Jan. 30 marks Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution, the first American holiday to be named after an Asian American.
Fred Korematsu refused to be incarcerated following Executive Order 9066 which mandated that people with Japanese ancestry be forcibly relocated from their homes to remote camps in World War II when more than 120,000 innocent people were moved. Korematsu was arrested. His case was eventually taken to the Supreme Court, but it wasn’t until decades later that his name was cleared. Learn more about his story here.
Celebrated in just a handful of states, it’s not yet a national holiday, but the effort to make it so continues.
Here are a few suggestions on how to commemorate this day…
Check out Densho
With a collection of oral histories and an archive of online resources, Densho is an organization that’s dedicated to preserving the histories and stories of the Japanese American experience during WWII.
Teach about it locally
The Korematsu Foundation seeks to educate about the importance of the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans in WWII as well as the Korematsu v. United States case. To bring these lessons to your local classrooms, request a free kit from the Korematsu Institute.
Watch “Allegiance” on Broadway (through Feb. 14)
The show is beautiful. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the audience when I went to see “Allegiance.” With snappy swing numbers and powerful storytelling, it’s not to be missed. Lea Salonga is lovely, and if you’re a Trekkie, now is your chance to catch George Takei live. Get your tickets now – it closes Feb. 14. See more here.