Asian American Little Magazines 1968-1974: By Amardeep Singh

Aion 1.1 (1970)

The first issue of Aion appeared in the spring of 1971. 

The editorial at the beginning of the issue is notable: 

The dominant white society in America, by perpetuating its racist values, has insidiously created a cycle of self-hate between and within ethic groups.

As Asian Americans, we have been conditioned by stereotypes imposed upon us by the white middle class and have internalized the consequent insecurity and confusion. Dependency upon these values and standards has caused an absence of self-knowledge and its complementary fear and paralysis.

Our continued complacency within this racist society will bring about our cultural destruction. We must join the international movement to end the explotation of all Third World peoples and work to create our own revolutionary culture in this country.

We hope that AION will provide a forum for Asian American selfdefinition and expression on issues revelant to problems and needs of our communities.

 

Also notable is the list of dedicatees, which is obviously ironic and irreverent, including a number of famous racists: "General Elwell S. Otis, Eisako Sato, Ku Klux Klan, William Randolph Hearst, John Wayne, Chiang Kai Shek, FDR, 'Fat Jap' Agnew..." Critics have suggested this list might have been authored by Francis Oka. 

It might also be worth mentioning the 'special thanks' page of the first issue. Several of the names mentioned are figures who would either be familiar from Gidra or from other venues, including Colin Watanabe and Isao Fujimoto (both from Gidra), Reverend A. Cecil Williams (leader of the Church Janice Mirikitani was also a member of; Janice Mirikitani's future husband), and Jeff Chan (future co-editor of Aiiieeeee!). 


Annotated Table of Contents:
 

 

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  1. Aion Cover Graphic
  2. Etching by Janice Mirikitani Aion 1.1
  3. Unity Ideogram Aion Magazine