Required Readings: 

Primary Sources 



Evacuation instructions for Japanese Americans relocated to Tanforan.

Map of Japanese American Relocation and Evacuation Centers
Map of Japanese American Relocation and Evacuation Centers



Eleanor Roosevelt at Gila River War Relocation Center, Arizona


  Guided Reading Questions:

  • Many of our historical subjects this week continually grapple with their national identity versus their racial identity, or what W.E.B. Du Bois called “Double Consciousness.” Identify one of these moments in the text that stood out or spoke to you that you might like to share with the class. What research and story telling techniques are used to convey this conflict to the reader? How are these internal and personal conflicts situated in larger historical contexts?
  • In Double Victory, Ronald Takaki describes the different racialized experiences of African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans during World War II. What were some of the major similarities and differences in each group’s World War II experiences? Overall, do you see these experiences as more similar or more different? What do the stories presented in Double Victory say about the relative validity of the different conceptual frameworks for theorizing race?
  • How and to what extent did military service serve as “a path to the bright future,” according to Takaki for the different groups he studies in Double Victory? How did returning veterans from World War II catalyze struggles for racial equality?
  • How did the World War II experiences of people of Japanese and Chinese descent in the U.S. differ? What role did the U.S.’s foreign policy concerns play in explaining these divergent experiences?
  • Although there is no official blog post this week, if you have time, look into two major California Supreme Court decisions from the late 1940s that would have large-scale national legacies: 1) Perez v. Sharp and 2) Mendez v. Westminster

Multimedia [Note some of these oral histories use the same opening frame sequence in their playlist, but when you click on them individually they are different]. 

Impact of the Alien Land Laws in California – Eiichi Edward Sakauye Oral History

Cherry Kinoshita – Oral History

Oral History – Fumiko Hayashida

Oral History – Tsuguo “Ike” Ikeda

Oral History – Kara Kondo

President Roosevelt Declares War

Rosie the Riveter Homefront Oral History Project

George Takei on his life in a Japanese Internment Camp

BBC History of World War II Hiroshima [Higher quality available on Netflix] 

Pat Morita on Gila & Tule Lake Internment Camps

Want to learn more? Check out the following: 

  • Who was Rosie the Riveter? [Includes Oral History Videos]
  • Eduardo Obregon Pagan, Murder at the Sleepy Lagoon: Zoot Suits, Race, and Riot in Wartime L.A. (2003)
  • Brian Hayashi, Democratizing the Enemy: The Japanese American Internment (2008)
  • To the Stars: The Autobiography of George Takei, Star Trek’s Mr. Sulu (childhood excerpts on Japanese Internment camp experiences)
  • May Sky: There is Always Tomorrow: An Anthology of Japanese American Concentration Camp Kaiko Haiku (Sun & Moon Classics)
Rhae Lynn Barnes is an Assistant Professor of American Cultural History at Princeton University (2018-) and President of the Andrew W. Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography. She is the co-founder and C.E.O. of U.S. History Scene and an Executive Advisor to the documentary series "Reconstruction: America After the Civil War" (now streaming PBS, 2019).

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