Konrad Aderer, Sabrica Barnett, Stephon Beckford & Family | Shades of U.S.


[HEARTBEAT] ♪ [THEME MUSIC] ♪>>WELCOME TO SHADES OF US, THE SHOW THAT LOOKS AT A PERSON’S JOURNEY WHEN IT COMES TO RACE AND SELF IDENTITY. IN THIS EPISODE WE WILL EXAMINE PERCEPTIONS OF RACE AND INTRODUCE YOU TO A WOMAN WHO STUDIED INTERRACIAL IDENTITIES IN GROUPS, THEN WE WILL HEAR FROM TWO BROTHERS EXPLORING THEIR IDENTITY THROUGH MUSIC. YOU WILL HEAR FROM A FEATURE FILMMAKER WHO STRUGGLED WITH HIS OWN ORIGINS AND FOUND RESOLUTION THROUGH FILM. FIRST, HERE IS SABRICA BARNETT. ♪>>MY NAME IS SABRICA BARNETT AND I AM BLACK, WHITE BIRACIAL. I WORK AS A SENIOR RESEARCHER AT THE GIRL SCOUT RESEARCH INSTITUTE. MY WORK REVOLVES AROUND PROGRAM EVALUATIONS. MY RESEARCH IS GROUNDED IN SOCIAL IDENTITY AND HOW PEOPLE ARE CONNECTED TO SOCIAL GROUPS THAT THEY BELONG TO. I SEE RACE AND GENDER AS HAVING SIMILAR WAYS OF PLAYING PARTS IN PEOPLE’S IDENTITIES. WORKING AT GIRL SCOUTS HAS ALLOWED ME TO TAP INTO MY GENDER IDENTITY AND UNDERSTAND HOW IMPORTANT THAT IS IN TERMS OF HOW I SEE THE WORLD AND HOW I INTERACT WITH PEOPLE. I GREW UP WITH MY MOTHER, BECAUSE SHE RAISED ME AS A SINGLE MOTHER. MY MOM MOVED OUT TO CALIFORNIA IN THE ’60s, SHE WAS A HIPPIE AND WANTED TO BE OUT WITH THE FOLKS OUT THERE AND BE ON THE JAZZ SCENE. THAT IS WHERE SHE MET MY FATHER, WHO WAS A JAZZ MUSICIAN. WE TRAVELED ALL OVER THE PLACE. I WAS RAISED IN NEW YORK FOR THE EARLY PART OF MY LIFE, AND THEN BEING THE NOMAD, WE MOVED DOWN TO FLORIDA. IT WAS A PREDOMINANTLY WHITE NEIGHBORHOOD THAT I GREW UP IN, SO I WAS AWARE THAT I WAS DIFFERENT FROM OTHER PEOPLE. THE SOUTH IS DIFFERENT IN THE SENSE THAT IT IS THE DEEP SOUTH AND THEY HAVE A HISTORICAL BACKGROUND WITH RACE RELATIONS. YOU ARE EITHER BLACK OR WHITE, THERE IS NO IN BETWEEN. I STARTED THINKING ABOUT MY IDENTITY AROUND PRETEEN YEARS. HIGH SCHOOL WAS A LITTLE TRAUMATIC. WHEN I CAME TO MY MOTHER AND TOLD HER ABOUT WHAT WAS HAPPENING AND THE QUESTIONS I WAS GETTING, SHE HAD A COLORBLIND IDEOLOGY. SHE WAS RAISED TO NOT THINK ABOUT COLOR, WHICH ON THE SURFACE SOUNDS LIKE A GOOD THING. YOU DO NOT WANT TO JUST SEE PEOPLE BY A SOCIAL GROUP THAT THEY BELONG TO, BUT AT THE SAME TIME IT DID NOT PREPARE ME. I HAD TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO ANSWER THIS ON MY OWN. WHEN I WAS GROWING UP AND TRYING TO UNDERSTAND WHO I WAS, ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS I DID WAS PLAY A LOT OF SPORTS. I SPENT A LOT OF MY TIME PLAYING VOLLEYBALL, SOFTBALL, AND CHEERLEADING. I HAD FRIENDS FOR LIFE THAT SUPPORTED ME NO MATTER