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Comments for Imprisoned
Imprisoned by Martin W. Sandler is a young adult history of the Japanese internment camps. While most of these were in the continental United States, there were also ones in Canada, and South America. I was asked to write the blurb for the CYBILS short list so this post will try to avoid revisiting what I've already said.
California's history is woven together with Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Mexican, indigenous, and American stories. As a child, only the Spanish/Mexican, American and to a much lesser degree, indigenous pieces were taught. Yet it was hard not to notice the China Towns and Little Tokyos that were part of so many large California cities. Nor was I oblivious to the obvious racism, especially among my grandparents' generation.
But it wasn't until college that I was finally taught the Chinese and Japanese piece of California's history, including the creation of internment camps for Japanese nisei (second generation Japanese, born in the United States) and their parents.
I think some of that was a matter of timing. The call for reparations by the sansei (third generation) for the imprisonment of their parents and grandparents was in full force while I was in college.
As a result of their efforts, greater attention was focused on the internment camps. My much younger brother actually had to write a report one of the camps in jr. high school.
As a second generation Californian, raising a third generation, I feel books like Imprisoned are VITALLY important. Children need to see the big picture Ñ to learn how different culture have made this state what it is. Many of the advancements in California agriculture were made by the and nisei farmers and their parents. And yet their farms were stolen by racists who decided to use WWII as an excuse. Children also need to see the bad we have done and most importantly that there are consequences for government sanctioned crimes.