Libya 360° reviews Samurai among Panthers

Review of Diane Fujino's biography of Richard Aoki, SAMURAI AMONG PANTHERS: Richard Aoki on Race, Resistance, and a Paradoxical Life

Fujino_Samurai coverThis is a combined autobiography and biographical account of the life and times of Richard Aoki, a Japanese-American, who along with his parents spent time in an internment camp in the United States during World War II. The book covers an important time period in history when the civil rights, left and black power movements had a tremendous impact on the political structures of the country.

Born on November 20, 1938, Aoki was three and a half years old when his family was relocated to the Tanforan Assembly Center in San Bruno, California, just twelve miles south of San Francisco. They were later transferred to the Topaz, Utah concentration camp.

This fact of U.S. history which is often deliberately overlooked as a key component of the war mobilization against Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7,1941, lays bare the false notions of American democracy and the myth of non-discrimination against the “ideal Asian-American community.” The strain of the internment camps led to the separation of Akoi’s parents which had a tremendous impact on his life as a youth in the aftermath of the war.

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Published in: Libya 360°
By: Abayomi Azikiwe