In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Google has featured Corky Lee, a Chinese American photographer, journalist, and activist, in its doodle for May 5th, 2023. Because, Lee, who passed away in January 2021 due to COVID-19, was known. For his powerful images that captured the experiences of Asian Americans and other marginalized communities. The doodle depicts Lee with a camera in hand, surrounded by some of his most iconic photographs.
Early Life and Career
Lee was born in Queens, New York in 1948 and grew up in a predominantly white neighborhood. As a child, he experienced racism and discrimination, which fueled his desire to document the experiences of Asian Americans and other underrepresented groups. But, he began his career as a photographer in the 1970s, covering protests and demonstrations against the Vietnam War and advocating for the rights of Asian Americans.
Activism through Photography
Throughout his career, Lee used his camera as a tool for activism, capturing the struggles and triumphs of Asian Americans and other marginalized communities. He was especially known for his work documenting the experiences of Chinese Americans in New York City’s Chinatown. His photographs captured the daily lives of community members, as well as moments of protest and resistance.
One of Lee’s most famous photographs is “The Last Days of Chinatown,” which depicts a group of Chinese American residents protesting against the city’s plan to demolish their homes and businesses to make way for a new courthouse. The image became a symbol of resistance and inspired others to fight against gentrification and displacement.
Legacy and Impact
Lee’s work had a significant impact on the Asian American community and beyond. But, he was a trailblazer in the field of Asian American photography and paved the way for future generations of artists and activists. His photographs have been exhibited in galleries and museums around. The world and have become a part of the cultural canon.
In addition to his photography, Corky Lee was also a mentor and advocate for emerging artists and activists. He was known for his generosity and willingness to share his knowledge and experience with others. Because Many of his mentees have gone on to become successful artists and activists in their own right.
Corky Lee’s legacy as a photographer, journalist, and activist continues to inspire and influence people today. His dedication to documenting the experiences of Asian Americans and other marginalized communities. Has left an indelible mark on the field of photography and on the broader struggle for social justice. Because, Through his work, he showed us the power of storytelling and the importance of bearing witness to history.