Born Free and Equal
Ansel Adams documents the lives of Japanese Americans in Manzanar War Relocation Center following Pearl Harbour
Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour in 1942, the American government ordered Japanese Americans, including citizens, into remote detainment camps. A move that the US admits was “motivated largely by racial prejudice, wartime hysteria, and a failure of political leadership” resulted in drastic changes to the lives of many Japanese Americans. Through the late Ansel Adams’s revealing documentation of the daily lives of Japanese Americans at the Manzanar War Relocation Center, we have an inside look of what life was like in those years of prejudice and confinement. The photographs were published in the book “Born Free And Equal: The Story Of Loyal Japanese-Americans.” and were exhibited in 1944 at MoMA.
The book’s preface reads “This book in no way attempts a sociological analysis of the people and their problem. It is addressed to the average American citizen, and is conceived on a human, emotional basis, accenting the realities of the individual and his environment rather than considering the loyal Japanese-Americans as an abstract, amorphous, minority group… Throughout this book I want the reader to feel he has been with me in Manzanar, has met some of the people, and has known the mood of the Center and its environment — thereby drawing his own conclusions — rather than impose upon him any doctrine or advocate any sociological action.”
(via Huffington Post)
All Photo credits to Ansel Adams