currently works with and selects cultural heritage materials and thinks about history and memory we simply had to pepper this conversation with some of those events and how they might have reshaped our approach. Some background on me: I grew up on the southside of Chicago, and attended public school in Hyde Park, the home of University of Chicago. I had close friendships with some of my Asian American classmates. By contrast, I then moved on to attend a well-resourced suburban public high school and was exposed to the anti-blackness of Asian Americans of a higher class. When I was first introduced to this collaboration with you and teaching the oral history workshop, my first question was “What do Filipinos/Asian Americans have to do with Hip-Hop?” I think my high school experience and then experience living in the wider world caused me to forget the close relations I had with some of my Asian American classmates. So, as we continued to work together over the years, the collaboration turned into a recovery project and a recovery project from a Black feminist and queer perspective. Not in a romanticized way, but in a way of recognizing the work we were trying to do both being at the margins and working for majority minority designated institutions that function like Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs). Our collaboration has served as a recovery of the Afro-Asian relations I experienced as a child. In hindsight, I am so glad that Annie, then Undergraduate Experience librarian at UIC, now the Head of Instruction and Outreach at Gleeson Library at University of San Francisco introduced us. And I am grateful for the opportunity to work with you on training students in oral history methods. More importantly, I was excited about co-organizing and preserving the student oral history archive and re-learning through Hip-Hop culture and performance the connections between Black and Filipino peoples. Of course, because I worked in music for many years, I was exposed to what the global commodification of Hip-Hop looked like—and that was not and is still not pretty.26 Reflecting on the course, listening to and evaluating student interviews—many of the students being Black, Asian, and/or women—for this project was compelling to me as a Black woman because many of the students found a way to either create a stronger connection to Hip-Hop culture or connect to their own culture through Hip-Hop.


Recovery project. I like that. Since I grew up dancing on the West Coast, I benefited from a high concentration of Filipinos and Asian Americans, which does not exist in the Midwest. In Asian American Studies, the predominance of California-centric frameworks and institutions gave rise to the East of California (EoC) movement in order to develop research, build the field, and support individuals in places like New York and Chicago. Streetdance was a vehicle for bridging my West Coast Asian American background with the Midwest Asian American community and those who might not see themselves in the coastal racial formations that often dominate Asian American studies. As a choreographer and street dancer, my interests center on recovering or filling the gap in the archival materials both in streetdance and in Filipino culture. Your training and expertise in archives is invaluable to this project because Spanish and US colonization of the Philippines informs Filipino peoples’ sense of belonging and exclusion. It’s been wonderful to collaborate with you and support the students in their learning objectives to analyze written text and performance using distinct theoretical approaches and methodologies like oral history and Black feminist and Queer Afro-Asian Studies.


I was excited to be part of documenting student history for the university. Since we work for public academic institutions, it is also important to document student history. That is, I am in a position to encourage students to view themselves as historical actors and they are instrumental in the social and intellectual foundation of the university. I never really paid attention to the make-up of the class until I looked up and saw that we had a group of young female students. And, of course, this changed the tone of the instruction. However, I think that you had things covered in the readings you selected for the course.


I sought to assign readings that would hopefully give Asian women students a vocabulary for understanding ideas like model minority myth, queer performance, and Chinese patriarchy. I also paired these topics with movement workshops that sometimes enabled them to ground their oral histories in non-normative embodied knowledge. The course also hopefully provided Asian men who are orientalized/feminized in US American society a unified, yet critically reflective Hip-Hop cultural identity. This harkens back to Django Paris’ concept of structured opportunities for inward gazes and engaging with internalized oppression.


