Asha Lemmie is an Afro-Latina fiction writer who is passionately interested in Japanese culture. Her novel, Fifty Words for Rain (2020), begins during World War II, and follows the life of a biracial woman, Noriko “Nori” Kamiza, the child of a married Japanese aristocrat and her African American GI lover.
A novelist and a rapper share cultures
Asha Lemmie & Bohan Phoenix
Tuesday, September 6, 2022
4:30 p.m. — Craft Talk with Asha Lemmie
Multi-Purpose Room, Campus Center West Addition
7:30 p.m. — Conversation with Asha Lemmie and Bohan Phoenix Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center
Both events at the University at Albany, 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany NY 12222
Free and open to the public.
A New York Times bestseller and Editors’ Choice, the book was a selection of the Good Morning America Book Club. Elisabeth Egan said in a NY Times review, “Asha Lemmie’s sprawling, thought-provoking debut novel…. will give you 50 reasons to cancel the rest of your day.”
Bohan Phoenix 博涵, born in Hubei, China, is a New York rap artist who came to the U.S. at age 11. Inspired by rap music as a young immigrant, he began collaborating with the Chinese hip-hop group Higher Brothers in 2017.
During the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests, he led the call for Asian rap artists to become more active in the movement. This year, he was tapped to star in Van’s footwear brand campaign in China, and performed a half-time show for the Brooklyn Nets in March.
His debut summer 2022 album, Cities Are for Fools, has been described as an “ode to New York.”
“As an Asian American Hip-Hop artist it is important to me to be supporting and fighting with the African American community against oppression and racism. Not only has the African American community been there for the Asian communities in the past, fighting for bills like Immigration Act of 1965 so that Asians could move to the country, but also because the hatred of racism doesn’t just affect black people. It has and will continue to affect us all in one way or another.
As an Asian Hip-Hop artist I also am so grateful for this art form and am indebted to the struggle of the black community. Hip-Hop music has given me so much that it’s only right I find my own way and encourage others to give back.” - Bohan Phoenix