WHAT WE DID AND GAVE ME THE GROUNDING THAT I COULD DO MY IDENTITY WORK IN OTHER AREAS OF MY LIFE. IN THE 1990s, THERE WAS NO RESEARCH ON MULTIRACIAL IDENTITY. IT WAS JUST STARTING TO BECOME AN ISSUE. ON THE U.S. CENSUS YOU COULD NOT SELECT MORE THAN TWO RACES UNTIL 2000. I LIKE TO JOKE THAT RESEARCH IS MESEARCH. I WANTED TO STUDY RACIAL IDENTITY. I DID NOT HAVE A LOT OF MENTORS. WHEN I GRADUATED NEW YORK UNIVERSITY, I STARTED WORKING IN THE NOT-FOR-PROFIT WORLD. I DID COMMUNITY ORGANIZING. I SPENT A COUPLE OF YEARS AFTER UNDERGRAD WORKING WITH STUDENTS TO TEACH THEM HOW TO BE CITIZEN ACTIVISTS AND LOBBY ON ISSUES THAT THEY CARED ABOUT AND I WANTED THEM TO STUDY THOSE ISSUES AT AN ACADEMIC LEVEL. I WENT TO MASTERS AT HUNTER COLLEGE TO GET MY MASTERS DEGREE, AND THEN I APPLIED TO GO TO THE CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK’S GRADUATE CENTER TO WORK WITH BILL CROSS AS A LEADER OF BLACK IDENTITY. I READ HIS BOOK. HE BASICALLY TALKS ABOUT HOW THERE IS NO ONE WAY TO BE BLACK. THERE ARE A LOT OF DIFFERENT WAYS AND YOU CAN HAVE TWO PEOPLE WHO IDENTIFY AS BLACK, BUT ONE PERSON, THAT MIGHT BE IT. THERE ARE OTHER IDENTITIES THAT ARE MORE IMPORTANT. I WAS INTERESTED IN UNDERSTANDING THE EXPERIENCE FROM A MULTIRACIAL PERSPECTIVE. SHORTLY AFTER BARACK OBAMA HAD BECOME ELECTED PRESIDENT, WANDA SYKES HAD A COMEDY SPECIAL CALLED “I’MA BE ME.” SHE STARTS IT OFF BEING VERY EXCITED ABOUT OUR NEW PRESIDENT, AND SHE IS WALKING PROUDLY ALONG THE STAGE. SHE WAS EXCITED ABOUT HAVING THIS PERSON REPRESENTING BLACK PEOPLE MEANT GREAT THINGS FOR EVERYBODY. AND THEN SHE HAS A KICKER, I KNOW THAT BARACK OBAMA IS BLACK AND WHITE, I KNOW HE IS BIRACIAL. BUT I DO NOT CARE. HE IS BLACK, UNLESS HE MESSES UP, AND THEN WHO ELECTED THAT HALF WHITE GUY. I WANTED TO STUDY THAT PHENOMENON. BEING BIRACIAL MEANS YOU CAN MOVE IN AND OUT OF DIFFERENT WORLDS. I WANTED TO UNDERSTAND THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH YOU WERE ACCEPTED INTO RACIAL GROUPS. I ASK THEM HOW DO YOU IDENTIFY YOUR RACE CURRENTLY AND THINK ABOUT A TIME IN THE PAST WHEN YOU IDENTIFY DIFFERENTLY. THERE WERE PEOPLE WHO SAID I AM NONRACIAL, I DO NOT WANT TO PUT LABELS ON MYSELF, AND THAT IS NOT THE WAY I WANT TO SEE MYSELF IN THE WORLD. AND, THERE WERE NOBODY WHO IDENTIFIED AS WHITE, BUT THAT WAS CERTAINLY OPTION FOR PEOPLE WHO HAD PART WHITE IN THEIR ANCESTRY. HALF OF THE PEOPLE WHO SAID THAT THEY WERE MULTIRACIAL NOW WERE ONLY ONE RACE IN THE PAST. THERE WAS A FLUID NATURE WHERE A LOT OF PEOPLE ACROSS TIME HAD IDENTIFIED WITH ONE RACE AND THEN SAID I WANT