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Historian To Speak At Civil Rights Institute

ALBANY, GA - On Thursday, December 16, the Albany Civil Rights Institute (ACRI) will hold its twelfth Monthly Community Night with historian Donald Teruo Hata speaking on "Kids Behind Barbed Wire: Surviving the World War II Nikkei Gulag and Diaspora." His firsthand experience and research inform the book, Japanese Americans and World War II: Mass Removal, Imprisonment, and Redress, that he wrote with his late wife Nadine Ishitani Hata. The book is now in its fourth edition which was published this month by Harlan Davidson, Inc.


A graduate of the University of Southern California (B.A., M.A., Ph.D.), Donald Hata is emeritus professor of history at California State University Dominguez Hills and recipient of the CSU Trustees Systemwide Outstanding Professor Award. He served as planning commissioner and city councilman in Gardena, California, on the governing boards of the California Historical Society and the Historical Society of Southern California, and as an appointed committee chair of the Organization of American Historians and elected officer of the American Historical Association.

Hata was born in 1939 in East Los Angeles and incarcerated at the age of three in the U.S. War Relocation Authority concentration camp at Gila River, Arizona, during World War II. In their book describing the major violations of Japanese American (Nikkei) civil rights, the Hatas have replaced inaccurate and misleading euphemisms such as "evacuation" and "internment" with more accurate terms like "mass removal" and "imprisonment."

According to Donald Hata, there is an important connection between the civil rights movement of the mid-twentieth century and the Nikkei Redress Movement of the 1980s: "Had it not been for the broader national context of African Americans standing up and speaking out for the full measures of rights and redress in places like Albany, Georgia, Nikkei might never have mustered the will and critical mass to demand a full and public accounting for what they had suffered."

The December 16th Monthly Community Night will be at 7:30 p.m. at ACRI, 326 Whitney Avenue, Albany. The event is free and open to the public. A book signing by the author will follow his presentation. Copies of Japanese Americans and World War II: Mass Removal, Imprisonment, and Redress, 4th ed., will be available for $11.00 (tax included) in the ACRI gift shop.

Upcoming ACRI Monthly Community Nights include Pat Chatmon Perryman, Mary Jones Wright, Grady Caldwell, and Robert D. Thomas, Jr., "Back to School/Integration 101" (January 27); Peggy King Jorde, "The African Burial Ground: What it Took to Preserve an African American Legacy in New York City" (February 24); and Charles and Shirley Sherrod, "Reflections on the Civil Rights Movement in Southwest Georgia" (March 24). The Sherrods' presentation will be an ACRI fundraiser in Old Mt. Zion Church. Tickets ($25) will go on sale in January.

Hilton Garden Inn Albany and Sam's Club are the sponsors of ACRI Monthly Community Nights. For more information, contact ACRI Executive Director Lee W. Formwalt at (229) 432-1698 or


STORY TAGS: ASIAN, ASIAN AMERICAN, ASIAN PACIFIC ISLANDER, MINORITY, CIVIL RIGHTS, DISCRIMINATION, RACISM, DIVERSITY, RACIAL EQUALITY, BIAS, EQUALITY

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