Out of Infamy is a portrait of the civil rights activist whose dynamic personality evolved—via incarceration during World War II in the Gila River, Arizona camp—from California-born farm girl to New York City sophisticate to the Rosa Parks of Japanese Americans.
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Michi Nishiura Weglyn's landmark book, Years of Infamy: The Untold Story of America's Concentration Camps, jumpstarted the redress and reparations movement for more than 120,000 people of Japanese descent, most of them American citizens, who had been forcibly removed from their homes and businesses during World War II to live in barbed wire camps.
No one, not Michi herself, could have predicted that she would lead a civil rights movement within the Japanese American community to question the government's actions and to seek justice for those unconstitutional actions. A renowned costume designer and the first former prisoner to write a book about the mass incarceration, Michi wrote her book in obscurity, driven solely by her desire to know the truth about her own incarceration, as well as that of other Americans of Japanese descent. Her only support came from her husband, Walter, a German Jewish Holocaust survivor. Theirs is a love story unlike any other.
A petite soft-spoken woman, described by friends as shy and girlish, Michi did not seek attention for herself. But she was tenacious when it came to exposing the truth about governmental lies. Eating and sleeping were incidental while she would spend days on end researching documents that had been undisturbed for decades in government archives. "I have known generals," said a friend of Michi's, a military officer, "and Michi was tougher."
We want you to know Michi Nishiura Weglyn. We want the whole world to know her story.