Item #6085 How Can We Help Japanese American Evacuees? Suggestions for Church Women. Gracia D. Booth.

How Can We Help Japanese American Evacuees? Suggestions for Church Women.

[New York]: Committee on Resettlement of Japanese Americans, 1944. 8 3/8” x 5¼”. Stapled self-wrappers. Pp. 12. Very good: light overall wear, with a tiny strip at the foot of the first two leaves folded over and with a small tear.

This is a booklet intended for distribution among Christian women as part of an effort by the Committee on Resettlement of Japanese Americans (CRJA) to assist with the resettlement of Japanese Americans who were interned during the war. It was written by a woman who dedicated a significant amount of her career to teaching Native Americans in Arizona. The CRJA came about after the War Relocation Authority began to develop public-private partnerships with local church groups and citizen committees. In October 1942, a joint meeting was held by two of the sponsors of this book: the Home Missions Council of North America and the Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America in New York City. At that meeting, church representatives of 14 denominations established the CRJA. The CRJA's overriding goal involved assisting newly released internees in finding new homes and jobs, as well as publicizing their plight such that other organizations and individuals would also join and help.

The author, Gracia D. Booth, opened and closed the booklet with anecdotes of her personal experiences with Japanese Americans who were interned. In the first section, “I Saw Them Go,” Booth stated that “It is our Christian privilege to help them in every possible way as they so valiantly struggle to put down their roots again.”

The booklet suggested several ways that church women could help the internees, including offering employment and assistance with finding housing, organizing a citizen's committee, and inviting them to church services, study groups, classes, and meetings. Booth advocated attempts at developing friendships with released internees, including visiting each other's homes, taking outings together to art galleries, museums, or shopping, and setting up children's play-dates. There were suggestions for calling upon local offices of the WRA and the YWCA for assistance, as well.

After the war, Booth worked for at least twelve years on a Navajo reservation. A 1955 newspaper mentioned her as an instructor of a school for Indians in Ganado, Arizona, which may or may not have been a different job. Her obituary testified that she was a “widely published poet, long-time teacher and volunteer community worker” who was active for more than 40 years in the Society of Friends.

OCLC finds 23 copies. A fine example of women working together with government agencies to try to smooth the transition of Japanese Americans returning to open society. Very good. Item #6085

Price: $600.00

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