Samurai Among Panthers: Studying Japanese American and Black Activism in Oakland

Diane Fujino discusses her new book, Samurai Among Panthers, about Richard Aoki, the most prominent non-Black in the Black Panther Party and a foremost leader of the Third World strike and Asian American Movement. Aoki’s dynamic life was centered in Oakland and Berkeley, with influences from his childhood in the Topaz, Utah, concentration camp, growing up in Black West Oakland, and an army stint in the 1950s. He was awakened to political activism suring the early years of the Cold War and developed into a significant political leader in the 1960s. Part of the research for Samurai among Panthers was done at the Oakland Public Library.Diane Fujino is chair and professor of the Department of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She teaches and studies Asian American activism, Japanese American radicalism, and Afro-Asian solidarities. Her other books include Heartbeat of Struggle on Japanese American activist Yuri Kochiyama, renowned for her connections with Malcolm X, and Wicked Theory, Naked Practice, on Chinese American saxophonist, radical activist and writer, Fred Ho.

Contact: Steven Lavoie   510-597-5058   slavoie@oaklandlibrary.org


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Temescal Branch

5205 Telegraph Avenue
Oakland, CA 94609
Phone: (510) 597-5049