Asian American Movement study showcases U.S. cultural radicalism’s robust tradition

CHAINS OF BABYLON: The Rise of Asian America By Daryl J. Maeda (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2009, 224 pp., $20, paperback) At California State University, Fullerton, I taught history, Asian American studies and American studies courses. My favorite was an American studies offering developed in the mid-1970s: “American Cultural Radicalism.” If now teaching it, […]

Bay Area activists rally to defend Aoki in light of recent FBI informant allegations

On Aug. 20, the legacy of Nikkei activist and educator Richard Aoki, the former field marshal of the Black Panther Party, was suddenly thrown into question when the Center for Investigative Reporting released a news article and video asserting that Aoki was an FBI informant, starting before the formation of the Panthers and during its most […]

Where’s the evidence Aoki was (an) FBI informant?

Seth Rosenfeld’s dramatic announcement that Richard Aoki was an FBI informant provoked an enormous response from Chronicle readers. Could it be true? Or was this a “snitch-jacketing,” a classic FBI tactic used to cast suspicion on a legitimate activist by spreading rumors and manufacturing evidence? As a scholar, I insist on seeing evidence before concluding […]

Richard Aoki: The man, the activist, the leader

SAMURAI AMONG PANTHERS: RICHARD AOKI ON RACE, RESISTANCE, AND A PARADOXICAL LIFE By Diane C. Fujino (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012, 496 pp., paperback; $24.95; cloth, $75) It has been more than 70 years since that fateful day that forever changed the lives of Japanese Americans, and it has been more than 40 years […]

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