OAKLAND, CA — An activist, award-winning author, musician, domestic violence survivor — this is Evangeline Canonizado Buell.
A granddaughter of a buffalo soldier — Buell is a living testimony of Filipino history in the United States.
Growing up in West Oakland during the 1930’s and 40’s, she remembers seeing the “No Filipinos or Dogs Allowed” signs and being harassed for her Asian descent during WWII.
“When my family came here as immigrants they thought they were going to be in the land of plenty and money. And it didn’t work out that way.”
Buell’s 2006 book, “Twenty-Five Chickens and a Pig for a Bride,” is her memoir of how racial and gender discrimination in America did not break her belief in preserving her Filipino culture and heritage.
The book also achieved critical acclaim.
“They also chose me as the 2007 winner of the Global Filipino Literary Award and the book is exhibited in the Library of Congress — and I’m so glad it’s there for our Filipinos and our young people to learn about us.”
Despite all the progress that has been made — Buell hopes that new generations of Filipino-Americans continue to uphold their culture and traditions.
“Give to your community. Be part of it. That way your children will be accepted and will be a major part of making this country and better place to live.”
This afternoon was put on by the Filipina Women’s Network.
“She’s the Maya Angelou of the Filipino-American community and she’s been a member for many years, actually from the beginning… It’s really important to honor our icons. She’s a Shero and a legend. She’s a Vagina Warrior. She’s one of our Most Influential Women.”
In the fight for more representation, Buell is working to turn her memoir into a movie.