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Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with WTTW in 2021

Daniel Hautzinger
Ted Ngoy at a donut shop
Ted Ngoy, the "Donut King." Photo: Courtesy Logan Industry

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, a time to celebrate the fastest growing group in the United States. It's an especially important observance now, when hate crimes against Asian Americans are on the rise. Find WTTW's coverage and content for Asian Pacific Heritage Month below.

Reel South: Gimme A Faith

Sunday, May 2 at 1:00 pm on WTTW and available to stream

Arriving in North Carolina to study filmmaking, Hao Zhang is surprised to find a unique community of Chinese students, connected by a newly discovered evangelical Christianity that is often at stark odds with their communist roots in China.

Norman Mineta and His Legacy: An American Story

Sunday, May 2 at 2:00 pm on WTTW

Meet the first Asian American to serve in a presidential cabinet, under Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush, after being imprisoned by the U.S. during World War II in a Japanese internment camp.

Mr. Tornado: American Experience

Sunday, May 2 at 3:00 pm on WTTW and Thursday, May 20 at 4:00 pm on WTTW Prime and available to stream

Meet pioneering meteorologist Ted Fujita, who transformed our understanding of tornados. His technological advancements saved lives and helped Americans prepare for and respond to dangerous weather phenomena.

Learn more about Fujita from a friend and colleague at the University of Chicago, where Fujita spent much of his professional career. 

The Chinese Exclusion Act: American Experience

Sunday, May 2 at 4:00 pm on WTTW and available to stream

In 1882, the United States passed a law that made it illegal for Chinese workers to come to America and for Chinese nationals already here to ever become U.S. citizens. It remained in force for more than 60 years. Examine this stain on American history, its origins, and its effects.

See the effect the Chinese Exclusion Act had on Chicago and the growth of its Chinese population.

American Masters: Amy Tan — Unintended Memoir

Monday, May 3 at 9:00 pm on WTTW and Tuesday, May 4 at 3:00 pm and Saturday, May 8 at 2:00 pm on WTTW Prime

Explore the life of the groundbreaking author of 'The Joy Luck Club' in this intimate portrait.

Meet more authors at


Friday, May 7 at 8:30 pm on WTTW

From the son of refugees growing up in West Oakland to a professional chef, Tu David Phu's acclaimed culinary creations are heralded as the next wave of Asian fusion representing Vietnamese culture. 

Hayou Miyazaki: 10 Years with the Master

Saturday, May 8 at 10:00 am on WTTW Prime and available to stream

An exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the genius of Japan’s foremost living film director, the creator of Howl’s Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro and the Academy Award-winning Spirited Away.

No Passport Required: Las Vegas

Saturday, May 8 at 4:00 pm on WTTW Prime and available to stream by WTTW Passport members

Join Chef Marcus Samuelsson as he explores the deep-rooted Chinese community of Las Vegas, and the varied regional dishes they serve there.

Antiques Roadshow: Celebrating Asian Heritage

Monday, May 10 at 9:00 pm on WTTW

Travel with Antiques Roadshow as it turns the spotlight on incredible items with Asian and Pacific Islands origins, including a Hawaiian kou bowl, a Ghandi presentation spinning wheel, and an 1888 Joesph Nawahi painting. 

Asian Americans

Sunday, May 16 beginning at 12:00 pm on WTTW and various times on WTTW Prime (check schedule) and available to stream

Watch all five parts of PBS's landmark look at the history and future of Asian Americans, told through individual lives and personal stories. 

Pacific Heartbeat

Saturday, May 22 at 11:00 am on WTTW Prime

This anthology series journeys into the heart, mind and soul of Pacific Island culture, with creative stories about arts, culture, and personal narratives.

Independent Lens: The Donut King

Monday, May 24 at 10:00 pm on WTTW

Hear the incredible story of Ted Ngoy. After fleeing Cambodia for the United States, he built a multi-million-dollar fried pastry empire, Christy's Doughnuts, and began living his American Dream. But a great rise often comes with a great fall.

Meet some Chicagoland-based Asian American bakers.

The Registry

Sunday, May 30 at 3:00 pm on WTTW and available to stream by WTTW Passport members

This film breaks open the hidden history of the US Army's Military Intelligence Service (MIS) during World War II, a story made possible because of a few aging Japanese American veterans with a little Internet savvy and a lot of determination.