By Ernabel Demillo
Host, Asian American Life
On February 19, 1942, two months after the attack at Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, signed Executive Order 9066. An estimated 120,000, men, women and children of Japanese descent were forced out of their homes and sent to incarceration camps. More than 60 percent of those imprisoned were American citizens.
This special edition of Asian American Life (CUNY-TV) commemorates the 75th Anniversary of what has become known as the Day of Remembrance. It’s a timely subject in light of the ugly rhetoric taking place in the country today against the undocumented, Muslims and immigrants.
AAL shares the untold stories of Japanese Americans who were either interned themselves, or had family members who were forced to relocate into concentration camps in the United States.
History of the Day of Remembrance – We report on the history of Japanese American incarceration and redress led by historian Grant Ujifusa, author of the Almanac of American Politics and the former legislative strategist for the Japanese American Citizens League.
Seabrook Farms: Producer Maria Yip Lord and reporter Tinabeth Pina tell the untold story of Japanese Americans who were recruited from internment camps to work as migrant workers on Seabrook Farm during World War II. Many of the Japanese American families stayed behind after the war and formed one of the largest ethnic communities in Cumberland County, New Jersey.
Artist Henry Sugimoto – Minnie Roh reports on the life and legacy of artist Henry Sugimoto. He was one of the first artist to depict the life of internees in Japanese internment camps.
Densho Oral History Project – Paul Lin interviews Tom Ikeda, Founder of Densho, the first and only Japanese American oral history project. Tom shares the stories of Japanese American internees and how his nonprofit organization is working to prevents the mistakes of this history from reoccurring.
We host this special edition from the Noguchi Museum Exhibit Self Interned, 1942: Noguchi in Poston War Relocation Center. The artist and sculptor Isamu Noguchi, who was exempt from incarceration because he lived in New York, voluntarily turned himself in to the Poston Japanese internment camp in Yuma County, Arizona. The exhibit includes the work he did while behind the barbed wires.
AsAmNews has Asian America in its heart. We’re an all-volunteer effort of dedicated staff and interns. You can show your support by liking our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/asamnews, following us on Twitter, sharing our stories, interning or joining our staff