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Browse > Theme > Rights - individual or societal

36 articles

Relocation, Arkansas: Aftermath of Incarceration (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Circle of life, Evils of racism, Power of the past, Reunion, Rights - individual or societal
  • Limited availability

Documentary film by Vivienne Schiffer about the legacy of the Rohwer , Arkansas, concentration camp that focuses on the incarceration's impact on the Sansei and the role of a local mayor in preserving Rohwer's history.

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Teacher's Guide: The Bill of Rights and the Japanese American World War II Experience (curricula)

  • Curricula
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12
  • Injustice, Patriotism - positive side or complications, Rights - individual or societal
  • Limited availability

The forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II suspended their constitutional rights and civil liberties. This guide, for teachers of grades 4–12, focuses on this historical event to examine individual rights and the shared responsibility that students have to protect the rights of all individuals, even during times of national crisis.

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Of Civil Wrongs and Rights: The Fred Korematsu Story (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Injustice, Rights - individual or societal
  • Available

Documentary film by Eric Paul Fournier that chronicles the story of American civil rights hero, Fred Korematsu , whose refusal to obey orders prohibiting Japanese Americans from remaining on the West Coast led to a landmark Supreme Court case .

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Fred Korematsu Speaks Up (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8
  • Children's, History
  • Heroism – real and perceived, Injustice, Rights - individual or societal
  • Widely available

Book for middle school audiences on Fred Korematsu , who challenged the forced removal of Japanese Americans during World War II.

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Mendez v. Westminster: For All the Children (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 3-5
  • Grades 3-5
  • Children's, Historical Fiction
  • Change versus tradition, Injustice, Rights - individual or societal
  • Limited availability

Children's picture book that tells in simplified form the story of the landmark Mendez case that ultimately ended segregated schools in California. The story is told through the perspective of Sylvia Mendez who is eight years old in 1943. Having rented the farm of Munemitsu family, who had been forcibly removed to concentration camps, they were new to Westminster, California. When she and her brothers are prohibited from attending the same school as her cousins (who can pass as "white") and must attend the inferior school for those of Mexican, African or Asian ancestry, her family decides to sue. With the help of lawyer David C. Marcus—and support from various organizations including the Japanese American Citizens League —the suit proves successful, ending segregation in the state. A brief epilogue notes the long-term impact of the case and the fate of Sylvia and others involved in it.

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Korematsu v. United States: Japanese-American Internment (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12
  • Grades 9-12
  • Young Adult, History
  • Convention and rebellion, Evils of racism, Individual versus society, Injustice, Rights - individual or societal
  • Available

Overview of the Korematsu Supreme Court case —as well as the related Hirabayashi , Yasui , and Endo cases—as part of Marshall Cavendish Benchmark's "Supreme Court Milestones" series.

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They Call Me Moses Masaoka: An American Saga (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Memoir
  • Patriotism – positive side or complications, Quest for power, Rights - individual or societal
  • Available

Nisei known primarily for his role as executive secretary of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) during World War II reflects on his life experiences, and declares with confidence that he would make the same choices if he could do it over again.

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I Call to Remembrance: Toyo Suyemoto's Years of Internment (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Memoir
  • Rights - individual or societal, Motherhood, Displacement
  • Widely available

The memoir of poet Toyo Suyemoto that spans her years of incarceration in Tanforan Assembly Center and later, at Topaz in Utah, from spring 1942 to late autumn 1945. The book, published in 2007 by Rutgers University Press, focuses on the quotidian life in an American concentration camp, while coping both physically and psychologically with the brutality of imprisonment behind barbed wire. The book is dedicated to Suyemoto's son Kay and details his short life from birth in Berkeley, California, to his first steps at Tanforan in a crowded horse stall, and finally to Utah where he developed a serious asthmatic condition and pneumonia in the harsh atmosphere of camp which eventually lead to his premature death. Suyemoto's memoir includes the impact of policies and wartime decisions on her family and the larger Japanese American community, bringing insight on complex and controversial questions of loyalty, citizenship and resistance. She also …

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The Brothers Murata (short story)

  • Short Stories
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Fiction
  • Family – blessing or curse, Nationalism – complications, Rights - individual or societal, Role of men
  • Available

Novella by Toshio Mori about two brothers in Topaz who clash over the issue of military service. Likely written in Topaz, it was first published in the 2000 Mori anthology Unfinished Message: Selected Works of Toshio Mori .

