American Studies and ICJS Presents: "Greg Robinson - Encounters between Blacks and Japanese Americans in the Postwar Era"

Friday, June 20, 2008
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Temple University, Japan Campus, Azabu Hall 207 (Access)
Registration closed

About the Event

This lecture examines the social and political encounter between African Americans and Nisei (American citizens of Japanese ancestry) in the decade that followed World War II. The Black and Japanese American communities, whose members remained geographically and intellectually distant during the prewar years, managed to forge significant political and personal bonds in the postwar era. Two factors encouraged the growth of feelings of mutual solidarity between the two groups. The wartime expulsion and incarceration of Japanese Americans, commonly known as the internment, brought them for the first time into large-scale contact with Black Americans. In addition, the race-based victimization of the Japanese Americans led African Americans to grant them support during and after the war, helping to inspire the Nisei to understand themselves, in many cases for the first time, as a racialized group among other racialized groups, and to involve themselves in various multiracial struggles against discrimination. I focus particularly on the ideas and actions of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), notably the organization's collaboration with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in the postwar legal struggle for civil rights that climaxed in the U.S. Supreme Court's epochal 1954 Brown v. Board of Education desegregation ruling.

About Professor Greg Robinson

Greg Robinson received his Ph.D. from New York University. His areas of specialization include the political history of the twentieth-century United States and the history of Asian Americans and Asian Canadians. He has taught a variety of courses in twentieth-century and contemporary U.S. history and international relations. Professor Robinson is a co- author of the 2000 supplement to the Encyclopedia of African American Culture and History and the author of the widely read and highly praised By Order of the President: FDR and the Internment of Japanese Americans. He currently teaches history at the University of Montreal.

About ICJS

The Institute of Contemporary Japanese Studies (ICJS) is an organization dedicated to fostering study and research on various topics related to contemporary Japan and Asia.

About ICJS

The ICJS is an organization dedicated to fostering study and research on various topics related to contemporary Japan and Asia.