Discover Nikkei

https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/1268/

Commonalities

A lot of us were peer group, you know a peer group. We were all around the same age, generally from different JA communities around the LA area. We had a lot in common, both culturally and otherwise. And I think Gidra provided the political commonality too, but again, it’s really hard to look at Gidra as, outside of everything that was happening around it. It was part of this huge upsurge of activity. That was affecting a lot of people, a lot of young people, but different ages in our community as well as all communities. It was just a different time and so I think that that commonality and the sense of doing something going to really have an impact and change things and make things better and you could almost taste it.


Date: September 28, 2011

Location: California, US

Interviewer: Kris Kuromitsu, John Esaki

Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

Interviewee Bio

Born in Denver where her family had resettled after leaving the WWII concentration camp at Poston, Arizona, Evelyn Yoshimura was still a child when the family moved to the Crenshaw district of Los Angeles. Growing up in a predominately Black community during the tumultuous civil rights era of the 1960s, she witnessed firsthand the Watts Rebellion of 1965. After graduation from Dorsey High School, she attended Cal State Long Beach, where she helped to develop its fledgling Asian American Studies program. During this period, she was one of the founders of Amerasia Bookstore, a cultural institution in Little Tokyo for two decades, and was a staff member of Gidra, the innovative Asian American publication that featured a provocative mix of journalism, graphic art, and social, cultural and political commentary.

Evelyn was active in the Redress campaign and served as a key community organizer for the Los Angeles Hearings of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians that took place in 1981. She is currently Community Organizing Director at LTSC (Little Tokyo Service Center), where she has worked on many projects including building connections with Arab American and Muslim communities after September 11th 2001. (August 2012)

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