Minorities and the Critical Decade: World War II and After

30 Jan

Minorities and the Critical Decade: World War II and After

Join me for a ten-session course beginning Wednesday, February 1st.  This is offered through International Free University, and, yes, it is free.  You will find me in Room 215 of the Science Building at the Ocean Campus of City College of San Francisco, from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m.

This course looks at the rise of consciousness in American society towards minorities and minority rights through the lens of popular culture and social discourse during and following World War II.  American participation in World War II pressed American society to live by the ideals of the democratic society it espoused as it battled fascist states overseas.  This not only resulted in the reevaluation of laws denying Chinese, Indian and Philippine Americans citizenship, but also challenged Jim Crow laws segregating the Black and White races.  By the end of the 1940s, challenges to anti-semitism were prevalent and homosexuals were being viewed by some as an emerging minority.  On the other hand, the incarceration of Japanese Americans struck an unspoken blow to citizenship and civil rights in the United States.

Through the lens of popular culture, including short stories, novels, cartoons, plays and film, and the fine arts, narratives focusing on minority representation are examined and contextualized both within the realm of popular cultural production and discourses from the social sciences.

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