Wherever I Go, I Will Always Be a Loyal American: Seattle's Japanese American Schoolchildren During World War II, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Wherever I Go, I Will Always Be a Loyal American

Seattle's Japanese American Schoolchildren During World War II, 1st Edition

By Yoon Pak

Routledge

224 pages

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Paperback: 9780415932356
pub: 2001-12-14
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Description

Wherever I Go I'll Always Be a Loyal American is the story of how the Seattle public schools responded to the news of its Japanese American (Nisei) students' internment upon the signing of Executive Order 9066 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 14, 1942. Drawing upon previously untapped letters and compositions written by the students themselves during the time in which the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the internment order took place, Pak explores how the schools and their students attempted to cope with evident contradiction and dissonance in democracy and citizenship. Emerging from the school district's tradition of emphasizing equality of all races and the government's forced evacuation orders based on racial exclusion, this dissonance became real and lived experience for Nisei school children, whose cognitive dissonance is best revealed in poignant phrases like "I am and will always be an American citizen."

Reviews

"This outstanding example of scholarship documents Japanese American junior-high students' struggle with societal and institutional racism. Pak's book is an excellnt resource for students and teachers in a variety of disciplines." -- Valerie Pang, author of Struggling to be Heard: The Unmet Needs of Asian PAcific American Children

"Yoon Pak presents a detailed picutre of Japanese Americans' experience inside World War II-era classrooms and skillfully documents this group's struggle to form an American identity." -- Ruen Donato, author of The Other Struggle for Equal Schools: Mexican Americans during the Civil Rights Era

"A must-read for those seeking to understand the effects of war on the capacity of young people to make sense of the world." -- Barbara Finkelstein, author of Transcending Stereotypes: Discovering Japanese Culture and Education

"A must-read for those seeking to unedrstand the effects of war on the capacity of young people to make sense of the world." -- Barbara Finkelstein, author of Transcending Stereotypes: Dicovering Japanese Culture and Education

"That democratic ideals exist alongside undemocratic practices is not a new idea. Historically oppressed groups have known this all too well and for much too long. In Wherever I Go, I Will Always Be a Loyal American, Yoon Pak documents one of the most disturbing and tragic cases of this disjuncture that can be imagined. Only it wasn't imagined, it happened. Theres much to be learned from the story Pak tells here, with skill and compassion, about what schools can do and what they cannot, the courage of young and old in the face of catastrophe, the persistence of racism amidst democratization, and the difference school teachers and principals can make." -- Walter C. Parker, University of Washington, Seattle, is the editor of Education for Democracy, Information Age Press.

"Professor Pak's book is an outstanding work of scholarship. Her text provides a comprehensive understanding of the historical, sociological and psychological context of the internment and its impact on junior high Japanese Americans. Pak's research carefully documents the lives of junior high Japanese American students from Seattle and their hard reality with societal and institutional racism. The voices of American-born children from the Nikkei community exhibit grave sadness and strain as they attempted to understand how their country which espoused the values of equality and freedom could have incarcerated them for no reason other than they were of Japanese ancestry. An excellent resource not only for professors in history, Asian American studies, ethnic studies, political science, and sociology, but also teachers." -- Valerie Ooka Pang, San Diego State University

"Wherever I Go, I Will Always Be a Loyal American is a moving, insightful evocation of the lives of a generation of Japanese? American high school students who struggled to reconcile simultaneous loyalties to the principles of democracy, equality, and patriotism, while at the same time experiencing the realities of forced internment, discrimination, and racism. It is must reading for those seeking to understand the effects of war on the capacity of young people to make sense of the world." -- Barbara Finkelstein, University of Maryland, College Park

"In Wherever I Go I'll Always Be a Loyal American: Schooling Seattle's Japanese-Americans During World War II, Yook Pak writes a fascinating account of the Japanese American experience in the Seattle schools. She not only gets at what Japanese American children were being taught in classrooms, but forces us to rethink what we knew about this groups' struggle with forming an American identity." -- Ruben Donato of the University of Colorado, Boulder is the author of The Other Struggle for Equal Schools: Mexican Americans During the Civil Rights Era.

"There was no more important institution for the Nisei than the urban public school. Finally, this critical chapter in Japanese American history has its historian. With sensitivity and grace, Yong Pak reveals the poignant voices of schoolchildren struggling to understand a decision and event that seemed to contradict the very purpose of their education." -- Lon Kurashige of the University of Southern California is the author of Japanese American Celebration and Conflict: Ethnic Orthodoxy, Options, and Festival in Los Angeles, 1934-1990

"Professor Pak's book is an outstanding work of scholarship. Her text provides a comprehensive understanding of the historical, sociological and psychological context of the internment and its impact on junior high Japanese Americans. Pak's research carefully documents the lives of junior high Japanese American students from Seattle and their hard reality with societal and institutional racism. The voices of American-born children from the Nikkei community exhibit grave sadness and strain as they attempted to understand how their country which espoused the values of equality and freedom could have incarcerated them for no reason other than they were of Japanese ancestry. An excellent resource not only for professors in history, Asian American studies, ethnic studies, political science, and sociology, but also eachers." -- Valerie Ooka Pang, San Diego State University

"[A]s a comment on the dissonance between the stated values of American schools and the experience of Japanese Americans during the war, this book is a valuable contribution to the literature on multicultural education and the history of Japanese Americans." -- Pacific Northwest Quarterly

"The strength of Pak's work is her analysis of curricula…that guided Seattle teachers in teaching citizenship during the 1930s…This background research made it possible for Pak to give a thick description of the children's letters, which allows the reader to apprehend the multiple levels of meaning encoded in seemingly simple words." -- Contemporary Sociology

"Does this story have implications for teachers and school administrators today, as they try to teach lessons of democracy in a world in which racism and discrimination persist? This book offers an answer in the affirmative." -- Oregon Historical Quarterly

About the Author

Yoon Pak is Assistant Professor of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

About the Series

Studies in the History of Education

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDU000000
EDUCATION / General