ken burns' manzanar: "never again"

I just watched Manzanar: "Never Again," a mini-documentary by acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns. It's one of five short films produced by WETA and Florentine Films as part of The Untold Stories Project, designed to bring to light stories from the national parks focusing on the role of African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans and Native Americans in the creation and protection of individual parks.

"Never Again" looks at the interconnected stories of Japanese American internment during World War II, Sue Kunitomi Embrey's efforts to commemorate Manzanar internment camp, and the ongoing work of Manzanar National Historic Site to educate visitors about civil rights. At the heart of the of the film is the site's annual pilgrimage and the words of Sue Embrey, who speaks movingly about protecting all citizens' rights, especially in times of national crisis.

I visited the Manzanar historic site for the first time last month, during the 40th pilgrimage. It was a powerful, moving experience. Standing there in the windy, dusty desert, it made the history of the internment that much more real to me. I shook my fist at the U.S. government. Anyway, watch the documentary here. And learn more about it at the Manzanar Committee Blog.

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