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Diane C. Fujino

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Race, Place, Space, and Political Development: Japanese-American Radicalism in the “Pre-Movement” 1960s

This essay examines the role of race, place, and space on the emergence of Japanese American radicalism in the early to mid-1960s. Drawing from Morris and Braine’s theorizing on the relationship among physical segregation, control of segregated spaces, and the development of an oppositional consciousness, the author discusses the ways in which the World War II concentration camps and postwar residential segregation fostered the political development of “pre-Movement” Japanese American activists, or those whose activism emerged in the years preceding the advent of the Asian American Movement. The author argues that contrary to the mainstream narrative of Japanese American passivity, the forced segregation of incarceration also facilitated the development of an “oppositional culture” and protest activities inside the concentration camps.

Japanese American radicalism, oppositional consciousness, Japanese American concentration camps, physical segregation, Black communities, Asian American Movement of the 1960s

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 35, No. 2 (2008-09): 57-79