TO INCORPORATE ALL OF ME AND BE BIRACIAL. THERE IS NO ONE WAY TO BE BIRACIAL. THERE WERE A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO HAD THE SAME ANCESTRAL MAKEUPS, BUT THERE WERE FOLKS THAT IDENTIFIED AS JUST BLACK, AND THAT IS HOW THEY WANTED TO HAVE THE WORLD SEE THEM AND THAT IS HOW THEY SAW THEMSELVES. THEY WERE PEOPLE WHO WANTED TO SAY BLACK AND WHITE, SO BE PART OF BOTH WORLDS. THERE WERE PEOPLE THAT IDENTIFIED AS MULTIRACIAL AND THEY SAW THIS AS BEING DIFFERENT THAN BLACK-AND-WHITE. I WANTED TO GET A SENSE OF DO BLACK PEOPLE PERCEIVE BLACK AND WHITE BIRACIALS AS PART OF THEIR RACIAL GROUP? I ASKED THE BLACK FOLKS VERY SIMPLE QUESTION. WHAT I FOUND WAS THAT BLACK PEOPLE WHO ANSWERED QUESTION ABOUT THE BLACK AND BIRACIAL FOLKS HAD SIMILAR READINGS. THEY RATED BLACKS AND BIRACIALS SIMILARLY IN TERMS OF BEING PART OF THE RACIAL GROUP AND IN TERMS OF HOW MUCH THEY FELT SIMILAR TO THEM. WHITE PEOPLE VIEWED BIRACIAL PEOPLE AS THIS IN BETWEEN GROUP. THEY DID NOT VIEW THEM AS WHITE. THEY ALSO DID NOT VIEW THEM AS BLACK. THEIR FEELINGS FELL IN BETWEEN THE TWO. THIS SUGGESTS THAT WHEN WHITE PEOPLE INTERACT WITH BIRACIAL PEOPLE THEY ARE PERCEIVING THEM LITTLE MORE FAVORABLY THAN BLACK PEOPLE. ONCE YOU SEE SOMEONE AS PART OF YOUR RACIAL GROUP, HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THEM AND TREAT THEM? I WANTED TO REPLICATE THIS AGAIN, BUT NOW CAN WE PUSH THEM OUT? THE NEGATIVE SCENARIO WAS DESIGNED TO TAP INTO THE STEREOTYPES. IT WAS A FAKE NEWS REPORT OF A TARGET PERSON BEING ARRESTED FOR DRUGS. NOW THEY DID GET PUSHED, BUT THEY WERE NOT PUSHED ALL THE WAY OUT. BLACK FOLKS ARE NOT SAYING BIRACIALS ARE NEVER BLACK, BUT THEY STAYED IN THE MIDDLE. THE REVIEWS I GET — THAT IS INTERESTING AND NICE TO KNOW, BUT WHY DO WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT IT? THERE WAS NOT AS BIG OF A RELEVANCY AT THE TIME THAT I WAS DOING MY RESEARCH COMPARED TO NOW WHERE PEOPLE ARE STARTING TO UNDERSTAND THAT IDENTITY POLITICS MATTER AND WE SEE ON THE TV, AND IN POLITICS AND IN OUR EVERYDAY LIFE THAT WHO WE ARE, WHETHER IT IS RACE, CLASS, GENDER, PLAYS A ROLE AND AFFECTS WHAT WE DO. I ALMOST WISH I WAS PUBLISHING NOW BECAUSE WE COULD GET MORE TRACTION. I WANT TO UNDERSTAND AND KNOW ALL OF THE DIFFERENT WAYS THAT PEOPLE CAN BE PEOPLE BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT MAKES US GREAT. ♪>>MUSIC CAN OFTEN BE USED AS A TOOL OF SELF-EXAMINATION. THIS IS HOW STEPHON AND J.J. USE THEIR CRAFT TO EXPRESS IDENTITY. ♪>>I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A MUSIC MANAGER BECAUSE