I didn’t want to go beyond my scope as an archival instructor and scholar, but it is a natural occurrence when working in the library—library and information science is an interdisciplinary field. However, I wasn’t familiar with the literature in Afro-Asian studies or dance/performance studies, so the work that we did was new to me. Initially, my goal was to focus on oral history methods with the students. But from listening to the interviews, we should’ve made the guidance a little more explicit and intimate. I’m sure that you worked on some of this in your class sessions, but I think that we could’ve reinforced some ideas about Afro-Asian formations in our oral history workshop. I tried to but there’s only so much librarians can do in a one-shot session. Listening to the interviews, one student really didn’t want to acknowledge the blackness in Hip-Hop, which was disappointing to me. The student interviewer was very uncomfortable with the direction the interview was going and I felt bad for them both. However, it was one student out of many. It is our responsibility to make sure that students know the origins of certain cultural practices and even in the history of Hip-Hop the Afro-Asian formation is documented.27 The course, oral history workshop, and our resultant discussion I see as a disruption of the status quo. As I mentioned earlier, we are academic professionals working at the margins in designated majority-minority institutions that function like PWIs and trying to establish a fresh vocabulary between Black feminist and Queer Afro-Asian formations, special collections librarianship and dance. When I present at conferences, I often use a quote from a James Baldwin article where he talks about Black students entering the educational system and essentially being required to give up who they are.28 This is the hidden contract for which parents sign-up their children. In that instance, Baldwin was referring to Black students and Ebonics/AAVE but it is, of course, applicable to Indigenous, Latinx, Asian and Pacific Islander students as well. That the work we did—never perfect—in certain ways functioned as a roadmap back to students’ culture that we did not foresee affirms what we were attempting to do. And in the midst of our discussion of documenting our work, and the explosion of COVID-19, you moved!


My move also opened up new perspectives for Afro-Asian formations because in reflecting on the changes since the first class—a lot has happened. I didn’t anticipate the series of setbacks that the last half of the 2010s would have in store for us, but I also recognize that our students found more creative ways to find support among each other with dance, activism, and cultural production.


When we picked up this critical reflection in seriousness, the activism around law enforcement’s use of excessive and deadly force and its slow response to Asian hate incidents sticks out in my mind. It seems that all of these incidents with COVID-19 playing in the background foregrounded the importance of Afro-Asian formations for me. Part of our process of meeting monthly, we thought that we were going to do traditional academic writing on our experience with this course, but COVID-19 was spreading rapidly and the George Floyd murder happened and Angelo Quinto, Breanna Taylor, Lindani Myeni … too many names for this brief discussion—these events changed the tenor of our reflection—wouldn’t we like to know what the students would say about the summer of 2020? What would they say about the police killings and COVID-19? Did any of them participate in the protests? What was that like? It also became apparent how the media was and has been complicit in stoking tensions between Black and Asian American communities. Furthermore, they were part of disseminating Trump’s racist comments about COVID-19. As I inferred earlier, it highlights that we need to recover and strengthen the Afro-Asian solidarity we’ve had and at the same time create new bonds. Not in a romantic way, as Reddy notes, but in a generative one.29 With your move back home, there were student actions on campus of which you may not have been aware. There was direct action in downtown Chicago and students on campus created a list of demands that included the termination of an agreement between the university and campus police. With all of the student activism and the campus being closed due to COVID-19, it was a reminder that both faculty and student intellectualism and activism keep the university afloat.30


Over the past year, we talked about how both Black and Asian peoples’ experience of systemic racism is exacerbated by COVID-19. One thing that stands out for me in our meetings has been how reflecting on the archive of Afro-Asian Hip-Hop Dance has compelled us to look at each other and our communities and consider anti-Blackness in Asian diaspora and the limitations of dance. Our collaboration has helped me see how our Indian American, Chinese American, Filipino American, and Korean American students’ learning activities sustain both within-group dance cultural practices through navigation of Asian American identity through Hip-Hop dance and cross-cultural practices as a form of Black cultural expression. As BIPOC faculty the aims of the archive and culturally sustaining pedagogy connect us to our students of color who are deeply invested in dance.


I can’t tell you how many times I have been mistaken for a student. It’s a difficult position to be in because the status quo is the white male professor or the white female librarian. Even BIPOC students aren’t used to seeing us in academe. That said, once we get past introductions, we’re all creating new knowledge together, which is essential in the constructivist approach to teaching. I keep thinking that we need to separate ourselves in this discussion and center the students, but we’re all in this together. I was and still am not aware of when the student-centered paradigm shift or discourse happened in higher education. It occurs to me that student-centered is quite different from the marketing term of student success. Student-centered education can happen in a variety of different ways in the classroom and is focused on the importance of student ways of knowing—the knowledge they bring into the classroom. Student success is a term that university administrators use, which is quantifiable and can be antithetical to teaching and learning. Also, in my experience, administration is disingenuous because they want us to do more with less. That is, they cut the resources that we need in order to be more student-centered. Nevertheless, it seems more important to construct knowledge with students, which is part of student-centered pedagogical practice. To establish a community of practice with our students as we do with colleagues is also an organic way to refresh instruction.

