The Shifting Grounds Of Race By Scott Kurashige

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Scott Kurashige’s The Shifting Grounds of Race: Black and Japanese Americans in the Making of Multiethnic Los Angeles exposes its’ readers to the history of race and politics in the city of Los Angeles, California. In his research, the author describes the political history of Japanese and Black Americans in LA by discussing the interethnic cooperation and competition each group faced while dealing with bigoted and racist beliefs and challenges that white people threw their way. Kurashige’s research focuses most on how these two racial groups at Little Tokyo/Bronzeville produce entirely different responses to the political sphere around them after World War II. The author shows how the African Americans in this city were trapped in the lower…show more content…
This is a time where racial oppression in LA begins to affect each race in a different way, which then produced a different reaction from both races (37). The African Americans had an easier time getting housing since they were actually seen as citizens, unlike the Japanese. Black homeowners and civil rights lawyers worked together on the housing front to break restrictive covenants whilst Japanese consular officials decided their best course of action was to avoid racial conflict and just let things be (37). However, once being “subjected to violent attacks” and witnessing the “racist structures affect[ing] all communities of color,” they changed their minds and began to look to the African Americans for help (37). The Japanese continued to have similar reactions towards racism when they started a massive “campaign against discrimination and ‘Yellow Peril’” when they received major opposition for the creation of a subdivision in Jefferson Park (91). Kurashige showed in past chapters how African Americans were very outspoken about the racism they faced, so it isn’t surprising to read about how they quickly jumped on ship and supported the Nisei in their attempt to achieve what they thought they deserved. It was situations like these, where the different racial oppressions led to the pairing of both races, that caused African and Japanese Americans to react the same way to the white’s racism up until the second World War
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