I FEEL LIKE SOME PART OF ME DEFINITELY BELONGS IN THAT INDUSTRY. ♪>>MY NAME IS STEPHON, AND I’M 29 YEARS OLD. I CURRENTLY RESIDE IN CROWN HEIGHTS, BROOKLYN. I AM ORIGINALLY FROM LONG ISLAND. A MAJORITY OF THE CROWD I LIVE IN HAS A HEAVY CARIBBEAN INFLUENCE. MY DAD IS BLACK-AND-WHITE, AND MY MOTHER IS BLACK. THE DIFFERENCE IN HOW MY MOTHER AND FATHER RAISED ME DEFINITELY INFLUENCE HOW I VIEW THINGS IN TODAY’S DAY AND AGE. HIS MOTHER WAS FROM LONDON, ENGLAND, WAS IN WORLD WAR II. MY GRANDFATHER, WHO WAS FIGHTING IN THE ROYAL AIR FORCE AT THE TIME, AND MY GRANDMOTHER WENT BACK TO JAMAICA. IN THOSE TIMES BIRACIAL RELATIONSHIPS WERE A TABOO. SHE RAN THE CHANCE OF NEVER SEEING HER FAMILY AGAIN. GOING TO A WHOLE ANOTHER COUNTRY — WHAT COULD HAVE HAPPENED? THAT SPEAKS TO THE TIME PERIOD, AND THAT WANTING — SOCIETY WAS SAYING THAT THEY LET LOVE OVERRIDE EVERYTHING ELSE. ♪>>DURING THE SUMMER TIMES I WOULD BE WITH MY FATHER IN JAMAICA, AND IN JAMAICA THE CULTURE IS NOT REALLY BASED OFF OF RACISM AS IT IS AS CLASSISM. ♪>>THERE IS ALL KIND OF RACIST PEOPLE THERE. THE CLASSISM WILL BE PUT ON PEOPLE THAT ARE OBVIOUSLY FOREIGN. THAT IS WHAT THE LIFESTYLE WAS OUT THERE THAT I NOTICED GROWING UP, VERSUS OVER HERE, IT WAS DEFINITELY BASED OFF OF COLOR. ♪>>I FEEL LIKE IT WOULD’VE BEEN HYPOCRITICAL OF US TO BE JUDGMENTAL OF PEOPLE OF OTHER RACES WHEN WE HAVE EQUALLY BOTH BLACK-AND-WHITE FAMILY MEMBERS, AND UNDERSTANDING THAT IS WHAT YOU GUYS WERE BORN INTO.>>I WAS BORN ON THE ISLAND OF JAMAICA AND I WAS THERE UNTIL I WAS 10 YEARS OLD. I NEVER FELT LIKE I HAD TO DISCUSS RACE. IT WAS A NON-ISSUE. I REMEMBER WHEN I DECIDED TO — WHEN I GOT ENGAGED TO JACK. I REMEMBER MY MOM’S COMMENT. I GUESS STEPHON LIKED HIM INITIALLY, SO THERE WAS NO NEED TO. THAT WAS HOW I FELT.>>MY MOM GOT REMARRIED. SO I GREW UP WITH A WHITE STEPFATHER AND SO I GREW UP WITH A LOT OF BEATLES AND 70s AND 80s ROCK. EVEN THEN, GROWING UP, I STILL DUG THROUGH THAT AND PICKED UP SAMPLES OF THOSE SONGS AS WELL. MY LITTLE BROTHER IS ACTUALLY THE FIRST ARTIST I HAVE BEEN MANAGING, AND HE IS A BIG INSPIRATION TO ME. AT THE SAME TIME, WE NEED EACH OTHER TO REACH.>>MY WHOLE NAME IS JOHN ISAIAH WELSH AND I GO BY JJ. MY STAGE NAME IS LEUCA. ME AND STEPH ARE RELATED BY OUR MOTHER. I IDENTIFY MORE WITH MY BLACK SIDE. I GREW UP MORE AROUND MY BLACK SIDE THAN MY WHITE SIDE. MY DAD HAD LESS FAMILY THAT I COULD BE AROUND AS OPPOSED TO MY BLACK FAMILY. WE BROUGHT THEM OVER ALL OF THE TIME AND WERE ALWAYS AROUND THEM. I REFER TO MYSELF AS BIRACIAL, BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT I AM AND WHAT I LOOK LIKE. IT PLAYS A HUGE ROLE IN MY MUSIC. MY STAGE NAME IS BASED ON A WORD THAT MEANS BLACK AND WHITE MAMMAL. I THOUGHT OF USING THAT NAME AND IT FEELS LIKE A HUGE IDENTIFIER IN MY MUSIC.