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Double Cross: Japanese Americans in Black and White Chicago

Jacalyn D. Harden
Copyright Date: 2003
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 200
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5749/j.ctttsc82
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  • Book Info
    Double Cross
    Book Description:

    Jacalyn D. Harden examines the Japanese American community of Chicago’s Far North Side to form an innovative new framework for looking at race, identity, and political change. The result is a compelling and surprising account of racial interactions, one that clarifies the complex interweaving between black and Asian lives and reclaims a lost history of solidarity between the two groups.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-9420-4
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. CHAPTER ONE Double-Crossing the Color Line
    (pp. 1-33)

    Six years into the twentieth century, W. E. B. Du Bois predicted, “The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the colorline” (1906:42). Today, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, Du Bois’s prediction (one of his most famous quotations) seems to have been accurate, as Americans continue to be perplexed and divided by race. Race in America exists in our minds as a series of images, past and present, of jagged lines of demarcation between blacks and whites.¹ Although we know better, the black/white color line ideology permeates our everyday life. It is played out in political...

  6. FIELD NOTES: July 6, 1996
    (pp. 34-35)

    When I entered the outer lobby of Heiwa Terrace, a group of elderly Asian American residents were coming in at the same time. As in many buildings with security systems, the outer lobby had a telephone and a video system for residents to let their guests into the building. The man and two women did not seem to pay much attention to me. I noticed a new sign on the security door: “Don’t let anyone follow in behind you.” It had never been there before during the year that I had been coming to Heiwa Terrace.

    I called Bill’s apartment...

  7. CHAPTER TWO An Embarrassment of Riches
    (pp. 36-55)

    There is a box pushed under my desk that contains about two dozen audiotapes and a large spiral-bound notebook: these are the interviews and field notes from a year and a half of fieldwork in Chicago. These data were never supposed to go unused. On the contrary, I had planned that this information would be at the center of what would become my doctoral dissertation. At the beginning of my research I had every intention of conducting a study of the Japanese national community in Chicago. My research design centered around the question of what it meant to be “Japanese”...

  8. CHAPTER THREE Double-Crossing Chicago’s Color Line: The Great Relocation of Japanese Americans in Postwar Race Ideology
    (pp. 56-82)

    Although it was not very extensive, Japanese American relocation to Chicago during and right after World War II is a significant factor in the history of race in America. Census figures show that the Japanese American population of Chicago increased from a little more than three hundred in 1940 to almost eleven thousand in 1950, but these figures likely underestimate the full magnitude of Japanese American migration to the city. Although precise figures are unavailable, it is estimated that as many as thirty thousand Japanese Americans passed through Chicago or lived there at some point during the 1940s. People may...

  9. VOICE: Bill Murasaki
    (pp. 83-84)

    I was walking up Sheridan Road with two shopping bags that I had bought at Jewel and then a young black boy, a teenager, comes up to me and asks, “Where is the L station?” The L station?! You know, from Wilson you can see that station. And I said, “It’s right over there.” And I didn’t notice but he came up to me with . . . he had a towel, a sweater or something, and he ended up stealing seven or eight dollars from my side pocket. And another time I was on the Howard L station platform...

  10. CHAPTER FOUR “Can You Imagine?”: Race in Chicago through Japanese American Lenses
    (pp. 85-117)

    Since arriving in Chicago right after World War II, Japanese Americans have both affected and been affected by their positions within the raced realities of daily life in Chicago. As I emphasized in chapter 3, Japanese Americans’ arrival in Chicago was reworked to fit existing (and evolving) notions of what it meant to be colored in urban America. In this chapter I continue to press this idea by concentrating on race in Chicago through the memories and observations of Nisei men and women, accounts directly told to me. Having lived in Chicago since the earliest waves of relocation during the...

  11. FIELD NOTES: July 28, 1996
    (pp. 118-119)

    Today was probably the strangest day ever. How weird that it is right when I am getting ready to wrap up my work at the Chicago Historical Society. Who knows if it is a self-fulfilling need to see this kind of stuff or if it would have happened anyway? In any case, the best quote ever came from my friend the “old black man” cloakroom attendant. There he was standing in his uniform jacket right in front of the “No tipping” sign posted on one of the racks. He isn’t really all that old, but he stands out because he...

  12. CHAPTER FIVE Give Me Five on the Black Man’s Side: Japanese American Activism in Chicago
    (pp. 120-151)

    Give me five. Now gimme five on the black man’s side. When I was growing up, my older male cousins not only taught me to give them five but also to give them five on the black man’s side. As I learned in the back-yards, basements, and front porches of my extended kin in Detroit, giving five on the black man’s side was something extra, something special. The black man’s side was the back of your hand (where you couldseeyour blackness). We all knew the sly hidden secret. We knew that receiving five on the black man’s side...

  13. Afterword
    (pp. 152-158)

    Whether or not his mother’s story is true, Bill Murasaki’s wish that he could hire someone to find out more about what he had not been willing to believe until long after his mother’s death serves as both a warning and a call for changes in the study of race in this country:

    If I ever win the Lotto and have some money to spare, I’d like to hire some scholar to look into how Leland Stanford killed Japanese Americans. My mother used to tell me stories about Japanese living in California who worked for Leland Stanford. They wouldn’t get...

  14. Notes
    (pp. 159-168)
  15. Bibliography
    (pp. 169-176)
  16. Index
    (pp. 177-182)
  17. Back Matter
    (pp. 183-183)