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The student news site of Hoover High School

The Cardinal

The student news site of Hoover High School

The Cardinal

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Corky Lee

In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, every school day The Cardinal will feature a prominent and historical Asian American or Pacific Islander, living or dead, who has worked toward change, advancement, and/or world peace. Some of them are heroes, and some are unsung heroes, who deserve recognition, and have made a contribution to society.
Corky+Lee

Corky Lee was born on September 5, 1947, in Queens, New York City.  He was a Chinese-American activist, community organizer, photographer, journalist, and was known for documenting the diversity in Asian American communities that was ignored and overlooked by mainstream media.

Lee’s parents immigrated from China to the United States and had four other children. He taught himself photography by borrowing cameras. He was inspired by a textbook that had a photograph reflecting the continental railroad with a large crowd and noticed that there wasn’t a single Asian in the picture, although there were thousands of Asians in the labor of the continental railroad. This made him realize how important It was to capture moments from everyday life of people from his ethnicity. He started capturing pictures with the determination to get the media to finally recognize Asian culture.

In 1975, he captured a photograph where the New York police officers had beaten Peter Yew, a Chinese American man, and this photograph made it on The New York Post and the next day 20,000 people protested over police brutality, which he also photographed. He also photographed the protest for Vincent Chen, who was a Chinese American that was mistaken for Japanese and was beaten to death by two white men who only paid a fine and did no jail time. His work was then later assembled in many museums like the Museum of Chinese in the Americas in New York in 200, and several gallery shows. In January of 2021, Corky Lee passed away from Covid-19 on January 27, 2021.

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About the Contributor
Monse Sanchez
Monse Sanchez, Staff Writer
I like apple bottom jeans and boots with the fur.  Pizza and pistachio ice cream but not together.  I love the color pink and on Wednesdays we wear pink!