>>THAT IS WHY I LIKE THE MUSIC RELATED TO REAL-LIFE ISSUES. JJ PUTS IT OUT THERE, BUT I FUNNEL IT AND MAKE IT SOUND MORE RELATABLE. WHEN WE ARE TALKING MUSIC WE GO AT IT THAT SENSE. IT IS JUST STUFF LIKE THAT AND IT DOES NOT CARRY OVER TO A PERSONAL LIFE.>>I LIKE THE DYNAMIC OF THE TWO BOYS TOGETHER. I THINK HE RESPECTS HIM AND STEPHON CAN CALM HIM DOWN. I AM COMFORTABLE WITH THAT. HE RAISED HIM A LITTLE BIT, SO I AM OK WITH THAT.>>BEING BIRACIAL HAS ALWAYS BEEN A PRO. I HAVE MEMORIES OF BEING THE ONLY WHITE BOY AT THE BLACK PARTIES. AS I GREW UP, I STARTED TO BE MORE SECURE WITH MYSELF AND WHO I WAS AND PEOPLE WOULD BUILD RESPECT FOR ME AS I BUILT RESPECT FOR MYSELF. IT HAS NOT BEEN AN ISSUE SINCE I WAS A KID. MY STYLE OF MUSIC, I AM IN R&B, AND SOUL KIND OF PERSON. I GREW UP SINGING IN CHURCH.>>♪ IT WAS A MILLION MILES, LIKE A MILLION DAYS, STILL LOVE IT LIKE YOU IN A MILLION WAYS. AND NOW I AM FALLING INTO YOU. INTO YOU. YOU ARE FEELING LIKE HEAVEN TO ME. YOU ARE FEELING LIKE HEAVEN TO ME. TELL ME DID I DIE. YOU ARE FEELING LIKE HEAVEN TO ME. YOU ARE FEELING LIKE HEAVEN TO ME. ♪>>IT COMES THROUGH KNOWING YOUR PURPOSE, AND THAT IS SOMETHING THAT WE BOTH HAVE STRUGGLED WITH BEFORE.>>DIFFERENT LAYERS AND PARTS OF OUR RELATIONSHIP.>>TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT IT IS WE ARE TRYING TO DO, THE NOOKS AND CRANNIES OF OUR LIVES AND FIGURING OUT WHAT NEEDS TO BE CUT OUT. TO ME, MUSIC HAS ALWAYS BEEN CONSTANT AND ALWAYS BEEN SUCCESSFUL. YOU JUST FIGURE OUT WHAT ANYBODY HAS TO SAY ABOUT IT, BUT THIS IS WHAT WE DO AND THIS IS WHO WE ARE. ♪>>KONRAD ADERER IS A FILMMAKER WHO FOUND OUT ABOUT HIMSELF WHILE DOCUMENTING HIS FAMILY’S STORY. ♪>>I HAVE A RESISTANCE TO ATTRIBUTING THINGS TO ME RACIALLY. I AM CAREFUL ABOUT THIS — TAKING THIS AS FACT WHICH I THINK ANY PEOPLE OF COLOR GOES THROUGH. MY NAME IS KONRAD ADERER. WHEN MY PARENTS GOT TOGETHER, MY SENSE OF DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A WHITE PERSON AND AN ASIAN AMERICAN WAS MORE PRONOUNCED IN MANY WAYS. MY DAD SERVED IN VIETNAM, AND I LIVED IN AN ARTIST BUILDING ON THE WEST SIDE. MY MOM WAS AN ARTIST. MY PARENTS DIVORCED WHEN I WAS THREE YEARS OLD. MY FATHER WAS IN TRIBECA. I ENDED UP BOUNCING AROUND IN THE LOWER PART OF MANHATTAN. I GOT A LOT OF MY RACIAL EDUCATION FROM MY MOM. THERE WAS A SENSE OF THINGS HAVING HAPPENED TO US, TO