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Korematsu v. United States: Japanese-American Internment Camps (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 7-8
  • Grades 7-8
  • Young Adult, History
  • Convention and rebellion, Evils of racism, Individual versus society, Injustice, Rights - individual or societal
  • Available

Overview of the Korematsu Supreme Court case as part of Enslow Publishers' Landmark Supreme Court Cases series.

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The War Relocation Centers of World War II: When Fear was Stronger than Justice (curricula)

  • Curricula
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12
  • Injustice, Rights - individual or societal, War - glory, necessity, pain, tragedy
  • Widely available

This lesson for upper elementary and secondary students produced by the National Park Service centers on files from the National Register of Historic Places: " Manzanar War Relocation Center" and " Rohwer Relocation Center Memorial Cemetery". The lesson can be used in the study of World War II in U.S. History or human rights in a social studies unit. Links allow teachers to search for relevant curriculum standards by subject and grade level.

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Ganbare Don't Give Up! (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Immigrant experience, Patriotism – positive side or complications, Rights - individual or societal, War – glory, necessity, pain, tragedy
  • No availability

Documentary film that provides an overview of what happened to Japanese Americans in Hawai'i during World War II, focusing on the limited internment of Issei community leaders and the exploits of Japanese American men in the armed forces. Ganbare Don't Give Up! was produced as a part of the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai'i's core exhibition, Okage Sama De: I am what I am because of you , which remains the only place where it can be viewed.

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Passing It On--A Memoir (book)

  • Books
  • Memoir
  • Coming of age, Overcoming - fear, weakness, vice, Rebirth, Rights - individual or societal
  • Available

Leading human rights activist reflects on her life, including her insulated childhood and the wartime incarceration experience that awakened her lifelong commitment to advocacy for all marginalized peoples.

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Blue Jay in the Desert (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 1-2, Grades 3-5
  • Grades 1-2, Grades 3-5
  • Children's, Picture book
  • Quest for discovery, Rights - individual or societal
  • Widely available

Blue Jay in the Desert by Marlene Shigekawa and illustrated by Isao Kikuchi is a children's picture book about how the gift of a hand-carved wooden blue jay symbolizes the love and hope a grandfather gives to his grandson.

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Redress: The JACL Campaign for Justice (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Injustice, Rights - individual or societal
  • Limited availability

Documentary film produced by Visual Communications for the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) in 1991 documenting the JACL's role in the Redress Movement , which had recently culminated in the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 . Written and directed by John Esaki, the film was shown at Days of Remembrances and other events. William Hohri , a frequent critic of the JACL, wrote a letter to Japanese American vernacular papers that compared the video to "how history was manipulated in the old Soviet Union" noting the omission of the corm nobis cases and non-JACL contributors to the movement. In response, Cherry Kinoshita, the JACL's national redress chair, noted the video's goal "to document JACL's role in the redress effort," and not to tell a comprehensive story of redress. [1]

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When National Security Trumps Individual Rights (curricula)

  • Curricula
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12
  • Individual versus society, Injustice, Patriotism - positive side or complications, Power of the past, Rights - individual or societal, War - glory, necessity, pain tragedy
  • Widely available

This lesson prompts students to think about the balance of civil liberties and national security during times of national crisis by considering the Supreme Court case of Korematsu v. United States (1944). Fred Toyosaburo Korematsu fought against the mass removal of Japanese Americans during World War II by refusing to report to the Tanforan Assembly Center in 1942. He challenged his felony conviction on constitutional grounds, and the case was appealed to the Supreme Court where he lost in a 6-3 decision. In 1983, this conviction was vacated after information surfaced proving that the government had originally withheld critical evidence.

