Japanese American civil rights activist Yuri Kochiyama is dead at the age of 93, reportedly from natural causes.
Kochiyama was with Malcolm X when an assassin’s bullet took his life in 1965.
She talked about their unlikely friendship in an interview with Democracy Now eight years ago.
Kochiyama was greatly influenced by her experience during the incarceration camp. Her father was rounded up as being suspect by the FBI after Pearl Harbor. He was in federal prison and denied medical care, according to Wikipedia. He became too sick to speak and was released in January 1942. He died the next day.
Not long after that, Yuri along with her mother and brother were evacuated to Santa Ana Race Track before being incarcerated in Jerome, Arkansas.
These she met her husband, Bill, a Nisei soldier. They moved to Harlem in 1960 and she joined the Organization of African American Unity and eventually met Malcolm X when both were jailed following a protest.
In 1977, she joined a group of Puerto Ricans to take over the Statue of Liberty in support of Puerto Rican Independence.
She was also active in the Asian American movement both during and after the Vietnam War and was part of the successful effort to gain reparations for Japanese American incarcerated during World War II.
Kochiyama was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.