Filipinx American History: A Celebration of Community, Activism, and Persistence

Civil Rights Movements, Youth and Pop Culture, Grassroots and Nonprofit Organizations

Filipino America
The 1970s to the early 2000s marked a formative time for the Filipina/o/x American diaspora. The far-reaching impact of martial law in the Philippines, the activism of the Delano Grape Strikes, and the transformative progress from the Third World Liberation Front demonstrated greater Filipina/o/x American political agency and collective engagement thus far. Anti-imperialist and anti-martial law sentiment further complicated and agitated the transpacific interplay between the Philippines and the United States, resulting in a critical narrative shift of Filipinos in America. 

Through these movements, Filipina/o/x Americans in the early 2000s came of age with a deeper understanding of their diasporic placement as a "dislocated" community. The emergence of online platforms digitized the post-colonial project of "Filipino America" as online spaces allowed the diaspora to tease out their diasporic anxieties, negotiate the processes of hyphenation, and define their collective belonging on a larger scale. Filipinx Americans, today, continue to employ online spaces to expand the socio-cultural identity that is "Filipino." 

The Sunday Express front page announcing Ferdinand Marcos’ declaration of martial law in the Philippines, marking the formal beginning of the Marcos dictatorship and the atrocities perpetrated on the Filipino people.


UC Berkeley student activists march on Bancroft Way, Berkeley to advocate for the implementation of Ethnic Studies. The pan-ethnic coalition comprised of the Afro-American Students Union, Mexican-American Student Confederation, the Native American Student Union, and the Asian American Political Alliance demonstrated the student-driven movement to recognize and address the systemic inequities within higher education. 


SFSU Student activist march on 19th and Holloway on SF State campus, 1968 to protest against academic bureaucratic policies and to advocate for the implementation of Ethnic Studies. Taking part in a cross-coalition of student organizations, student activists demonstrated their ability to affect institutional and societal change.

The Fil-Am student organization, PACE, was crucial in forming and sustaining this multiethnic coalition of student organizations and served to establish the early foundations of a critical Filipinx American studies.  


The creation of student-organized websites signaled the initial stages of digital enclaves; online representations of the ethnic enclaves they reflect. 

These cyberspaces generated the necessary space for a generation of Filipino Americans to network a fragmented community in a collective effort to recognize, mediate, and define the Filipino American experience. These online archives preserve a snapshot of this generation's cultural production, displaying their social and political activism.  To view the website, please click this link.

In 1971, a coalition of students, activists, educators, and community organizers gathered together to voice issues within the Filipino American community. Topics included Martial Law in the Philippines, Filipino and Ethnic Studies, and a growing acknowledgment of a Filipino American experience. 

Regarded by the community as the beginning of the "Filipino American movement," this conference originated many of the regional and national conferences present today. This moment also brought in a widespread population of isolated Filipino Americans from throughout the United States, marking a critical moment of collective communal solidarity 


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