Natasha Varner

Natasha Varner holds a PhD in history from the University of Arizona and is deeply committed to creating and cultivating public facing scholarship. This work includes writing for PRI’s The World; developing and teaching anti-racist history curriculum; directing communications and public engagement endeavors at Densho; and creating unconscionably long Twitter threads. You can find her on Twitter at @nsvarner.

Updated February 2019

war en

Sites of Shame Traces the Paths of Japanese Americans Forced into Camps During WWII

Joe Yasutake was only nine years old when his father was apprehended by the FBI and interned as an enemy alien. In a matter of hours following the attack on Pearl Harbor, his peaceful Seattle childhood was replaced with family separation, forced removal, and life inside a series of detention facilities and concentration camps.

Years later, he recalled this time in his life during an oral history interview with Densho

“Each movement seemed to kind of last over an academic year….the fourth grade ended in about February or whenever it was that we, we were hauled off to Puyallup, …

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politics en

Japanese Americans Incarcerated During WWII Could Still Vote, Kind Of

During World War II,120,000 Americans of Japanese descent were stripped of their rights and property under the guise of national security. They were packed into trains and busses and moved from their West Coast homes to temporary holding stations at fairgrounds and racing tracks, and then on to permanent camps in remote parts of Idaho, California, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado, Texas, and Arkansas. Though several cases challenging the legality of this imprisonment made it all the way to the Supreme Court, only a single ruling favored the Japanese American petitioners.

It might come as a surprise, then, that one key …

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