[News] Richard Aoki Book Launch, April 21, Sat, 7 PM, Berkeley
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
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.
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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