Again, we acknowledge that the events of 2020 reshaped our critical reflection in ways we could not foresee. We began our creative dialogue at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, one of us made a change in institutional affiliation, and both of us were at different stages in the tenure track process. We concluded that there were some lessons about Hip-Hop, embodiment, and Afro-Asian formations we could have made more explicit with the students, but at that time felt the constraints of being Filipina/x/o and Black faculty. For us, the events of the past two years emphasized the importance of Black feminist and queer Afro-Asian formations and transformed us as instructors.


In reflecting on our process, in addition to the successes of the oral history project and course, there are a few areas for growth. These include providing more explicit instructions and learning objectives on Hip-Hop dance and oral history, as well as more explicit discussion about queer and feminist Afro-Asian formations. That is, we should have instructed students to interrogate gender and sexuality norms in Hip-Hop and articulated that these histories capture a specific moment in time and will reflect that history once researchers have access to them well into the future. Going forward, the Afro-Asian relations in the Midwest will blossom and circle back to culture and labor; culture and labor are defining features of relations in the Midwest. This can easily be accomplished through student organizations and not simply for cultural contact between Asian and Black students but with the goal of cultural competence.31 Students on university campuses should be encouraged to establish events and programming that function as outreach or collaboratories—focusing on the collective attributes of Hip-Hop culture mentioned in many of the oral history interviews.

By foregrounding the oral history projects within a longer history of Afro-Asian formations and wider geographies from Chicago to Manila, our Filipina/x/o and Black students can more critically dialogue with traditional dance pedagogy and history, which often reproduce colonial racial and sexual hierarchies.32 Historicizing stereotypes such as the model minority and hypersexuality of Black and Filipina/x/o women within local dance experiences enables students to build deeper connections to the knowledge production process. Documenting the history of Afro-Asian formations through oral history interviews with dance artists also subverts the hierarchy of the text-based archive. We suggest future Hip-Hop dance courses create a space for Black and Asian students to create and implement their own Asian and Black feminist methodologies, practices, and politics. It is important to encourage students to see themselves and their peers as authorities and also question validity, integrity, and how their experiences are connected to histories of Afro-Asian formations. These are critical components for recognizing that the process of reimagining the university and transformational education occurs not through the addition of new content or a self-contained class but through dynamic, culturally sustaining co-creation with its students.


