Member Spotlight on Pinay Authors M. Evelina Galang (U.S. FWN100™ '07, Global FWN100™ '14) and Vangie Buell (U.S. FWN100™ '07)

 Photo credit: M. Evelina Galang

Photo credit: M. Evelina Galang

M. Evelina Galang is the author of HER WILD AMERICAN SELF (Coffee House Press, ’96); the novel ONE TRIBE (New Issues Press, ’06); and ANGEL DE LA LUNA AND THE 5TH GLORIOUS MYSTERY (Coffee House Press 2013). She has edited the anthology, SCREAMING MONKEYS: Critiques of Asian American Images (Coffee House Press, ‘03). She is currently writing LOLAS’ HOUSE: WOMEN LIVING WITH WAR, stories of surviving Filipina WWII “Comfort Women” and is at work on a new novel, BEAUTIFUL SORROW, BEAUTIFUL SKY. Galang teaches in and directs the Creative Writing Program at the University of Miami, is core faculty for VONA/Voices: Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation and has been named one of the 100 most influential Filipinas in the United States by Filipina Women’s Network.

Galang is the recipient of numerous awards, among them, the 2004 Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Awards Advancing Human Rights, the 2004 AWP Prize in the Novel and the 2007 Global Filipino Award in Literature for ONE TRIBE.

 Photo credit: Amaze Studios

Photo credit: Amaze Studios

Vangie Buell is a living historical gem: She's the granddaughter of a Buffalo Soldier—the nickname given by American Indians in the 19th century to black American soldiers. Even rarer: Her grandfather Ernest Stokes was one of the 6,000 Buffalo Soldiers sent to the Philippines to fight during the Spanish-American War during the 1890s. He was one of the few who stayed, married a Filipina (Buell's grandmother) and had children. 

In her memoir "Twenty-Five Chickens and a Pig for a Bride: Growing Up in a Filipino Immigrant Family" (T'Boli Publishing, 2006), Buell recounts her grandfather's experience, and her own, as one of the few Filipinos growing up in West Oakland during the 1930s and '40s.

She remembers seeing "No Filipinos or dogs allowed" signs posted at restaurants and having to wear a button that said "I am a loyal Filipino" during World War II, because even though she didn't look Japanese, she was still Asian -- and vulnerable to harassment. " —Michelle Devera Louie, SF Chronicle

A Filipino-American activist, Vangie was born in San Pedro, California, grew up in West Oakland and devoted her life to social justice, human dignity, multicultural understanding and equality.