Heyday Books has published “Redress: The Inside Story of the Successful Campaign for Japanese American Reparations.”
This is the unlikely but true story of the Japanese American Citizens League’s fight for an official government apology and compensation for the imprisonment of more than 100,000 Japanese Americans during World War II. Tateishi, himself the leader of the JACL Redress Committee for many years, is first to admit that the task was herculean in scale. The campaign was seeking an unprecedented admission of wrongdoing from Congress.
It depended on a unified effort but began with an acutely divided community: for many, the shame of “camp” was so deep that they could not even speak of it; money was a taboo subject; the question of the value of liberty was insulting. Besides internal discord, the American public was largely unaware that there had been concentration camps on U.S. soil, and Tateishi knew that concessions from Congress would only come with mass education about the government’s civil rights violations.
Beyond the backroom politicking and verbal fisticuffs that make this book an interesting read, “Redress” is the story of a community reckoning with what it means to be both culturally Japanese and American citizens; how to restore honor; and what duty it has to protect such harms from happening again. This book has powerful implications as the idea of reparations shapes our national conversation.
Born in Los Angeles, Tateishi was incarcerated from ages three to six at Manzanar. He studied English literature at UC Berkeley and attended UC Davis for graduate studies. He played important roles in leading the campaign for Japanese American redress, and as the JACL director, used the lessons of the campaign to help ensure that the rights of this nation’s Arab and Muslim communities were protected after 9/11.
Tateishi’s upcoming book events include the following:
• Saturday, March 7, at 3 p.m. at Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California, 1840 Sutter St., San Francisco. Co-sponsored by Northern California-Western Nevada-Pacific District JACL and San Francisco JACL. Free and open to the public. Donations welcome. Purchase copy in advance for $30 to pick up at the event.
In conversation with Dale Minami, is an attorney with Minami & Tamaki in San Francisco. He graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from USC in 1968 and received his J.D. in 1971 from the UC Berkeley. Minami was involved in litigation involving the civil rights of Asian Pacific Americans, including Korematsu v. United States, United Philipinos for Affirmative Action v. California Blue Shield (class action employment discrimination lawsuit), Spokane JACL v. Washington State University, (class action to establish an Asian American Studies program) and Nakanishi v. UCLA (challenge to unfair tenure denial)
He also co-founded the Asian Law Caucus, the Asian American Bar Association, the Minami, Tamaki, Yamauchi Kwok and Lee Foundation and the Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans (a registered PAC). He was appointed by President Clinton as chair of the Civil Liberties Public Education Fund and sits on the Advisory Board of the California Civil Liberties Public Education Fund. Minami has served on state and federal judicial screening committees, has taught at UC Berkeley and Mills College and was the executive producer of “Life Tastes Good,” a feature film that premiered at Sundance.
• Tuesday, March 10, at 6:30 p.m. at Diesel: A Bookstore, Brentwood Country Mart, 225 26th St., Santa Monica. In conversation with Steve Wasserman, Heyday’s executive director and publisher. Info: (310) 576-9960, http://dieselbookstore.com/brentwood
• Wednesday, March 18, at 7 p.m. at Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera. Info: (415) 927-0960, http://bookpassage.com
• Saturday, March 21, at 2 p.m. at J-Sei, 1285 66th St., Emeryville. Info/RSVP: (510) 654-4000, [email protected]
• Thursday, March 26, at 6:30 p.m. at Mechanics’ Institute, 57 Post St. (Fourth Floor), San Francisco. Info: (415) 393-0101, www.milibrary.org
• Wednesday, April 8, at 4 p.m. at Cal State Monterey Bay, 5108 Fourth Ave., Marina. Info: (831) 582-3863, [email protected]
• Friday, April 10, at 7:30 p.m. at Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles. Info: (323) 660-1175, http://skylightbooks.com
• Saturday, April 11, at 1 p.m. at JACL, 424 Adams St., Monterey.
• Tuesday, April 14, at 6:30 p.m. at Ethnic Studies Library, 30 Stephens Hall, UC Berkeley.
• Wednesday, May 6, at 6:30 p.m. at Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant Ave., Berkeley.
• Thursday, May 28, at 7:30 p.m. at Pegasus Books, 2349 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley.
• Saturday, June 6, at 1 p.m. at Japanese American Museum of San Jose, 535 N. Fifth St., San Jose.
• Wednesday, June 17, at 6 p.m. at San Francisco Ferry Building, One Ferry Building, San Francisco.
For details on these and other Heyday Books readings, visit: http://heydaybooks.com/event/