Tales of Bronzeville

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“The Finale Club” was screened by the Greater Los Angeles JACL last Sunday at Merit Park Recreation Hall in Gardena.

First screened at Visual Communications’ Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, the documentary is about the transformation of Little Tokyo into an African American neighborhood known as Bronzeville when Japanese Americans were incarcerated during WWII.

The focus is on The Finale Club, one of a number of clubs in Bronzeville, where jazz greats Charlie Parker and Miles Davis played in 1946. The club was located on First Street between San Pedro and Weller, later the site of the S.K. Uyeda Store.

Pictured from left are writer/researcher Martha Nakagawa, who provided the historical context; Orlando Greenhill, who was the voice of Davis in the film; Robert Shoji, the writer, producer and director of the film and a music enthusiast; and Hillary Jenks of UC Riverside, who has researched the history of Little Tokyo and Bronzeville.

The event was organized by Louise Sakamoto, Janet Okubo and Miyako Kadogawa of GLA JACL.

Photo by J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo

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