Guest Blog Post Part of NAKASEC’s Asian Pacific American Heritage Month “Heroes Among Us” series Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter – #aapihero, #apahm
Way before the Tiger Mom and the subsequent debate over Asian parenting, there was my mom. A single parent who raised me, my mom always taught me to treat others with respect and kindness. But more importantly, she simultaneously instilled in me a pride for my Asian heritage while encouraging me to follow my dreams. The pursuit of happiness, she said, was what made us distinctly American. As an Asian American singer-songwriter I attribute to her the freedom I felt to pursue a career in music. During my childhood she endlessly supported my love of music, whether it was musical theater, or jazz and R&B later on. Growing up under her roof I felt like I could be anything I wanted to be. How she managed to stay so involved and be such a strong presence in my life while working long hours I’ll never know. All I do know is that she sacrificed a lot and fought endlessly so that I could have the life that I live today.
I once had a dream that my mom was Superman. As I watched her fly across the sky with an ‘S’ branded across her chest it seemed so logical to me that she would be Superman in the way that only dreams work. Never mind the fact that she was the opposite gender and shared absolutely nothing with the famous Caucasian man in red and blue. When I woke up I laughed at this image. What a ridiculous notion, my mom as Superman! She’d be Superwoman if anything, and an Asian woman at that. But then I thought some more about my mom as Superman and it all made perfect sense. She was back then, as she has been up to this day, my hero.
About the writer:
Dawen is a singer-songwriter based in Los Angeles. In his debut album American Me, Dawen covers everything from identity and social issues, to love, loss and redemption. American Me is available on iTunes andAmazon. The music video for his single “Wake Up” is on YouTube.
A recent Grand Prize Winner of Kollaboration Acoustic 4, Dawen has performed for Grammy Award-winning artist Macy Gray and has shared the stage with artists such as Marié Digby, slam poets Beau Sia and Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai, and actor James Kyson-Lee from TV’s Heroes. Dawen continues to perform throughout the US and Asia.