Dr. Ina shares parents letters from American concentration camps during WWII

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – The Grand Rapids Public Library’s summer reading program, GR Reads, is in full swing! All summer long the Library has paired books with interesting and informative events.

Today, we’re talking about an event tied to the book “When the Emperor was Divine”. The Novel follows the story of a Japanese American family through some of the darkest times in American history.

We were joined by Dr. Satsuki Ina, who is leading this weeks event and sharing her family’s story.

GR Reads Event:

  • Book: When the Emperor Was Divine
  • From a Silk Cocoon: A Japanese American Story
  • August 8 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
  • 111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids, 49503

Labeled as “disloyal” and deemed “enemy aliens dangerous to the public peace and safety of the United States,” Dr. Ina’s American-born parents struggled to prove their innocence and fight deportation while held in separate American concentration camps during WWII. She will share excerpts from her parents’ letters, diaries, and haiku poetry to recount the frightening and tragic outcome resulting from wartime hysteria and racial profiling. Chilling similarities of events from 75 years ago, and Dr. Ina’s current experience with Central American women and children held in prisons in South Texas, will conclude her presentation.