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Farewell to Manzanar Kickoff

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Great news! The has been awarded a new grant from Cal Humanities to develop programs and discussions showcasing Farewell to Manzanar: a true story of Japanese American experience during and after the World War II internment, by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and the late James Houston as Watsonville’s Community Read. To coincide with Cal Humanities' two-year statewide initiative to animate a public conversation on democracy and civic values leading into the 2012 elections, the theme of the current round of California Reads is Searching for Democracy.

Working together with our friends at the Watsonville-Santa Cruz Japanese American Citizens League (W-SC JACL) and the University of California, Santa Cruz, our library plans to host film screenings, a discussion blog and a series of speaker-led discussions to complement our community reading of Farewell to Manzanar. The library’s goal is to expand our community’s appreciation of Japanese American experiences during WWII by introducing this compelling memoir of the Wakatsuki family to a new generation of readers even as we engage those who are already eminently familiar with the book in deeper levels of dialogue and understanding. 

The program will kick off on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. in the Main Library Meeting Room with a screening of highlights from An American Story of World War II: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Japanese-American Community During Wartime (a documentary film that our library collaboratively produced with the W-SC JACL last year), followed by discussion. Author Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston will speak at the closing event on Thursday, May 3, 2012. California Reads programs are made possible with support from Cal Humanities in partnership with California Center for the book.

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