Malden Reads, in collaboration with the Malden Public Library, is pleased to present a talk by Margie Yamamoto on Saturday, April 29, from 2-4 p.m. titled “Justice Denied: A Personal Perspective.” Yamamoto recently retired as copresident of the New England Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League, a national human rights and educational organization.
“Justice Denied” tells the story of the Japanese incarceration during World War II as seen through the eyes of Yamamoto’s Japanese American family. Yamamoto was two months old when her family entered the American internment camps. It follows her family’s passage from immigration in the1890s through their imprisonment during the war years and documents how they rebuilt their lives thereafter. The 45-minute presentation is richly illustrated with more than 100 family and historic World War II photographs, many of the latter obtained from U.S. government archives. Beyond describing the internment experiences of a single family, the talk focuses on the plight of the 120,000 Japanese – two-thirds of them American citizens – who were imprisoned, sometimes for years, by a presidential order deemed by many then and now to be in violation of the United States Constitution.
For audiences not familiar with the details of the World War II Japanese incarceration, this story will serve as a primer on one of America’s darker historic moments as well as its efforts in later years to compensate those who suffered through it. This year’s Malden Reads book selection, “They Called Us Enemy” by George Takei, is a graphic memoir which tells the story of Takei’s family experience of the internment camps during World War II.
Margie Yamamoto retired after more than 40 years in the marketing and communications fields. Before retirement, she was Director of Community Program Initiatives at WGBH, Boston’s public broadcasting station. She has also worked for Walt Disney Productions, General Electric and a number of education and healthcare organizations in New York, California and Massachusetts.
Yamamoto still serves on the Board of the New England Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League. She has also served on the boards of the Japan Society of Boston and the Cambridge Center for Adult Education. She has also served on advisory committees for the PBS Adult Learning Service and the Institute for Asian American Studies at UMass Boston.
Light refreshments will be served following the presentation. For more information about this event and “Malden Reads: One City, One Book,” visit maldenreads.org.