  1. We would like to thank Annie Pho, MLIS, for their valuable support in the initiation of the oral history project and our collaboration. Planning for the oral history project began in fall 2015 with implementation the following semester and until spring 2020 in the course “Hip Hop Dance and Asian American Cultural Politics.” Student learning outcomes for the course aimed to train students to use various methods of dance research to examine the experiences of Asians and Asian Americans in Hip-Hop dance. The oral histories were digitally archived and brought the interdisciplinary fields together: Archival Science, Critical Dance Studies, Feminist and Queer Afro Asian Studies, and Culturally Sustaining Revitalizing Pedagogy.
  2. Django Paris, “Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy: A Needed Change in Stance, Terminology, and Practice,” Educational Researcher 41, no. 3 (2012): 93–97.
  3. E. Moncell Durden, Beginning Hip-hop dance (Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2019), 2.
  4. Vanita Reddy and Anantha Sudhakar, “Introduction: Feminist and Queer Afro-Asian Formations,” Scholar & Feminist Online, 14, no. 3 (2018), 1–3.
  5. Brenda Dixon-Gottschild, “Some Thoughts on Choreographing History,” In Meaning in Motion, eds. Fredric Jameson, Jane Desmond, Stanley Fish (Duke University Press, 1997), 167–177.
  6. Example: protocols and responses to racialized health inequities and violence.
  7. C. M Kodama, Y. Yin, S. Lee, & K. Su, “Uncovering the Diversity of Asian American Students at the University of Illinois at Chicago: A Report of the Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions Initiative,” (Chicago, IL: University of Illinois at Chicago, 2017), 1–36.
  8. Kodama et. al. ““Uncovering the Diversity of Asian American Students at the University of Illinois at Chicago,” 6
  9. Global Asian Studies is a program that merges courses, concepts, and resources from both Asian American Studies and Asian Studies to implement transformative, community-engaged pedagogy in and beyond Chicago.
  10. Paris, “Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy,” 95.
  11. Django Paris, “Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies and Our Futures,” The Educational Forum, vol. 85, no. 4, (2021): 364–376.
  12. Paris, “Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy,” 95.
  13. J. Lorenzo Perillo, Choreographing in Color: Filipinos, Hip-hop, and the Cultural Politics of Euphemism. Oxford University Press, 2020.
  14. Jae Yeon Kim, “Racism is Not Enough: Minority coalition building in San Francisco, Seattle, and Vancouver,” Studies in American Political Development 34, no.2 (2020): 195–215.
  15. Isabel Wilkerson, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration (New York: Vintage, 2011), 233–234.
  16. Jewel Pereyna, ““The Satin Sisters”: Performing Afro-Filipina Women’s Intimacies through Felt Architectures,” CLA Journal 62, no. 2 (2019): 132–150.
  17. James Zarsadiaz, “Raising Hell in the Heartland: Filipino Chicago and the Anti-Martial Law Movement, 1972–1986,” American Studies, no. 55 (2017): 141–162.
  18. Roland Sintos Coloma, ““Destiny Has Thrown the Negro and the Filipino Under the Tutelage of America””: Race and Curriculum in the Age of Empire,” Curriculum Inquiry, 39, no. 4, (2009): 495–519.
  19. Vanita Reddy and Anantha Sudhakar, “Introduction: Feminist and Queer Afro-Asian Formations,” Scholar & Feminist Online, 14, no. 3 (2018): 1–3.
  20. Michael T. Martin and Lamont H. Yeakey. “Pan-American Asian Solidarity: A Central Theme in DuBois’ Conception of Racial Stratification and Struggle.” Phylon (1960–) 43, no. 3 (1982): 202–217.
  21. Pereyna, “The Satin Sisters,” 133.
  22. Lynn Fujiwara and Shireen Roshanravan, eds. Asian American Feminisms and Women of Color Politics (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2018).
  23. Angelica J. Allen, “Hypervisible (In)visibility: Black Amerasians” in Filipinx American Studies: Reckoning, Reclamation, Transformation, eds. Rick Bonus and Antonio Tiongson (United States: Fordham University Press, 2022).
  24. See Raquel Z. Rivera, New York Ricans from the Hip Hop Zone (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003); Gina K. Velasco, Queering the Global Filipina Body: Contested Nationalisms in the Filipina/o Diaspora (Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2020.
  25. Catherine Ceniza Choy, Empire of care (Durham: Duke University Press, 2003), 189–190.
  26. Fred Ho and Bill V. Mullen, eds., Afro Asia: Revolutionary Political & Cultural Connections Between African Americans & Asian Americans (Durham & London: Duke University Press, 2008), 1–17.
  27. See Lakandiwa M. De Leon, “Filipinotown and the DJ Scene: Cultural Expression and Identity Affirmation of Filipino American Youth in Los Angeles,” in Asian American Youth: Culture, Identity, and Ethnicity, eds. Jennifer Lee and Min Zhou (Psychology Press, 2004), 191–206; Michelle Mihwa Chang, Rice and Rap: Hip Hop Music, Black/Asian American Racialization, and the Role of the US Multicultural Neoliberal State, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles, 2015.
  28. James Baldwin, “If Black English Isn’t a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is?,” The New York Times Archive, July 29, 1979,
  29. Reddy, “Affect, Aesthetics, and Afro-Asian Studies,” 2017.
  30. Paris, “Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies and Our Futures,” 2021.
  31. Samuel D. Museus, “The role of ethnic student organizations in fostering African American and Asian American students’ cultural adjustment and membership at predominantly White institutions.” Journal of College Student Development 49, no. 6 (2008): 568–586.
  32. André Pusey, “Strike, Occupy, Transform! Students, Subjectivity and Struggle.” Journal of Marketing for Higher Education 26, no. 2 (2016): 214–232.

Author Biographies

Dr. J. Lorenzo Perillo is Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. He has taught at UC Berkeley, UCLA, University of Illinois at Chicago, and Cornell University. As a Fulbright scholar he researched Hip-Hop in Asia which resulted in his first book Choreographing in Color: Filipinos, Hip-hop, and the Cultural Politics of Euphemism (Oxford University Press 2020), the first transnational monograph on Hip-Hop by a practitioner. He utilizes bilingual ethnography, choreographic analysis, and community engagement to examine Black dance in relation to Filipino racialization. Learn more about his research, teaching, and community engagements here:

Kellee E. Warren is currently Assistant Professor and Special Collections Librarian at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Ms. Warren’s article “Reimagining Special Collections Instruction: A Special Case of Haiti” was published with The American Archivist, fall/winter 2020. Her article “We Need These Bodies, but Not Their Knowledge: Black Women in the Archival Science Profession, and Their Connection to the Archives of Enslaved Black Women in the French Antilles” was published in Library Trends, spring 2016. Her research interests include critical pedagogies, digital humanities, and oral history.


