Your journal has a courageous, vibrant life of its own and for this I commend you. The living soul of your journal has inspired and consoled many hearts and minds, perhaps more than you realize. —Michigan reader (name withheld at request)

Our sincere thanks to those readers who participated in the vote for the Best of In The Fray 2001. We did a thorough, county-by-county count of your ballots, and even though some articles won by a single vote or fraction of a vote, we are glad to report that we found no dimpled chads, no butterfly ballots, and none of Florida’s finest stopping African Americans near the polling stations.

Before I hand over the results, let me say a quick word. In The Fray recently was approved for 501(c)(3) non-profit status. Donations are now tax-deductible, to the extent permitted by U.S. federal law. Those who gave us donations earlier this year, please know that you can now write your contribution off on your taxes. Those who haven’t given yet, please consider doing so during this holiday season. We depend on the support of readers like yourself to keep publishing. Your donations will allow us to continue providing you with provocative, intelligent content on issues of identity. For more information about donating, click here.

‘Nuff said. Below we proudly present the Best of In The Fray 2001.

Victor Tan Chen
Editor, In The Fray



First Place

The Most Segregated Hour in America
A look at three churches that worship the multicultural way.
Written and photographed by Nicole Leistikow
November 5, 2001

Second Place

Watchdog under the Watchtower
The story of the Heart Mountain Sentinel, and freedom of press at a time of internment.
Written by Kelly Yamanouchi
April 9, 2001

Third Place

Survival of the Fittest
Living under body fascism in Los Angeles’ gay ghetto.
Written by Don Chareunsy
May 14, 2001

Fourth Place

Caricaturing Lieberman
How the media missed the story on religion in the 2000 election.
Written by Ben Helphand
Illustrated by Vasus Das
April 9, 2001

Honorable Mention

Finding Solace in Cyberspace
Stricken with the loneliest of illnesses, people with rare forms of cancer have built their own online communities.
Written by Charles Savage
Illustrated by Melissa Scram
June 4, 2001


First Place

A photographer and poet decipher a transformed city.
Photographed by Dustin Ross
Written by Shobita Mampilly
November 23, 2001

Second Place

Survivors of Sexual Assault
Portraits of sexual assault victims.
Photographed by Nobuko Oyabu
September 17, 2001

Third Place

Photo illustration.
By Rosa Lee
July 3, 2001

Fourth Place

Them Gators (a.k.a. Southern Negroes)
Hip-hop in the dirty South.
Photographed by Jason Lewis
Assembled by Dustin Ross
June 4, 2001


First Place

Eight Letters between Old Lovers
Poetry serial.
Written by Daniel Wolff
Illustrated by Vasus Das
April 9, 2001

Second Place (tie)

A poem.
Written by Jia-Rui Chong
Illustrated by Melissa Scram
August 6, 2001

Undressed for Success?
This Lil’ Kim went to the market, and sold her body.
Written by Mekeisha Madden
April 9, 2001

Fourth Place

When Wu-Tang Met Kung Pao
On the big screen and off, African and Asian Americans trade stereotypes, but no kisses.
Written by Sharon Pian Chan
May 14, 2001


First Place

Of Beetles and Angels
Childhood memories of African war and American struggle.
Written by Mawi Asgedom
April 9, 2001

Second Place

It Takes a Village
A visit to China reveals what was gained, and lost, in one family’s journey to America.
Written and photographed by Harry Mok
May 14, 2001

Third Place (tie)

The Occidental Asian
Politically apathetic, socially intolerant, and culturally clueless–let’s hear it for the Asian American Yuppie.
Written by Debbie Kuan
June 19, 2001

Songs in the Key of Life
Who do you call when the screaming starts?
Written by Molly Hennessy-Fiske
August 20, 2001

Victor Tan Chen is In The Fray‘s editor in chief and the author of Cut Loose: Jobless and Hopeless in an Unfair Economy. Site: | Facebook | Twitter: @victortanchen

In The Fray is a nonprofit staffed by volunteers. If you liked this piece, could you please donate $10?