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AfriGeneas Writers Forum

Re: Charlotta Bass & The California Eagle

Dear Dr. Millner:

The links that I included in my first post of Ms. Bass and her and the California Eagle are my main references to her life. I found them through the very reliable University of California.

I wrote:

"The University of Southern California presents close to 500 images from the Charlotta Bass collection. The images from California's oldest black newspaper feature local, political and international events."

My regional focus and interest in African American newspapers and journalists is centered on the Midwest (The Chicago Defender) and the East (The Courier, Amsterdam News etc).

So when I found the University of Southern California's presentation, it opened another vista of black journalism that I wanted to share with the Writers Forum.

I'm sure that the Writers Forum would welcome any information that you or your students may have on Ms. Bass. Your reference about her position on internment camps is very troubling. If her editorials or words reveal a strong position in favoring internment camps, then again, I would find them MORE THAN TROUBLING.

You have me at a disadvantage, since as I wrote earlier, California hasn't been a focus of my research. California's black history is a fascinating chapter in the African American history. It's also a regional history that needs to be brought to the forefront of our American legacy.

You mentioned the Zoot Suit Riots, which was about another American minority group...Mexican Americans. The prejudice against Latinos, in this case Mexican ancestored Americans is another tragedy in US history. It's ironic that their Spanish ancestors were in the Americas many many centuries before the Eastern migrants in covered wagons became the ruling class and settled in states, cities and communities that bear Spanish names.

It's also ironic that Hispanics fought bravely in both world wars and were the most highly decorated of all ethnics and the Puerto Rican 65th Infantry Regiment was the most decorated unit in the Korean War.

It's also ironic that the Japanese-American Nisei of the 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team in Europe were the most decorated unit in our military history.

Another irony is the valor of African American troops in European Theater and the Pacific. The 761st Tank Battalion eventually received the Presidential Unit Citation by President Jimmy Carter.

The mention of these three minority groups and their valor in defense of this country is written many decades after the 40's and 50's, in retrospect. Many critics, especially those outside of the US cannot understand their loyalty to a country that discriminated and incarcerated them. One thing is for sure; these men "didn't play." No matter what injustices they faced, America was their country.

Again, I write the above in retrospect. Perhaps Ms. Bass would have too.


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18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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