Evacuatedfrom Los Angeles in early April of 1942, hundreds of ethnic Japanese traveled to the Manzanar internment facility, 250 miles away. Located in Owens Valley, California, it was flanked by the High Sierras on one side and Mt. Whitney on the other.
The great photographer Ansel Adams took hundreds of pictures at Manzanar. The Library of Congress has created a special on-line exhibit, “Suffering Under a Great Injustice,” featuring much of that work. When he gave the collection to the American people, Adams wrote:
The purpose of my work was to show how these people, suffering under a great injustice, and loss of property, businesses and professions, had overcome the sense of defeat and dispair [sic] by building for themselves a vital community in an arid (but magnificent) environment...All in all, I think this Manzanar Collection is an important historical document, and I trust it can be put to good use.
Poston, one of the most populated internment camps, was located in Arizona, on an Indian reservation. Despite adversities it, too, had a sense of community.
Let’s take a look.