“Thank you for giving me no heritage.”

The following is a video of Rachel Rostad’s winning piece at the College Union Poetry Slam Invitational in NYC. Titled, “A Letter to JK Rowling from Cho Chang,” she calls out JK Rowling on the lack of dimensionality when it comes to the Harry Potter series’ one Asian character.

Full disclosure: I have not read the Harry Potter books. I have no commentary on the pushback (which I believe to be mostly a straw man) that gets all up in Dumbledore’s sexuality and why Cho Chang was crying over the White dude, etc. I viewed this video as a voice teacher and as a person striving to be critically conscious. I am glad that Rostad is being outspoken about popular authors and their attempt (or lack thereof) to create dimensional, non-White characters. And although I could get nit-picky about Rostad’s physicalization and vocal habits, overall, there is a wonderful authenticity in her voice. It is coming from the very core of her. I believe that this is partly because in this format and context, she was free to express how she truly felt. There was no need to assimilate to a peer group or a faculty at a drama school and not seem so pissed off about something as a person of color. We often feel that we must behave and keep our heads down and not seem too aggressive, or begrudged. I’m glad Rostad doesn’t give a shit about this.

Rachel Rostad is a fellow Korean-American adoptee. Check her out. I will feature some of her poetry here soon.

via Angry Asian Man

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