7:41 PM

Watch the documentary about Japanese internment during World War II-- an event that occurred in the backyard of the South Bay. By politics editor, Teotl Veliz, and Indya Searchwell.

When I started to brainstorm about what topic I wanted to make this documentary on, I really wanted to be provocative. I began to talk to my Grandma about her upbringing here in the “City of Angels." She described her whole life to me from where she was born, through World War II up until the present day. During all this, she recalled her time working in the canneries alongside Japanese Americans on Terminal Island [in San Pedro]. She chronicled how one day they were all forced to abandon their homes, never to be seen again. I was shocked. I had always heard about Japanese internment, but was stunned that it had occurred in my own hometown. I immediately thought that I had to start researching about this seemingly lost history...

We’re just at the start of our documentary making journey, and have already encountered many inspiring individuals and were touched by what we discovered. What we heard in our interviews and read in document was indeed a tragic tale of the displacement and incarceration of one community, and other communities profiting off of that fact. The whole town of Terminal Island was razed and reduced to rubble. Businesses, homes and whole plot of land were taken away from a community that had worked so hard to obtain them and given to racist opportunists and looters. The lesson we learned from this whole experience is that democracy is fragile and will become despotic when fear and hate outweighs justice.

Thank you -- Teotl Teiwaz Véliz

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