L.A. Day of Remembrance Highlights Mexican 'Repatriation' Feb. 18

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Community Event

Feb 200618

Japanese American National Museum
369 East First Street
Los Angeles, California, 90012
United States


LOS ANGELES.—Poets Gloria Alvarez and Amy Uyematsu will recite from their works that relate to the unconstitutional World War II incarceration of 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry and the so-called Mexican “repatriation” of the 1930s in which federal, state and local governments conspired to remove over one million individuals of Mexican descent from the United States at the 2006 Day of Remembrance program set for Saturday, Feb. 18, beginning at 2 p.m. at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo. The program is free and no reservations are required.

The Day of Remembrance was created to commemorate the date when President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on Feb. 19, 1942, leading to the unlawful forced removal and imprisonment in domestic concentration camps of members of the Japanese American community. Each year, a program is held to remember the historic events that led to the false imprisonment and to highlight other contemporary issues related to civil rights. This year’s theme is "Claiming History: Justice Along Color Lines" and will also feature Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress (NCRR) addressing this issue as it pertains to different communities today.

Alvarez is a Chicana poet/intermedia artist as well as a literary translator and curator. A writer in residence at the Social and Public Art Resource Center at East Los Angeles College, she is also affiliated with the Getty Research Institute for the History of the Arts and Humanities and Beyond Baroque Literary Center. Her books of poetry include La Excusa/The Excuse and Emerging en un Mar de Olanes and her poems have been included in various anthologies. Her epic play Los Biombos/The Screens was produced by Cornerstone Theater and directed by Peter Sellars, who has directed several of Alvarez’ theatrical works.

Sansei Uyematsu began writing poetry as an undergraduate at UCLA during the rise of the Asian American Movement of the late 1960s and 1970s. Her books include 30 Miles from J-Town, which won the 1992 Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize, and Nights of Fire, Nights of Rain. She most recently released Stone Bow Prayer. A featured poet at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, she was one of 24 poets in the MTA’s Los Angeles Poetry in Motion project.

California State University, Los Angeles Professor Francisco E. Balderrama, who co-wrote the book, Decade of Betrayal: Mexican Repatriation in the 1930s, will serve as keynote speaker for the program. As Prof. Balderrama will explain, high unemployment during the Great Depression motivated certain politicians, non-governmental organizations and individuals to blame the Mexican American community for the problem. Federal, state and local governments worked together with civic organizations to force out members of this community from states as far north as Michigan. Besides the forced removal, Prof. Balderrama believes almost two million individuals were affected when members of their families, over half of them American citizens, left the country.

Also Congressman Xavier Becerra, on behalf of Japanese Latin Americans, will describe his efforts to pass legislation to create commissions to examine the World War II events and to apologize to those who were wrongly denied their civil rights. Japanese Latin Americans were illegally held during World War II after being forced to leave South America (which was instigated by the U.S. government), but their efforts to acquire redress have been rebuffed.

Alayne Yonemoto will emcee the program. A reception will follow the program. The 2006 Day of Remembrance program is co-sponsored by Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress, the Japanese American Citizen League, Pacific Southwest District (JACL-PSWD), and the National Museum. For more information, call NCRR at (213) 680-3484, the JACL-PSWD at (213) 626-4471, or the National Museum at (213) 625-0414.

Japanese American National Museum
369 East First Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012



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ckomai . Última actualización Jul 09, 2010 12:11 p.m.

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