Entertainment Spotlight

Catching Up: Santana, Taj Mahal and a déjà vu ‘Blue Christmas’

Posted by Ben Fong-Torres - on Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Catching Up: Santana, Taj Mahal and a déjà vu ‘Blue Christmas’
By Ben Fong-Torres It’s short shrift time. I have a life that’s ripe (and slightly wrinkled) for blogs and tweeting; for facebooking and updating. I’m just no good at it. My last column here on AsianConnections was about the memorial in late July for my sister Shirley. My last posting on the authors’ site, Redroom, was about a radio promo tour I did (20 stops, all on the phone in my home office) for my Eagles book. On my own home page, the last thing was about hanging with...

Arts & Entertainment

Indian Movie Star Waheeda Rehman on U.S. Tour to Aid Underprivileged Children in India

Posted by Marissa Beker on Tuesday, 17 June 2003

Bollywood movie star Waheeda Rehman helps the Pratham charity organization raise an impressive $100,000, which will help educate 10,000 Indian children.

Buena Park, California, June 2003 - Celebrity Movie Star Waheeda Rehman, a legend in the Indian Community for her extraordinary talent and timeless beauty, visited the Pratham Gala Fundraiser to promote her vision of educating the slum dwelling children in India.

While playing in over 70 film roles during her successful career, Ms. Rehman is understandably most passionate about her real life role as the goodwill ambassador of Pratham. Southern California, home to one of the largest Indian communities outside of India, is one of many stops the movie icon has made in the United States. She aspires to earn nationwide support to help turn her vision into a reality.

Nearly 400 people gathered at the Sequoia Center Ballroom in Buena Park to support Prathams nobel mission of providing universal primary education in India. While a great energy existed among the attendees during the first half of the event, the mood in the ballroom took on a whole new dynamic once Waheeda Rehman was presented to speak.

The energy was instantly intensified and was accompanied by a sea of mesmerized onlookers, awestruck by the classic Indian beauty. Not even a minute passed before the paparazzi - aka shameless fans that wanted to snag a snapshot of the star - rushed the stage during Ms. Rehmans speech. However, personifying grace and dignity, the actress did not reveal any signs of agitation amidst the plethora of camera flashes erupting in her face.

In spite of all the attention she received at the fundraising event, it was clearly evident through Ms. Rehmans demeanor and words that she did not want the spotlight on herself, but rather on the great cause of the evening. Children are the future of India, the star emphatically proclaimed, indicating why Prathams mission is indispensable to the welfare of...

Of Civil Wrongs and Rights: The Fred Korematsu Story

Posted by Lia Chang on Tuesday, 10 September 2002

The Emmy-award winning documentary Of Civil Wrongs and Rights: The Fred Korematsu Story , is a look back at Korematsu's long ordeal to achieve personal justice.

The matter seemed lost to the history books until 1981, when Peter Irons, a law professor writing a book about the internment, and Aiko Yoshinaga-Herzig, a Japanese American on a quest to find out why she'd been interned as a teenager, happened upon a wartime memo from a Department of Justice lawyer. The memo showed that crucial evidence had been withheld by federal prosecutors in the Korematsu case, including military reports concluding that Japanese Americans did not pose a serious threat to U.S. security.

Peter Irons knew he found a "smoking gun," and tracked down Korematsu and the other two resisters- Gordon Hirabayashi and Minoru Yasui-- to ask about reopening their cases. Irons contacted noted civil rights attorney Dale Minami, who assembled a team of lawyers--mostly Asian American, who worked countless hours pro bono.

Recalls Minami, "Peter Irons called me in May of 1982 and told me about the evidence he had found. I had read these cases in law school, but for me they were taught as intellectual exercises about the balance of rights and due process. At that time Korematsu vs United States was not linked to human tragedy, loss of homes, broken dreams, or financial losses of income that people suffered. I called my colleague Don Tamaki at the Asian Law Caucus, a community interest law firm that I helped start, and disclosed the nature of the evidence. A number of attorneys I was working with had already been lobbying for redress for Japanese Americans. All of them were stunned at the evidence and were blown away that we might be able to reopen the cases. We had the smoking gun-the things that lawyers talk about, the thing that lawyers love. We worked in secrecy because we didn't want any documents to "accidentally" disappear from the archives.

Minami, as coordinating...