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AAPI Authors Humanizing Our History: A Conversation with Julie Otsuka & Tom Ikeda
The AAPI Coalition of Wisconsin presents a special virtual event with Julie Otsuka in conversation with Tom Ikeda. Otsuka is the author of the award-winning novel When the Emperor Was Divine, which tells the story about the incarceration of a Japanese American family during World War II.

In this webinar, Otsuka will be interviewed by Tom Ikeda, the founding director of Densho, an online archive and public history organization that has documented stories, since its founding in 1996, about Japanese Americans incarcerated during WWII. They will discuss the art of writing the novel itself as well as Otsuka and Ikeda’s family’s experiences in the WWII camps.

While this novel was originally published in 2002, it gained renewed prominence this June when the Muskego-Norway School Board in Wisconsin rejected a request by their teacher-led curriculum committee to fund the novel for use in a 10th grade English class. This issue has been well-covered by local, regional, and national press ever since local Muskego parents and students spoke out against the school board’s action this spring. In July, 150 members of the Muskego community and the AAPI Coalition of WI stood together at our Muskego Community Teach-In supporting this novel.

The issue is not only about this novel. It is about how our K-12 teachers’ professional judgement is being overruled by people who are uncomfortable with dealing with the truthful representation of our nation’s history, particularly when told by authors of color. Asian American history is American History.

Please note that a list of folks registering for this event will be shared with AAPI Coalition of Wisconsin.

Oct 16, 2022 04:00 PM in Central Time (US and Canada)

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