Cherstin M. Lyon

Cherstin M. Lyon is associate professor of history and coordinator of the Public and Oral History Program at California State University, Bernardino, and the author of Prisons and Patriots: Japanese American Wartime Citizenship, Civil Disobedience, and Historical Memory (Temple University Press, 2011).

Updated July 2012 

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Searching for the Roots of Resistance

Late one evening, early in May 2002, I sat in a hotel room with a colleague, historical archaeologist Nicole Branton, after a long day of traveling and conducting interviews. Together, we read from the wartime diary that Joe Norikane had so generously lent to us. We had visited Joe and his wife Tee as a part of the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program grant we had received to conduct oral histories with Nisei who had served wartime federal prison sentences in the Tucson, Arizona, “honor camp.”

In 1999, the Coronado National Forest had renamed the site of the former ...

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