Densho recently interviewed the celebrated civil rights activist Yuri Kochiyama, who has devoted her life to promoting equal rights for all races and oppressed people. As a girl, she described herself as being completely ignorant of American history, not even knowing about slavery in the United States. Her education in discrimination against others besides Japanese Americans began when she left the Jerome, Arkansas, incarceration camp to work in Mississippi. In an excerpt from her interview, Kochiyama describes meeting Malcolm X in 1963 in Harlem, where she was working with various social justice groups.
This California interview was supported by the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program.