Posted at, this piece was last updated on May 26, 2018. Click on “read more” to read the entire essay and view the CNN videos embedded in the original post.

CNN Editor’s Note: Jeff Yang is a frequent contributor to CNN Opinion, a featured writer for Quartz and other publications, and the co-host of the podcast “They Call Us Bruce.” He co-wrote Jackie Chan’s best-selling auto biography, and is the editor of three graphic novels: “Secret Identities,” “Shattered,” and the forthcoming “New Frontiers.”

Where ‘Asian-American’ came from

by Jeff Yang

Every year since 1978, May has been commemorated as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month — the official, federally designated period for the nation’s 20 million residents of Asian descent. President Jimmy Carter first proclaimed it as such.

However, this year’s celebration is unique. That’s because May 2018 quietly marks our golden anniversary: the 50th birthday of “Asian-American.”

And as far as we Asian-Americans have come over this past half-century, it’s time to figure out who we are.