Thank you for your article identifying Stephen Kiyoshi Kuromiya as the Sansei civil rights activist at Montgomery in 1965. Especially as we are residents of Monrovia, it is heartening to know of Stephen’s courage and integrity.
Stephen was valedictorian of Monrovia High School. Until the 1950s, Monrovia was a segregated town with the blacks, Latinos, and Asians living south of the Red Car line. Stephen’s grandfather had a fruit stand on Route 66 (Huntington Drive) before the war.
It should be also noted that Stephen was one of Yosh Kuromiya’s favorite nephews. Yosh Kuromiya is one of the original 63 draft resisters from Heart Mountain prison camp, part of the Fair Play Committee.
I’m indebted to Yosh, Stephen, and so many others that I can live where I want, vote for whom I want, and marry whom I want.
Associate Professor of History and Asian American Studies
Pasadena City College