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For those of you who have been following my (un)learning journey, these past couple of months have been dedicated to explorations around race, identity, culture, ancestry and trauma (of course trauma! Like a moth to a flame, I can’t not orient towards trauma!).

Much of this month’s newsletter is dedicated to exploring the intersection of Black & Asian history, centering Vietnamese and Chinese (my heritage) historical intersections with Black people.

Inspired by digital storytellers, Ryan Alexander Holmes (Blasian - biracial Black and Taiwanese, raised in LA) and Laurence Brahm (Wasian - biracial White + Chinese, raised in Beijing), I am sharing with you inspirations from the world of fused cultural identities to inspire intersectional solidarity. 

A musical collab between Ryan and Laurence, Mixed Blood, speaks to their bi-racial identities.

Next, I would like to feature half-Nigerian, half-Vietnamese artist Mixed Miyagi, (who busts out stellar rhymes in Vietnamese!).

See Mixed Miyagi’s work here:

Việt Nam Xin Chào speaks to his love for Vietnam and his Vietnameseness.
Ngày Nào Cũng Vậy speaks to his love of his Blackness, speaks to anti-Black racism in the Vietnamese community and his desire to inspire intersectionality solidarity through his art.

Indochina: Traces of a Mother depicts a not-so-known chapter of Vietnamese history: when the Vietnamese fought against their colonizers (the French Empire) for independence, the French army needed to replenish their forces after devastating defeats at the hands of the Viet Minh. Between 1946 and 1954, over 60,000 soldiers - all from the French colonies in Africa - were enlisted to fight the Viet Minh.

Yes, the French Empire sent one group of colonized peoples into war to maintain rule over another group of colonized peoples.

A number of African soldiers took Vietnamese women as wives, resulting in numerous biracial children. 

At the end of the war, the colonial army ordered that all these children be repatriated to Africa, officially to protect them from the Viet Minh. Other accounts suggest that these Blasian children were considered to be “property of the French Empire”, to be repatriated back to a French colony upon French defeat.

Some children left with both parents. Others were simply taken away by their fathers, leaving their mothers behind. Abandoned in orphanages, some were put up for mass adoption by African officers, as was the case with Christophe. Christophe long avoided facing the scars and identity complexes left by this abrupt separation from his mother and homeland. 

Watch the trailer and/or rent the documentary here for US$3.99.

Far East Deep South, an award-winning documentary feature film, follows the Chiu family’s journey through Mississippi in search of their lost family history. After enslaved Black people got their freedom, the Chinese were brought in (until the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882).

Chinese people lived in The Deep South, a long time ago!!!

This deeply personal account sheds light on the racially complex history of the early Chinese in the segregated South.

For more information on ways to access this film (I watched it for free via my university’s library access, and also watched a screening of it last year during the AAPI Heritage Month of May):

Finding Samuel Lowe: From Harlem to China, is the compelling story of an African-American journalist, news executive and businesswoman who undertakes a search for her family roots. Growing up in Harlem, Paula Madison's mother was Black but looked Asian, and it turns out her grandfather was a Chinese immigrant who settled in Jamaica. Together with her two siblings, they travel to the Chinese-Jamaican community in Toronto, to Martha’s Vineyard, to Jamaica and then to China on a family pilgrimage of love and devotion.

To watch the trailer and to purchase access to the film on YouTube

Or on Amazon

Blurring the Color Line, a documentary that serves to disrupt racial narratives and bridge divides, follows director Crystal Kwok as she unpacks the history of her Chinese grandmother’s family, who were neighborhood grocery store owners in the Black community of Augusta, Georgia during the Jim Crow era. 

Trailer is here:

If you happen to live in North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi or Tennessee, there are live screenings March 15 - April 1:

And an additional screening at the University of Georgia on March 22:

Keep an eye out for this film as we head towards AAPI Heritage Month!

If you would like more resources around Black and Asian solidarity, check out these links:

To read:
Chop Suey Nation (Ann Hui)
Voices of Resilience: Poetry Potpourri (Grace Wing-Yuan Toy)
Roots and Remembrance (Hatty Liu, The World of Chinese)

To watch:
All Our Father's Relations
Mountains That Take Wing: Angela Davis & Yuri Kochiyama

I’m so honored to be invited to share with the clinicians at Khiron Clinics in the UK on March 13th and March 14th about decolonizing psychotherapy and working with racialized trauma.

Music and Medicine: Current Practice, Future Possibilities

For my friends in the UK/Europe: I'd love to see you in March for my community song leading debut ❤️

Please - check out the programme, geek out on it, and register yourself and all your friends ✨

Talks, panel discussions and experiential workshops, allowing participants to explore in greater depth particular themes of interest for them. Active participation and music-making will be encouraged throughout the workshops, there will be musical interludes during both days, and opportunity for attendees to network, as well as ask questions during the panel discussions.

Learn more & register

This month I had the amazing opportunity to lead my first ever BIPOC-mostly psychodrama structures workshop (based on Chapter 18 of The Body Keeps the Score), centering the experiences of adult children of refugees and immigrants / former child refugees and immigrants. 

Please, email Tyler ( if you would like to host me to facilitate this work for your community.

As I step further into doing the work that deeply moves me, I extend sincere gratitude to my heart teachers, Bessel van der Kolk and Licia Sky, and fellow adventurer Mariah Rooney. We all need people to love us into becoming our potential, throughout the human lifespan 💕

February and March are my favorite months up here in the Far Far North. The sunlight is returning, with plenty enough darkness for the skies to be alight with…..the northern lights! 

Yes, yes, I know, I’ve posted plenty of aurora photos over the past few months’ newsletters, but they don’t get old for me. Soon enough, it will become the Land of the Midnight Sun with no night time stars or aurora to be seen for many months.

Photo credit: Me! Taken from my yard in the middle of the night when I went outside to pee!
Me at Esalen, surrounded by nature and many opportunities to orient towards the horizon
Practicing receiving love in the form of plants and naps (thank you, Adam Ottavi)
Catching up with f-f-f-f-friends (yes, sometimes even I forget that I have meaningful friendships!!) In the image on the far right I'm with Sally Fritz, visiting the Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden and Windmill at the San Francisco Botanical Gardens. And from left to right: me and my dear friends... Adam Ottavi, Arlie Ausich, Ja Young Ahn, and Liz Abrams.

Lastly, humor keeps me going. I thought I’d share some of my favorite BIPOC comedians with you! Because, truly, laughter must accompany learning / unlearning, alongside boisterous rest.

My Alaskan Native friends reminded me of the value of laughter through sharing this Don Burnstick piece, The 5 Ways Native Woman Laugh. It reminds me of Vietnamese family gatherings, where I’ve seen my mother laugh so hard that she slaps the person next to her!

This Ronnie Chieng stand-up piece, Ronnie Chieng Explains Why Asian People Love Money, had me hyperventilating.
Check out Chinese-Australian up and coming comedian, He Huang, on Australia’s Got Talent.
Only the brilliant Trevor Noah can uplift deafness through his comedy routine, Jokes About Deaf People

In love,

And sending deep nourishment,


Thái Kim Ngọc 蔡金玉

she, her, hers

Trauma therapist | Educator and consultant | Speaker and story-teller | Group facilitator | Collaborator | Infiltrator | Cross-pollinator | Community-builder | Agent of change | Former child refugee | Happy human being

May you be riotous in your own quiet uprising as you reach for life
~ Peia
Copyright © 2023 Linda Thai, All rights reserved.

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