Spotted over at my friend Michelle’s page, I’ve seen this flyer with some horns on it. Then when I started reading the details, I just realized that I’m getting schooled in the history of the development of Little Tokyo, and what changes it went through in the 40s during World War 2 . Anyhow, this project started off as a fundraiser that ended up meeting their goal ($$), which in turn is putting together this event (which includes a play, an exhibit, and a musical which stars Miguel Atwood-Ferguson)!
HISTORY: This exhibit takes a dive into the relationship between the Japanese & African Americans during World War 2, after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. The United States then issued the Executive Order 9066 (the removal & incarceration of Japanese Americans all across the West Coast). Once that went down, LA Mayor Fletcher Brown wanted the Japanese Americans removed completely from the Southland, resulting in evictions wherever they stayed. All the locations where there was a high influx of Japanese Americans became ghost towns, and one place (in particular, Little Tokyo) became a huge migration place for African Americans (those from the Deep South), seeking employment. The reason they chose Little Tokyo? It’s simple. During these times, places like Watts, Compton (especially the Willowbrook area).. were all occupied by white people, and since racism was still alive & well.. there were strict rules that barred ‘color people’ from living in certain ‘specific’ areas.
To read more about it, and how it became a place named Bronzeville, continue reading here. Thank you, Michelle!