Allen, Angelica J. “Hypervisible (In)visibility: Black Amerasians.” In Filipinx American Studies: Reckoning, Reclamation, Transformation, edited by Rick Bonus and Antonio Tiongson. New York: Fordham University Press, 2022.

Baldwin, James. “If Black English Isn’t a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is?” The New York Times Archive, July 29, 1979.

Chang, Michelle Mihwa. “Rice and Rap: Hip Hop Music, Black/Asian American Racialization, and the Role of the US Multicultural Neoliberal State.” Ph.D. diss., University of California, Los Angeles, 2015.

Choy, Catherine Ceniza. Empire of Care, 189–90. Durham: Duke University Press, 2003.

Coloma, Roland Sintos. “‘Destiny Has Thrown the Negro and the Filipino Under the Tutelage of America’: Race and Curriculum in the Age of Empire.” Curriculum Inquiry 39, no. 4 (2009): 495–519.

De Leon, Lakandiwa M. “Filipinotown and the DJ Scene: Cultural Expression and Identity Affirmation of Filipino American Youth in Los Angeles.” In Asian American Youth: Culture, Identity, and Ethnicity, edited by Jennifer Lee and Min Zhou, 191–206. New York: Psychology Press, 2004.

Dixon-Gottschild, Brenda. “Some Thoughts on Choreographing History.” In Meaning in Motion, edited by Fredric Jameson, Jane Desmond, and Stanley Fish, 167–77. Durham: Duke University Press, 1997.

Durden, E. Moncell. Beginning Hip-Hop Dance. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2019.

Fujiwara, Lynn, and Shireen Roshanravan, eds. Asian American Feminisms and Women of Color Politics. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2018.

Ho, Fred, and Bill V. Mullen, eds. Afro Asia: Revolutionary Political & Cultural Connections Between African Americans & Asian Americans, 1–17. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2008.

Kim, Jae Yeon. “Racism Is Not Enough: Minority Coalition Building in San Francisco, Seattle, and Vancouver.” Studies in American Political Development 34, no. 2 (2020): 195–215.

Kodama, C.M., Y. Yin, S. Lee, and K. Su. Uncovering the Diversity of Asian American Students at the University of Illinois at Chicago: A Report of the Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions Initiative, 1–36. Chicago, IL: University of Illinois, 2017.

Martin, Michael T., and Lamont H. Yeakey. “Pan-American Asian Solidarity: A Central Theme in DuBois’ Conception of Racial Stratification and Struggle.” Phylon (1960–) 43, no. 3 (1982): 202–17.

Museus, Samuel D. “The Role of Ethnic Student Organizations in Fostering African American and Asian American Students’ Cultural Adjustment and Membership at Predominantly White Institutions.” Journal of College Student Development 49, no. 6 (2008): 568–86.

Paris, Django. “Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy: A Needed Change in Stance, Terminology, and Practice.” Educational Researcher 41, no. 3 (2012): 93–97.

Paris, Django. “Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies and Our Futures.” The Educational Forum 85, no. 4 (2021): 364–76.

Pereyna, Jewel. “‘The Satin Sisters’: Performing Afro-Filipina Women’s Intimacies Through Felt Architectures.” CLA Journal 62, no. 2 (2019): 132–50.

Perillo, J. Lorenzo. Choreographing in Color: Filipinos, Hip-hop, and the Cultural Politics of Euphemism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020.

Pusey, André. “Strike, Occupy, Transform! Students, Subjectivity and Struggle.” Journal of Marketing for Higher Education 26, no. 2 (2016): 214–32.

Reddy, Vanita, and Anantha Sudhakar. “Introduction: Feminist and Queer Afro-Asian Formations.” Scholar & Feminist Online 14, no. 3 (2018): 1–3.

Rivera, Raquel Z. New York Ricans from the Hip Hop Zone. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.

Velasco, Gina K. Queering the Global Filipina Body: Contested Nationalisms in the Filipina/o Diaspora. Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2020.

Zarsadiaz, James. “Raising Hell in the Heartland: Filipino Chicago and the Anti-Martial Law Movement, 1972–1986.” American Studies, no. 55 (2017): 141–62.