They Called Us Enemy
Fri, 09/11/2020 - 11:55am by samanthar
Winner of the Eisner 2020 Best Reality Based Work, They Called Us Enemy is a powerful graphic novel documenting actor, author, and activist George Takei’s youth spent in US Japanese internment camps during WWII. In 1942, George and his father, mother, little brother, and baby sister were forced out of their Los Angeles home and imprisoned in US military camps. This was done to about 120,000 people, on the singular basis of being of Japanese descent. I knew about the internment camps and discrimination against Japanese Americans that took place at the time, but Takei’s telling brings out the nuances of what life was like for a child living through this devastating time. It is shocking to think that this happened in America, and less than 80 years ago. It hits home how this could happen again all too easily. I enjoyed the story being told in a graphic novel format. It helped keep it from getting pulled down by the heaviness of the subject, and I found myself more readily engaged by a graphic novel than if this was a traditional nonfiction book. I think it’s important for everyone to know about this deplorable time in United States history, and George Takei’s book is an excellent way to learn about it.