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Citizen Tanouye (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Heroism - real or perceived, War - glory, necessity, pain, tragedy, Rights - individual or societal
  • Available

A 2005 documentary film that tells the story of eight high school students from Torrance High School in California, and their discovery of a school alumnus named Ted Tanouye and his experiences during World War II. A Japanese American soldier of the renowned 442nd Regimental Combat Team who was killed in action and a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient , Technical Sergeant Tanouye and his family were nonetheless incarcerated at the Jerome and Rohwer , Arkansas, concentration camps from 1942–45, without due process. By researching Tanouye's personal history through school yearbooks, newspapers, internet sites and by conducting interviews with Japanese American veterans, the relevance of history and importance of civil liberties becomes tangible for the students, who come to see the parallels between the Japanese American experience during World War II and their own lives and the impact war had on their city.

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Manzanar Rites (book)

  • Books
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Fiction, History
  • Coming of age, Evils of racism, Rights - individual or societal, Vulnerability of the strong
  • Limited availability

Coming of age novel by William Hohri about two teenage boys from West Los Angeles who end up at Manzanar with their families.

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Japanese Relocation During World War II (curricula)

  • Curricula
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12
  • Displacement, Injustice, Patriotism - positive side or complications, Rights - individual or societal
  • Widely available

This resource from the National Archives provides historical background, an annotated bibliography of other resources, links to primary source materials (documents, photos), standards correlations, and teaching activities.

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Ancestry is Not a Crime: The Internment of People of Japanese Descent During World War II (curricula)

  • Curricula
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12
  • Displacement, Evils of racism, Injustice, Patriotism - positive side or complications, Rights - individual or societal, War - glory, necessity, pain, tragedy
  • Limited availability

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II, the Hawai'i state legislature funded the development of Ancestry is Not a Crime , focused on the forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans. The 192-page curriculum aims to engage elementary through high school students with this complex history, to wrestle with the meaning of democratic principles, and to think critically about civil liberties and the responsibilities of a democratic citizenry.

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Manzanar and Beyond (book)

  • Books
  • Memoir
  • Coming of age, Disillusionment and dreams, Displacement, Importance of community, Injustice, Rights - individual or societal
  • Available

Prominent Nisei attorney recounts his life, including his experiences as the administrator of the hospital at Manzanar concentration camp and his role in landmark legal battles advocating for redressing injustices experienced by Japanese Americans.

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To Be Takei (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Empowerment, Everlasting love, Injustice, Optimism – power or folly, Rights - individual or societal
  • Widely available

Documentary film that profiles actor George Takei and his husband and manager Brad Takei, capturing both their pasts and their daily lives today.

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When Military Necessity Overrides Constitutional Guarantees: The Treatment of Japanese Americans During World War II (curricula)

  • Curricula
  • Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12
  • Evils of racism, Immigrant experience, Injustice, Rights - individual or societal, War - glory, necessity, pain, tragedy
  • Widely available

This curriculum guide examines the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans through the lens of its constitutional merit. It should be noted that it was published in 1982, and it contains terminology that in 2017 is considered inappropriate and/or offensive in the use of "Oriental" versus Asian or Asian American. In addition, many of the suggested classroom materials are outmoded (filmstrips) or out of print and may be difficult to access. The guide refers to a "media kit" which may have been available when the guide was first published.

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Take Me Home: Curricular Resource Materials (curricula)

  • Curricula
  • Grades 3-5, Grades 7-8
  • Injustice, Growing up - pain or pleasure, Power of the past, Rights - individual or societal
  • Widely available

This guide supports the instructional use of the 15-minute video, Take Me Home: A Child's Experience of Internment . The authors of the 19-page resource target grades 6 – 8, however; the materials can be adapted to upper elementary as well. Although the film and curriculum materials were produced in Washington, their use has broad application as they are not specific (other than the mention of the academic standards) to Washington State.

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Conscience and the Constitution (film)

  • Films and Video
  • Grades 9-12, Adult
  • Documentary
  • Convention and rebellion, Illusion of power, Injustice, Power of the past, Rights - individual or societal
  • Widely available

Influential documentary film that tells the story of the draft resistance movement at Heart Mountain . Journalist Frank Abe produced, directed, and wrote the hour-long film, which was released in 2000.

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