MY PEOPLE. EVEN VIETNAM, EVEN THOUGH I AM NOT VIETNAMESE, I’M JAPANESE AMERICAN, STILL, THERE IS A SENSE THAT THAT WAS A COLLECTIVE EXPERIENCE. FOR MY FATHER, I DID NOT DISCUSS THE RACIAL ASPECT WITH HIM. FROM HIS STANDPOINT, I WAS BROUGHT UP AS A WHITE PERSON. FOR HIM, VIETNAM WAS A PERSONAL CHALLENGE. HE USED THE WORD “GOOKS,” THAT WAS WHO HE WAS FIGHTING. AT THE TIME I DID NOT THINK ABOUT THAT THIS IS SOMETHING THAT APPLIES TO ME, AND NO ONE TOLD ME THAT I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE THINKING ABOUT WHO I WAS. MY DAD SAW ME AS HIS SON, SO HE BROUGHT ME UP JUST LIKE HIS SON, AS A WHITE PERSON OR SOMEONE WHO WAS PART OF HIS FLESH AND EXPERIENCE GOING TO FIGHT A WAR IN ASIA. I GUESS IT GAVE ME A SENSE OF PERSPECTIVE THAT I HAD TO RISE ABOVE IT AND LOOK AT BOTH THINGS IN A MORE RATIONAL WAY, OR TO HAVE A OVERVIEW OF THINGS TO RECONCILE THEM. WHEN I WAS PURSUING AN ACTING CAREER, I CAN SAY, EXTERNALLY, THERE WERE THINGS THAT APPLIED TO ME. I FOUND I WAS BEING CALLED TO CERTAIN ROLES BECAUSE OF MY ASIANNESS. IT BELITTLES WHAT YOU WOULD THINK AS YOUR TALENT OR WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT YOURSELF. THE POSITIVE SIDE WAS THAT I FOUND A COMMUNITY WITH OTHER ASIAN AMERICAN ACTORS, DIRECTORS AND FILMMAKERS. I WAS GETTING TOGETHER WITH GROUPS THAT WOULD ENVISION HOW WE WOULD MAKE A MOVIE THAT WOULD CHANGE THE WAY THINGS WERE. I MADE MY FIRST SHORT FILM, WITH THAT COMMUNITY, WHICH WAS A FICTION FILM. IT HAD A SENSE OF THINGS I WAS DEALING WITH AS AN ASIAN AMERICAN LIVING IN HARLEM. WHEN WE WERE SHOOTING, 9/11 HAPPENED. IT DISRUPTED THE SHOOT BECAUSE THINGS WERE GOING TO CHAOS. NUMBER TWO, I HEARD ABOUT A PROJECT THAT THEY WERE DOING, WHERE THEY WERE GATHERING FILMMAKERS OF COLOR TOGETHER TO DO MEDIA FROM THE STREETS. MY FIRST FILM, I REACHED OUT TO A WOMAN WHOSE HUSBAND WAS ONE OF THE FIRST 9/11 DETAINEES. I WONDERED, WHAT WAS IT LIKE FOR THE PEOPLE WHO HAD TO TAKE THEIR WHOLE FAMILY AND JUST LEAVE EVERYTHING AND LIVE IN SOME CAMP FOR AN INDEFINITE PERIOD BECAUSE THEY LOOK A CERTAIN WAY. WHEN I WAS WORKING WITH FAROUK, WHO WAS THE SUBJECT OF ENEMY ALIEN, I PRODUCED A SHORT THAT WAS RALLYING SUPPORT TO GET HIM OUT OF DETENTION.>>FAROUK WAS SOMEONE WHO TOOK ME ON A REAL JOURNEY WITH HIM. HE REALLY INSPIRED ME TO CONFRONT MY OWN FAMILY HISTORY FOR THE FIRST TIME. AT THE POINT WHEN THINGS ARE DARKEST IN THE DOCUMENTARY, I GO UP TO OHIO TO VISIT MY GRANDMOTHER AND TALK TO HER ABOUT THE CAMPS FOR THE FIRST TIME. IT WAS A LIFE-CHANGING EXPERIENCE.