Megan Thomas and Johnathan Gibbs on being Black + Asian in 2021

During Asian American and Pacific Islander Month, two social media influencers talk about their blended cultures

In May, we celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month amidst a year when crimes targeting Asian people rose by nearly 150% in major U.S. cities, resulting in a call to #StopAAPIHate.

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This May, also marks one year since the world witnessed the incomprehensible murder of George Floyd catapulting the #BlackLivesMatter movement onto a global scale.

In an exclusive to theGrio, digital creators and Instagram influencers Megan ‘MegScoop’ Thomas and founder of All Def Women, and Johnathan ‘Blasianfma’ Gibbs, founder of Black and Asian Alliance Network, explore the duality of their Black + Asian heritages and how they’ve used their platforms to find community, allyship, and solidarity during this time.

Megan her parents and brother (Instagram)

“I straddle the line of both worlds and I [needed] to say something,” Thomas said in response to concerns raised by her Black friends and colleagues regarding the nuanced and oftentimes contentious relationship between the Black and Asian-American communities.

Johnathan and his mother

“I posted about my family and you see the mixture of us all together and the importance of why we all need to get along. Us helping each other actually helps get rid of white supremacy…It’s a new day. We got to help each other in any way we can.”

“There are so many things in our histories that we know about personally that either side doesn’t know about the other,” states Gibbs. Using social media platforms like Instagram and the Facebook group he founded — the Black & Asian Alliance Network–, Gibbs aims to help foster those difficult conversations and aid in bridging the gap. “We have to exercise patience with each other and say, let me inform you and now we can move forward together. You know better now, we can do better now.”

Even in the midst of trying times, there is much to be celebrated within the unique richness of blending these vibrant cultures.

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According to Thomas, “if you’ve ever had Korean food and soul food put together, it is the best thing ever!”

Happy Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month from theGrio.

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