[News] Richard Aoki Book Launch, April 21, Sat, 7 PM, Berkeley

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Apr 17 20:58:27 EDT 2012

Evening Celebrating the Life of Richard Aoki

April 21, 2012 Saturday 7:00pm

Book Launch: Diane C. Fujino will present her new book,
Samurai Among Panthers: Richard Aoki on Race, Resistance, and a 
Paradoxical Life.

The program will include spoken word,
AAPI Alumni Richard Aoki scholarship awards presentation.

Location: UC Berkeley Multicultural Center, 200 MLK Jr. Student Union 
Bldg, Berkeley, CA 94720-2400 at intersection Telegraph Ave and Bancroft Way

For more information contact Eastwind Books of Berkeley 
(510)548-2350. email eastwindbooks at gmail.com

Event sponsored by: Asian American & Asian Diaspora Studies of UC 
Berkeley (AAADS), Asian Pacific American Student Development of UC 
Berkeley (APASD), AAPI Alumni, Eastside Arts Alliance, Eastwind Books 
of Berkeley, Serve the People (STP) and KPFA Freedom Archives.
  An iconic figure of the Asian American movement, Richard Aoki 
(1938-2009) was also, as the most prominent non-Black member of the 
Black Panther Party, a key architect of Afro-Asian solidarity in the 
1960s and 1970s.

Samurai among Panthers weaves together two narratives: Aoki's 
dramatic first-person chronicle and an interpretive history by Asian 
American movement scholar, Diane C. Fujino. Aoki's candid account of 
himself takes us from his early years in Japanese American internment 
camps to his political education on the streets of Oakland, to his 
emergence in the Black Panther Party.

Richard  Aoki's voice rings clear in the over 200 pages of oral 
interview given to biographer Diane Fujino, collected in over 100 
hours of taped interview sessions between 2003 and 2004.  Richard 
Aoki describes in his own words the story of his life.  The result is 
an eleven chapters treasury of Aoki's transcript.

Beginning with his early childhood with his family's forced 
incarceration at the Topaz, Utah concentration camp, he takes us 
through his teenage years in West Oakland and Berkeley, to his 
military service, and subsequent political awakening with his growth 
as a revolutionary internationalist. His reminisces of the formation 
of the Black Panther Party in Oakland catapult the reader into the 
heart of the Black liberation movement.  Aoki becomes a key leader in 
the birth of the Asian American Political Alliance,  the UC Berkeley 
Third World Liberation Front alliance and the 1968 TWLF Student 
Strike which won the formation of Ethnic Studies, Asian American 
Studies, Chicano Studies, and African American Studies at UC Berkeley.

With Aoki's characteristic wit and talent for talk-story, the reader 
is given a last gift from the private and courageous life of one of 
the early leaders of the Asian American radical movement.

Fujino respectfully reserves her independent interpretations and 
historical connotations in separate comments before and after the 
chapters. This unique format gives Fujino freedom to differ with Aoki 
in her interpretation and lends an interesting indirect conversation 
between biographer and subject.  Fujino provides a scholarly 
historical context to the personal narration.

Samurai Among Panthers is a valuable addition to materials available 
to present and future generations in remembering, studying, honoring 
a key political leader of the Asian American movement.

Diane C. Fujino is Associate Professor and Chair of Asian American 
Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her other 
books include Heartbeat of Struggle: The Revolutionary Life of Yuri 
Kochiyama and Wicked Theory, Naked Practice: A Fred Ho Reader.

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

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