Tam founded his Asian-American dance rock band, The Slants, in 2006. Known for their community activism, the band dedicated itself to overturning stereotypes—a mission that started with the name, which refers not only to individual perspectives and guitar chords, but to Asian ethnic identity. Seeking to reclaim this derogatory term as a badge of pride, Tam applied to register “Slant” as a trademark. When the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected his application, Tam pursued his case to the Supreme Court—where he won a unanimous victory in 2017. In this spirited and inspiring memoir of his fight for free speech, Tam reflects on questions of identity as he moves from anime conventions and cultural festivals all the way through the U.S. legal system.
Tam will be in conversation with Robert Barnes, reporter for The Washington Post covering the U.S. Supreme Court.