“We Hereby Refuse: The Bay Area Allies of the Resisters” will be presented on Sunday, Feb. 13, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. PST by Oakland Asian Cultural Center and Eastwind Books of Berkeley.
For this upcoming Day of Remembrance, Frank Abe, writer of “We Hereby Refuse: Japanese American Resistance to Wartime Incarceration,” will be joined in conversation with Kathleen Purcell, daughter of Mitsuye Endo’s attorney, James Purcell; Wayne Collins Jr., the son of Hiroshi Kashiwagi’s attorney, Wayne Collins; and Sadako Kashiwagi, Hiroshi Kashiwagi’s wife.
Moderator Darren Murata of OACC will also engage Abe in conversation about the craft of creating words and drawings around the stories of folks involved in the fight for civil liberties in the midst of wartime fervor.
This event will be live-streamed to OACC’s YouTube Live channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Lr1cAHx3Wc
Special event sale: 10% off “We Hereby Refuse” at Eastwind Books of Berkeley https://www.asiabookcenter.com/…/We_Hereby_Refuse%3A…
Donations are greatly appreciated and will support future programs, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.
About the book: “We Hereby Refuse” is the story of camp as you’ve never seen it before, a new graphic novel that presents an original vision of America’s past with disturbing links to the American present. Japanese Americans complied when evicted from their homes in World War II – but many refused to submit to imprisonment in American concentration camps without a fight. For the first time, three of their stories are woven together into one epic narrative.
In “We Hereby Refuse,” we meet:
Jim Akutsu, the inspiration for John Okada’s “No-No Boy,” who refused to be drafted from the camp at Minidoka after he was classified as a non-citizen, an enemy alien;
Hiroshi Kashiwagi, who resists government pressure to sign a loyalty oath at Tule Lake, but yields to family pressure to renounce his U.S. citizenship;
And for the first time, we hear the personal voice of Mitsuye Endo, a reluctant recruit to a lawsuit contesting her imprisonment, who refuses a chance to leave the camp at Topaz so that her case could reach the U.S. Supreme Court.
Through these characters, we see the devastating impacts of mass incarceration based solely on race, and reveal the depth and breadth of the long-suppressed story of camp resistance.
About the writer: Frank Abe is the lead author of “We Hereby Refuse” (Chin Music Press, 2021). He won an American Book Award for “John Okada: The Life & Rediscovered Work of the Author of No-No Boy” (University of Washington Press, 2018), and wrote and directed a PBS film on the largest organized resistance to incarceration, “Conscience and the Constitution.” With Floyd Cheung he is currently co-editing a new anthology for Penguin Classics on “The Literature of Japanese American Incarceration.”
He blogs at Resisters.com.