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Japanese American Incarceration: The Camps and Coerced Labor during World War II

April 6, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 8:15 pm

A Preview Interview with Dr. Stephanie Hinnershitz

Join us as author Stephanie D. Hinnershitz recasts the forced removal and incarceration of approximately 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II as a history of prison labor and exploitation.

Following Franklin Roosevelt’s 1942 Executive Order 9066, which called for the exclusion of potentially dangerous groups from military zones along the West Coast, the federal government placed Japanese Americans in makeshift prisons throughout the country. In addition to working on day-to-day operations of the camps, Japanese Americans were coerced into harvesting crops, digging irrigation ditches, paving roads, and building barracks for little to no compensation and often at the behest of privately run businesses—all in the name of national security. How did imprisoned Japanese Americans respond to the stripping of not only their civil rights, but their labor rights as well? Japanese American Incarceration: The Camps and Coerced Labor During World War II uncovers the startling answer to this question. Hinnershitz’s timely study connects the government’s exploitation of imprisoned Japanese Americans to the history of prison labor in the United States.

STEPHANIE D. HINNERSHITZ is a historian and author of two previous books, A Different Shade of Justice: Asian Americans and Civil Rights in the South and Race, Religion, and Civil Rights: Asian Students on the West Coast, 1900-1968.

This event is presented in association with and will be held at the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum.

Further Reading

Here, you’ll find more resources to feed your interest in the topics covered at this event.

More Works by Dr. Hinnershitz

Hinnershitz, Stephanie. “Proclamation 2527 and the Internment of Italian Americans.” National WW2 Museum, 2021. https://www.nationalww2museum.org/war/articles/proclamation-2527-internment-italian-americans

Hinnershitz, Stephanie. “Teaching the Japanese American Internment at West Point.” War on the Rocks, 2020. https://warontherocks.com/2020/10/teaching-the-japanese-american-internment-at-west-point/

Hinnershitz, Stephanie. “Violence against Asian Americans is part of a troubling pattern.” Washington Post, 2021. https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2021/03/11/violence-against-asian-americans-is-part-troubling-pattern/

Hinnershitz, Stephanie. “What We’re Fighting For: America’s Servicemen on Hypocrisy on the Home Front.” National WW2 Museum, 2021. https://www.nationalww2museum.org/war/articles/what-we-are-fighting-for-war-relocation-authority

Primary Sources

U.S. National Archives. “Japanese-American Incarceration During World War II.” National Archives. https://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/japanese-relocation.

Secondary Sources

Blakemore, Erin. “The U.S. forced them into internment camps. Here’s how Japanese Americans started over.” National Geographic Magazine, 2021. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/article/united-states-forced-japanese-americans-into-internment-camps-here-how-started-over.

Grant, Kimi Cunningham. Silver Like Dust. Pegasus Books, 2013.

Lee, Erika. “The WWII Incarceration of Japanese Americans Stretched Beyond U.S. Borders.” Time Magazine, 2019. https://time.com/5743555/wwii-incarceration-japanese-latin-americans/

Peeler, Katie, and Bersch, Al. “Remembering Executive Order 9066.” California Historical Society, 2021. https://californiahistoricalsociety.org/blog/remembering-executive-order-9066/

Rosario, Isabella. “The Unlikely Story Behind Japanese Americans’ Campaign For Reparations.” National Public Radio, 2020. https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2020/03/24/820181127/the-unlikely-story-behind-japanese-americans-campaign-for-reparations


April 6, 2022
7:00 pm - 8:15 pm


Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum
300 N Houston St
Dallas, TX 75202 United States
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