Posts Tagged ‘racism’

Ansel Adams’ Foray into Photojournalism at Manzanar

August 29th, 2011 No comments

Ansel Adams’ little known book Born Free and Equal: The Story of Loyal Japanese-Americans at Manzanar Relocation Center, Inyo County, California, is now the focus of an exhibit at the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum in Washington. A copy of the original book has been printed out for display at the Ansel Adams: A Portrait of Manzanar exhibit. A selection of the Manzanar photographs, some never shown publicly, are also on display through Dec. 7. Adams, who captured iconic black and white images of Yosemite National Park and the American West, took a more photojournalistic approach for the book, interviewing internees as well as documenting moments of their daily lives with pictures. Originally published in 1944, the American public received Born Free and Equal with mixed reactions. According to the Library of Congress website, the book garnered positive reviews and a spot on the Francisco Chronicle‘s bestseller list. In contrast a recent Seattle Times article reports that the book also incited protests, was publicly burned and condemned as “disloyal”. Read more…


Charlie Chan: An American Original

September 21st, 2010 No comments

51dsUKc3DUL._SL160_English professor Yunte Huang unravels the true story behind the creation of Charlie Chan, the Chinese detective of books and film who has alternately entertained and offended the American public. Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and His Rendezvous with American History (W.W. Norton & Co., 354pgs) follows four main story threads, the first being Chang Apana, the real man on which author E.D. Biggers based the fictional Chan. Apana was a Chinese detective who worked in Honolulu during the late 19th and early 20h centuries, catching criminals with his signature bullwhip. The second thread focuses on Biggers’ story, a small town boy from Ohio who graduated from Harvard and went on to create one of detective noir’s most prominent characters. The third thread centers around Chan’s incarnation on film and the insidious racial stereotypes that Hollywood propagated. Lastly, the author discusses “Chan’s haunting presence during the era of postmodern politics and ethnic pride in contemporary America.” Read more…