When I was in the 4th grade, I wrote in my autobiography that I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. But my vision of a writer was someone who stayed home full time and made a living writing books. Or at least someone who got paid for writing. That wasn't me.
But in 1995, I met Tony who I had long-admired as a poet, writer and activist from reading his writings in The Rafu Shimpo. When I complained about some injustice or another, he would say, "Baby, you should write about it." But I wasn't a writer, I insisted. But Tony can be very persuasive.
I tentatively wrote my first article drawing similarities between the Thai Garment Workers who were enslaved in El Monte, and Seabrook Farms where my grandparents worked after WW2. To my surprise, the Rafu published the article. Tony bought 10 copies for me.
In 1996, I joined the "Through the Fire" column at the Rafu, and have been writing a quarterly column ever since. I found that I have a lot to say. I often write to educate about an issue, or plug some event or organization that I'm involved in.
Eight years later, I am still writing. I may not write the column forever, but until we live in a world of peace, free from racism and oppression, I will always have something to write about.
All articles and stories are copyrighted. If you would like to reprint or publish, email me.
Back to School: 20 Years Later 9/13/06
From Manzanar to May Day 5/06
Working Mom: For the Sake of the Children 3/06
My Journey with The Triangle Project 10/26/05
Progressive Mama: Got Milk? 6/05
Celebrate Life: Documenting Family & Community 3/05
Project J.A. Baby: The Politics of Baby 11/04
On Our Own Terms: Poems & Stories About Manzanar 9/04
Sharing Stories of Manzanar, J-Town and All Relations 6/04
My Surreal Life Experience: Stand Up for Justice 1/04
My Weekend of ARTS = LIFE 12/03
Valley Girl's Memories of Far East Cafe 10/03
State of the Arts: 3 Pennies Per Person 8/03
Anyone Can Be a Writer: 2 Upcoming JA Publications 6/03
Catch the Manzanar MAD-ness! 4/03
Boyle Heights - A State of Mind 1/03
Lil Tokyo's Call for Peace 1/03
Say "No More Manzanars," Loud and Often 10/30/02
Third Graders Say, "Boycott Assi Supermarket!" 9/12/02
Bringing Obon to Motown 7/17/02
Celebrate Gardening: From the Ground Up! 5/22/02
Evolution of a JA Junkie
Dancing with Grace - Gracious and Graceful 1/30/02
FAQs About Cuba From a Sansei
Connecting Gerald and Grandma
Obon en Cuba--My Summer Vacation
A Thousand Kids Taste a "Slice" of Little Tokyo
Crack House to Hay House: My (Detroit) Summer Vacation
Making Hoop Dreams Come True... Act Today
Goodbye Aloha, Hello Gym
Teamwork, Diversity, Struggle and Unity on the Wall
Great Leap's Offering to the World Festival of Sacred Music
Balancing Society, Family and My Veggie Garden
Long Live Sisterhood Bookstore
Manzanar After Dark
A Little Tokyo for the Kids
My Great Leap of Faith
It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Going Beyond "101 Ways to Tell I Am JA"
Learning from Raul
Go Warriors Go?
Why You Should Boycott Disney
Fight Racism! Join the Bus Riders Union
If You Know Where You Came From...Then You Know Where You're Going
Justice Now, Redress Now, for Japanese Latin Americans
Camp Pilgrimages and the 4th of July
Asian Princess Wanted... NOT!
Seabrook Farms 1945... Thai Garment Workers 1995
101 Ways to Tell if You're Japanese American with Tony Osumi
"More Ways to Tell if You're JA " with Tony Osumi, 5/3/96
Click here to read my 2002-Jan. 2005 journal.