by Eri Kameyama
I can’t believe it’s already week 8 of Katarou Histories, inter-generational oral history program, held at the San Fernando Valley’s Japanese American Community Center. This inaugural program has shown that a multi-generational program is possible and that dialogue can happen and community can develop across ages. Throughout the program, participants have gotten to really know each other’s histories and how their Japanese American family histories fits into the larger Asian Pacific Islander history, become more familiar with their intersecting identities of race, ethnicity, gender, class, ability, nationality, and have learned how to use this knowledge to move forward and take action for the larger API community.
Now, they are working towards their final projects. They have divided themselves into three groups, each of which will present a hidden part of SFV’s Japanese American history. One group is working specifically on gathering the history of the Japanese American Community Center, which has grown into such a vibrant space for people all around to come and gather. Another group is focusing on presenting the story of the Aces, a baseball team that started in Manzanar and continued postwar. And yet another will bring together different voices and perspectives on the Japanese American Festivals and its relevance to our community today.
We will be celebrating their program graduation with the community and you are welcome to join! On August 23rd at the Center, we will have food and refreshments while enjoying the presentation of these fabulous final projects. Please come and celebrate the successes of this year’s Katarou Histories program!