Teaching Untold Stories During Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

By Moé Yonamine, 2012

“They’re Latinos…I think they’re some kind of farm workers.” “No, they’re Asians with name tags.” And then a student in a quiet voice walked by me slowly and muttered, “I think something really bad is happening to them.” My students at Roosevelt High School in Portland, Oregon studied each black and white photo posted around the room, inspecting the background and the facial expressions; confused, anxious, frustrated. They began a journey to uncover the hidden story of the Japanese Latin American removal, internment, and deportation during World War II.