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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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Before Pearl Harbor: Taking the Measure of a “Marginal” Man

Before Pearl Harbor: Taking the Measure of a “Marginal” Man

(p.18) Chapter 1 Before Pearl Harbor: Taking the Measure of a “Marginal” Man
Jim and Jap Crow

Matthew M. Briones

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses how Kikuchi's diary and papers provide substantive evidence of interracial alliances and conflicts at a time when the theory and practice of democracy itself were rigorously being tested and redefined. During the first stage of this period, or the early years of the internment (1942–1943), Japanese Americans experienced an extreme form of prejudice, oppression, and segregation, while fellow minorities initially feared for their own welfare, understandably hewing to shibboleths of unqualified patriotism. Eventually, though, the absurd arbitrariness of the evacuation compelled other American minorities to consider their own possible futures. In the second stage—the resettlement of Japanese Americans, circa 1943–1945—growing populations of job-seeking minorities struggled over and negotiated the restricted urban spaces they were now forced to share with recently freed Japanese.

Keywords:   Charles Kikuchi, interracial alliances, interracial conflicts, Japanese Americans, prejudice, segregation, minorities, oppression, urban spaces

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