The following was just sent via listserv to all members of the Association for Asian American Studies (AAAS). William well knew that participating in history is just the first step. Preserving a true account of what happened is sometimes just as important.
Phil Tajitsu Nash
William Hohri Dies at 83
William Hohri's story represents a significant part of the larger Japanese American redress story, but it is often lost in the one-dimensional way history is remembered. We honor the victors who pushed redress across the finish line in Congress in 1988, or those such as Fred Korematsu who won their coram nobis cases, but we don't always remember to honor those, like William Hohri, who tried other avenues that did not prevail (although, as a lobbyist in Washington in the 1980s, I can assure you that the threat of a class action victory was a factor in Congress pushing for a legislated payout).
If you have not had the chance, please look up William's Repairing America: An Account of the Movement for Japanese American Redress and Resistance: Challenging America's Wartime Internment of Japanese-Americans. And if you are teaching Korematsu and other Japanese American cases in your classes, please remind the students about the multi-faceted way that law, legislation, and community organizing intersect in social justice cases. Race, Rights and Reparation by Eric Yamamoto et al is a great starting place for seeing the Hohri case in this context.
If you want to send a note to the Hohri family, please go to http://williamhohri.blogspot.
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