2020 Year in Review
By Annie Guo VanDan
2020 was a year unlike any other.
We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve comforted each other during difficult times and cheered each other on. Through it all, Asians and Asian Americans had much to celebrate through these unprecedented times.
The South Korean black comedy film directed by Bong Joon-ho,“Parasite,” wins four Academy Awards at the 2020 Oscars including Best Picture, Directing, International Feature Film and Original Screenplay. The film not only took home the most awards at the 2020 Oscars, but it also became the first non-English language film to win the award for Best Picture. The storyline follows the members of a poor family who scheme to become employed by a wealthy family.
Mindy Kaling’s series “Never Have I Ever” releases on Netflix and delivers South Asian representation on screen. Based on Kaling’s personal experiences, the show is a coming-of-age comedy about the complicated life of a modern-day first-generation Indian-American teenage girl.
After the killing of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, Asian Americans reignited community movements in solidarity with Black lives. While Asians for Black Lives began years ago after the killing of Trayvon Martin in 2012, Asian American justice organizations refueled initiatives to show up for Black lives and have conversations at home and within Asian families about anti-Blackness. Efforts included developing resources, showing up at rallies and protests, and starting campaigns in support of Black community members and Black-owned businesses. See resources at: asianamericanadvocacyfund.org/asians-for-black-lives
Chinese-American chef Melissa King wins Top Chef All Stars L.A, the Season 17 champion of the Bravo competition series. In the final episode King paired her Italian techniques and local ingredients with the Chinese flavors of her San Gabriel Valley childhood: char siu glazed octopus with fennel, and squash agnolotti with Szechuan chili oil. King lives in San Francisco na is an advocate for LGBTQ equality as well as women’s empowerment, environmental sustainability, and food education for youths.
22-year-old Japanese Naomi Osaka wins the 2020 U.S. Open in a quiet arena due to COVID-19 precautions. She became the first Asian player—man or woman—to capture three Grand Slam singles titles. Not only a tennis champion, she is also a champion for racial justice, wearing masks during each of her matches with the names of Black victims of police violence: Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, George Floyd, Philando Castile and Tamir Rice. Born in Japan to a Haitian father and a Japanese mother, Osaka has lived and trained in the U.S. States since she was three years old.
Kim Ng is named general manager for the Miami Marlins becoming the first female and first Asian American general manager in Major League Baseball history. She has more than 30 years of experience in the league. The organization says Ng is now the highest-ranking woman in MLB team operations.