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Professor Lorraine Bannai presents her new book, “Enduring Conviction – Fred Korematsu and His Quest for Justice” Friday, March 3rd at Barnes & Noble/Westwood for “Words, Writers & West Seattle”
Knowing that the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II was a fundamental denial of basic human rights, a young attorney, Lori Bannai, helped vindicate a Japanese American man who resisted F.D.R.’s Executive Order. She has now written a book about him, his wartime case, and how, decades later, he won a measure of justice for himself and the Japanese American community – Enduring Conviction: Fred Korematsu and His Quest for Justice (published by University of Washington Press (2015)).
Bannai combines insider knowledge of the case with extensive archival research, personal letters, and interviews with Korematsu, his family, and close friends. She uncovered the inspiring story of a humble, soft-spoken man who fought tirelessly against human rights abuses long after he was exonerated.
The Southwest Seattle Historical Society sponsors this free book-talk series on the ‘First Friday’ of each month. Lori’s presentation will take place at 5 pm, on Friday, March 3rd, 2017, at Barnes & Noble/Westwood Village.
After refusing to leave for incarceration when ordered, Korematsu was eventually arrested and convicted of a federal crime before being sent to the internment camp at Topaz, Utah. He appealed his conviction to the Supreme Court, which, in one of the most infamous cases in American legal history, upheld the wartime orders. Forty years later, Bannai was part of a team of young attorneys who reopened Korematsu’s case and cleared his conviction based on proof that the government suppressed, altered, and destroyed material evidence while prosecuting Korematsu during WWII. In 1998, President Bill Clinton awarded Korematsu the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Lori Bannai now the Director of the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality and a Professor of Lawyering Skills at Seattle University School of Law. Her parents and their families were incarcerated in a camp in World War II. She has lived in West Seattle for 24 years and has raised her two children there.
“Words, Writers & West Seattle’s” next book-talk is scheduled for April 7th and will feature Judy Bentley and her book, “Hiking Washington’s History”, focusing on areas around the Duwamish River. For videos on these and other authors’ presentations, visit: www.loghousemuseum.info/events/words-writers-and-west-seattle. Additional information on future presentations can be obtained by contacting Dora-Faye Hendricks, Chair, “Words, Writers & West Seattle” by phone at 206-280-9983 or by e-mail at Dora-Faye@comcast.net.