Recognizing Japanese American lesbians’ activism, then and now

The season for gay pride is upon us. This year, there is extra cause for celebration with the selection of professor Amy Sueyoshi, a community activist and leading historian of queer Asian Americans, as a grand marshal of the San Francisco Pride parade. In addition to Sueyoshi’s own considerable qualities, the choice is gratifying on […]

From law to film, activism by S.F. Public Defender Jeff Adachi

Jeff Adachi has been San Francisco’s elected public defender since 2002, and oversees an office of nearly 100 lawyers and 100 support staff. While known for his work in the courts and in San Francisco’s political sphere, Adachi is also a recognized documentary filmmaker and is premiering his latest film “Defender” at the San Francisco […]

A ‘powerful’ (and ‘critical’) case for the Asian American Movement

SERVE THE PEOPLE: MAKING ASIAN AMERICA IN THE LONG SIXTIES By Karen L. Ishizuka (London: Verso, 2016, 288 pp., $29.95, hardcover) In commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, which prompted the U.S. government to imprison 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry (two-thirds of which were U.S. citizens) in concentration camps, a […]

Historian ‘illuminates’ JA history

THE GREAT UNKNOWN: JAPANESE AMERICAN SKETCHES By Greg Robinson (Boulder, Colo.: University Press of Colorado, 2016, 400 pp., $45, hardcover) In Kenji Taguma’s resplendent foreword to this latest of historian Greg Robinson’s cavalcade of exemplary volumes devoted to illuminating the Japanese American experience, he rightly observes that “The Great Unknown” is a work that “epitomizes […]

Asian Americans create resources to aid discussions on anti-black violence

Philando Divall Castile was shot and killed during a traffic stop July 6 by St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez in Falcon Heights, a suburb of Saint Paul, Minn. While Castile, an African American male, had been carrying a gun, he had reportedly told the police that he had a permit to carry it and […]

S.F. State to add $200K to College of Ethnic Studies’ budget following mass protest

As budget problems loom for San Francisco State University, the College of Ethnic Studies was asked to rein in its budget as a reserve fund supplementing budget shortfalls for the college had run dry. While administrators promised $200,000 to help maintain the college, students protested it was not enough. The college, which students, faculty and […]

Selma’s 50th anniv. march inspires JACL resolution to study African American reparations

“Frederick Douglass said we should have 40 acres and a mule.” Instead, America left blacks “penniless and illiterate after 244 years of slavery,” said Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He calculated economic losses at $20 a week for 4 million slaves adding up to $800 billion in 1968. “They owe us a lot of money.” […]

By George…

As Chizu Omori notes in her column (on page 9), the Japanese American wartime concentration camp experience has in fact been in the mainstream news for much of the year, most notably through the Nov. 8 Broadway debut of actor and activist George Takei’s “Allegiance.” The musical presents a fictionalized account of Takei’s family incarceration […]

Crossing the threshold in ‘The Yellow Door’

THE YELLOW DOOR By Amy Uyematsu (Pasadena, Calif.: Red Hen Press, 2015, 112 pp., $15.95, paperback) Journey through a post-war Japanese American landscape with Amy Uyematsu as she defines race, unpacks the family incarceration experience and discovers a confluence with Japanese culture in “The Yellow Door,” her latest book of poetry. The power bursts forth […]

Philosopher and activist Grace Lee Boggs dies at 100

Philosopher and activist Grace Lee Boggs died peacefully in her sleep at her home Oct. 5 in Detroit, the James & Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership said in a statement. The center described her as an “internationally known philosopher activist for justice” who had “been politically active since the 1930s working with […]

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