Fred Korematsu and His Quest for Justice
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, in the early 1980s, a team of young attorneys resurrected Korematsu's case. This time, Korematsu was victorious, and his conviction was overturned, helping to pave the way for Japanese American redress.
Lorraine Bannai, who was a young attorney on that legal team, combines insider knowledge of the case with extensive archival research, personal letters, and unprecedented access to Korematsu his family, and close friends. She uncovers the inspiring story of a humble, soft-spoken man who fought tirelessly against human rights abuses long after he was exonerated. In 1998, President Bill Clinton awarded Korematsu the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
About the Author
"Enduring Conviction shows how politics and racial prejudice can conspire to trample the civil rights of an entire racial group during a time of war, based on fabricated claims of military necessity. . . . Bannai's volume is a worthwhile read for those interested in learning about some of the worst events and court rulings in American history, and serves as a reminder that the constitutional rights of American citizens should also be safeguarded during times of war, and in the darkest times of American history."—Harvey Gee, Asian American Policy Review
"A remarkable story of a man who stood up and spoke out in the same tradition of others in this country who have spoken out against oppression and discrimination. This is what makes America strong – people who have faith in our ideals and who have the guts to stand up for them. Fred Korematsu was an ordinary man who did extraordinary deeds, and with that he made history."—George Takei, actor and activist
"Enduring Conviction brilliantly tells the story of an ordinary American with extraordinary courage. Lorraine Bannai has given us the best biography of a litigant in a famous - and infamous - Supreme Court case that has yet been written."—Peter Irons, author of Justices at War: The Story of the Japanese American Cases
"Bannai unravels, like an engaging novel, the story of Fred Korematsu, the wrongs he endured, and the fortitude he demonstrated. A quiet and modest citizen who thought he'd lost his country, Korematsu and his courage give hope to the rest of us – that we too can stand up to right injustice."—Linda Tamura, author of Nisei Soldiers Break Their Silence
"Lorraine Bannai had a frontline position in the struggle for Japanese American inclusion, and her telling of one man's story is so much more than that. She shows that in times of crisis, the appeal of authoritarian, scapegoating rhetoric is a menace to democracy. The Korematsu story is about fighting back against fear and hate, thereby holding our nation to its highest ideals."—Mari Matsuda, author of Where is Your Body?: Essays on Race, Gender and the Law
Other Titles from Scott and Laurie Oki Series in Asian American Studies