A dear woman, a friend, recently passed away. In her 90s, she was an inspiration to all who knew her ~ looking quite dapper, out doing errands every day, no matter the weather, and with a memory rivaling all those still in mid-life. It was at her 49 Day Funeral Ceremony at The New York Buddhist Church, that we learned how, in the 1940s, she and her husband fled to New York, to avoid being sent to internment camps, along with so many other Japanese-Americans ~ even though they were in the United States Quite legally.
Her son-in-law stood at the lectern and spoke of her life in New York, where she and her husband created a home, and raised a family. So many years later, living in Harlem, neighbors and acquaintances knew nothing of her near-miss during the war. Her thoughts on this ~ we will never know.
This dark time in the history of our Country has been brought to life by an exhibit at the International Center of Photography in the exhibition, Then They Came For Me: Incarceration of Japanese Americans During World War II.
Executive Order 9066 set in motion the forced removal and imprisonment of all people of Japanese ancestry living on or near the West Coast ~ all 120,000 citizens and legal residents were removed from their homes without due process.
The exhibition, Then They Came for Me, features more than 100 images by renowned photographers Dorothea Lange, Ansel Adams, Tomo Miyatake, and others. It also includes personal objects, artifacts, archival materials, and video testimonies of those incarcerated.
Then They Came for Me: Incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II was organized by Alphawood Exhibitions in collaboration with the Japanese American Service Committee in Chicago, and coordinated by ICP Assistant Curator, Susan Carlson.
The exhibition will be on view to May 6, 2018 at the International Center of Photography, 250 Bowery, NYC.
In a separate but related event:
As a sidenote ~ New York City Day of Remembrance Committee will hold an exhibit and series of events entitled Days of Remembrance and Resistance. This exhibit, honoring Japanese and Japanese-Americans incarcerated during WWII, is meant to shed light on their incarceration, and to build alliances with Muslim and Latinx communities targeted by anti-immigrant sentiment today. The exhibit will be on view to May 4, 2018 with related programming on April 29 and 30. Here is the link and event on Facebook.