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Jim and Jap CrowA Cultural History of 1940s Interracial America$
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Matthew M. Briones

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691129488

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691129488.001.0001

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“It Could Just as Well Be Me”: Japanese American and African American GIs in the Army Diary

“It Could Just as Well Be Me”: Japanese American and African American GIs in the Army Diary

Chapter:
(p.192) Chapter 7 “It Could Just as Well Be Me”: Japanese American and African American GIs in the Army Diary
Source:
Jim and Jap Crow
Author(s):

Matthew M. Briones

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691129488.003.0008

This chapter looks at how Kikuchi found army life somewhat of a rude awakening after having spent two years living in Chicago, working on his master's degree in social work, and conducting research for JERS. It proved to be as much a mental challenge as a physical one: the bureaucracy of the military hierarchy and its conservative ideology were most surprising to Kikuchi. He discovered that deep-seated racism directed toward African American soldiers and civilians pervaded the army ranks, a difficult pill to swallow given his own position as a recently imprisoned Nisei. Nevertheless, he managed to retain an intense faith and belief in the power and potential of America's democracy, hoping that his individual service would, in some small measure, reflect the commitment of the Nisei as a whole.

Keywords:   Charles Kikuchi, military hierarchy, conservative ideology, racism, African American soldiers, Nisei, democracy, Chicago

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