Item # 156870.
By Janice Munemitsu. Foreword by Sylvia Mendez.
The Story of Two Families behind Mendez, et al. v. Westminster, the 1947 Desegregation of California Public Schools. The Kindness of Color tells the true story of two immigrant families who came to Southern California for better lives, only to face their own separate battles against racism in the midst of World War II. One family came by land from Mexico and the other by sea from Japan. Little did they expect their paths would meet and lead to justice and desegregation for all the school children of California in Mendez, et. al v. Westminster (1947) - seven years before Brown v. Education (1954).
Despite the discrimination and racism the Mendez and Munemitsu families encountered, there was one thing that helped them persevere. Acts of kindness by friends, neighbors and strangers encouraged their hearts and souls, opened paths to solutions, and created communities of support and kindness. This is the family story behind the case, highlighting the beauty and power of the Kindness of Color that made the landmark case possible.
The book tells the story of how racism against the Japanese-Americans led to Tad Munemitsu leasing his family farm to Gonzalo and Felicitas Mendez during the forced evacuation and internment of 120,000 Japanese-Americans during World War II. When the Mendez family moved to the Westminster farm, the Mendez children were denied entry to the “white” school and forced to go to the “Mexican” school with inferior academics. Racism by the government and school districts denied both families of their constitutional amendment freedoms and rights, but acts of kindness along the way created the path to justice.
In 2022 we will celebrate the 75th anniversary of this landmark case!
Paper: 214 pp.
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