"...I hope this uniquely American story will serve a a reminder to all those who cherish their liberties of the very fragility of their rights against the exploding passions of their more numerous fellow citizens, and as a warning that they who say that it can never happen again are probably wrong," From Years of Infamy by Michi Nishiura Weglyn
Photo: Manzanar Internment camp. Grandfather of Japanese ancestry teaching his little grandson to walk at this War Relocation Authority center for evacuees. Photographer: Dorothea Lange, Manzanar, California. 7/3/42 from War Relocation Authority Photographs of Japanese-American Evacuation and Resettlement
Lawson Fusao Inada has been a poet, professor of writing at Southern Oregon University, Oregon's poet laureate and a community activist. His anthology of Internment literature and primary documents, Only what we could carry is an excellent introduction to the topic. His poetry books infuse his optimism and empathy with the injustice of his experiences: Legends from camp: poems and Drawing the line: poems. He gave a lecture at the Calabasas campus of Soka University in April of 1998 (available here). His signature humor, compassion, and jazz inflections carry him through this performance. While watching it you will understand why he has been the recipient of many awards, and has been the inspiration for many community and educational events.
Chizuko Judy Sugita Dequeiroz, an Irvine based artist, introduces her paintings as her therapy to process her time at Gila River as a child. In the past several years she has taken her series of watercolors to galleries all around southern California, bringing her vibrant, honest and compelling view of internment to many people who had never thought about how the camp effected children before. She inscribed a copy of her pictorial book to Soka students: Camp days, 1942-1945. Chiz was head of the Fine Art Department at Palos Verdes High School and taught art history at several Los Angeles area colleges before retiring to paint, do Tai Chi, play tennis and travel with her husband, Richard.