>>THERE ARE THINGS THAT YOU CANNOT FORGET. PREJUDICE DOES NOT SEEM TO GO AWAY. SOME PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT ARABS SHOULD GET THIS KIND OF TREATMENT. SOMEONE SAYS SOMETHING LIKE THAT. SOME OF THOSE THINGS, WHEN I THINK ABOUT IT, IT HURTS ME. HE GOT HIS DISCHARGE PAPERS IN CAMP BECAUSE HE HAD DUAL CITIZENSHIP.>>IT DID NOT OCCUR TO ME TO DO A FILM THAT INVOLVES THEM. OTHER PEOPLE WERE LIKE, WHY DO YOU NOT TELL YOUR OWN STORY? SO IT TELLS THE STORY OF JAPANESE-AMERICANS WHO STOOD UP AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT. THE STORY OF WARTIME INCARCERATION OF JAPANESE AMERICANS WHICH IS KNOWN AS INTERNMENT, IS HOW WELL THEY COOPERATED AND HOW PATRIOTIC THEY REALLY WERE, AND HOW THEY EXEMPLIFIED AMERICANNESS BY VOLUNTEERING FOR MILITARY SERVICE. 5000 PEOPLE RENOUNCED THEIR CITIZENSHIP IN THE FILM, AND THIS IS SOMETHING THAT HAS NOT BEEN DISCUSSED AND IS COMING UP MORE RECENTLY WHERE THE ELEMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT ARE CHALLENGING BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP. ALL OF THESE THINGS, THE WHOLE PLAYBOOK OF WHAT THE GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN DOING OR CONTEMPLATING TO EXCLUDE IMMIGRANTS, MUCH OF IT WAS FIRST FORMULATED AND ENACTED ON THIS POPULATION. I AM WHAT YOU CALL A YONSEI, I AM THE FOURTH GENERATION OF IMMIGRANTS IN THE UNITED STATES. ISSEI ARE THE IMMIGRANTS. MY PARENTS WERE NISEI. THEY WERE BORN IN THE UNITED STATES. BUT MY GRANDMOTHER AND GRANDFATHER SPENT TIME IN JAPAN AND THEY RECEIVED SOME EDUCATION THERE. THEY SPOKE JAPANESE. MY SENSE IS THAT AFTER THE CAMPS, THEY DID NOT WANT TO PASS ON THAT CULTURE TO THEIR KIDS, BECAUSE NONE OF MY MOM NOR MY UNCLES OR AUNTS SPEAK JAPANESE. WITH MY MOTHER, I GOT THE SENSE THAT SHE FELT THAT BEING AMERICAN WAS HER IDENTITY, AND IF YOU WOULD SUGGEST SOMETIMES THAT WE CAME FROM JAPAN IN SOME SENSE THAT SHE WOULD BE INSULTED BECAUSE SHE FELT THAT PEOPLE — THE WAY WE LOOKED, WE WERE SOMETHING OTHER THAN AMERICAN. I AM A LITTLE DIFFERENT. I AM PROUD OF BEING JAPANESE AMERICAN. MY GRANDMOTHER JUST PASSED A FEW WEEKS AGO, AND I AM SO GLAD THAT I TOOK THAT STEP. I HAD NOT REALLY SPOKEN TO HER ABOUT MUCH UP UNTIL THAT POINT. EVERY YEAR AFTER THAT I MADE SURE TO COME AND SEE HER, AND IT HAS JUST BEEN GREAT. I HAVE HAD KIDS, AND I HAVE BROUGHT THEM UP AND CONTINUED THAT WHOLE LIFECYCLE. ♪>>THAT IS OUR SHOW FOR TODAY. TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR STORIES LOG ON TO TV.CUNY.EDU. WE WILL SEE YOU NEXT TIME. [HEARTBEAT] ♪ [THEME MUSIC] ♪

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