K.P. Kollenborn

One of the Worse Civil Rights Violations in America Is Still Misunderstood

Did you know that one of the worse civil rights violations in America is still misunderstood, overlooked, and undervalued? Seventy years later, books about American concentration camps continue to be taboo; especially in the fiction sector. Now one could argue that Snow Falling Over Cedars, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, When the Emperor was Divine, and Thin Wood Walls have cracked that taboo. To some extent, yes. Even though Cedars and Hotel interpretations face the issues of racism and the harsh reality of the imprisonment camps, but they are not told solely in the experiences of the Japanese-American community. And although Emperor and Walls do shed light on the historical experiences, however they don’t dig down into the emotional depth of enduring the hardships. The novels do contend with broken-down families, but do not explore the rampant distrust and prejudices within the Nikkon community, nor the sporadic violence and derogatory language that erupted during the internment years.