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Born in Seattle: The Campaign for Japanese American Redress
     

Born in Seattle: The Campaign for Japanese American Redress

by Robert Sadamu Shimabukuro, Chizu Omori (Foreword by)
 

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The story of the World War II internment of 120,000 Japanese American citizens and Japanese-born permanent residents is well known by now. Less well known is the history of the small group of Seattle activists who gave birth to the national movement for redress. It was they who first conceived of petitioning the U.S. Congress to demand a public apology and monetary

Overview

The story of the World War II internment of 120,000 Japanese American citizens and Japanese-born permanent residents is well known by now. Less well known is the history of the small group of Seattle activists who gave birth to the national movement for redress. It was they who first conceived of petitioning the U.S. Congress to demand a public apology and monetary compensation for the individuals and the community whose constitutional rights had been violated.

Robert Sadamu Shimabukuro, using hundreds of interviews with people who lived in the internment camps, and with people who initiated the campaign for redress, has constructed a very personal testimony, a monument to these courageous organizers' determination and deep reverence for justice. Born in Seattle follows these pioneers and their movement over more than two decades, starting in the late 1960s with second-generation Japanese American engineers at the Boeing Company, as they worked with their fellow activists to educate Japanese American communities, legislative bodies, and the broader American public about the need for the U.S. Government to acknowledge and pay for this wartime injustice and to promise that it will never be repeated.

Editorial Reviews

Journal of Asian American Studies

An intimate portrait of the movement—the players and issues involved, the political landscape, and shifting alliances. . . . The Seattle Plan was the first concrete redress proposal and incorporated one key element of the redress legislation that finally passed in 1988—payments to individuals, rather than block grants to community agencies. Seattleites can be justifiably proud of the central role they played in the larger movement.

Publishers Weekly
The WWII internment of 120,000 Japanese-Americans by FDR's Executive Order 9066 is a painful, still-obscured moment in U.S. history. In Born in Seattle: The Campaign for Japanese American Redress, Robert Sadamu Shimabukuro recounts the 20-year battle undertaken by Seattle activists seeking official apology and financial compensation for the imprisoned citizens and permanent residents. Shimabukuro interweaves testimonies from the activists and inhabitants of the camps, accounts of other wartime phenomena (government seizure of homes and businesses, loyalty questionnaires) and descriptions of activism and consciousness-raising (the Day of Remembrance, "I survived E.O. 9066" T-shirts and Seattle's 1992 exhibit Executive Order 9066: 50 Years Before and 50 Years After). Since September 11, former Secretary of State Warren Christopher and other public figures have cited the internment camps to warn against hostility towards Muslim-Americans; this book offers a clear-sighted cautionary tale about the possible outcomes of xenophobia and fear. (Dec.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780295981420
Publisher:
University of Washington Press
Publication date:
07/28/2001
Series:
Scott and Laurie Oki Series in Asian American Studies Series
Pages:
178
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.41(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

Arthur A. Hansen

A clearly argued, well organized, lucidly communicated, and authoritative exploration of a key chapter in the historically important and consequential redress movement.

Chizu Omori

Redress is a triumph for all Americans, giving us the heart to pursue other ideals.

Gail M. Nomura

Born in Seattle is a passionate telling of the Seattle story of Japanese American redress from the late 1960s to 1990. The story is rich and the voices compelling.

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