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Title: Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga Interview II
Narrator: Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Torrance, California
Date: July 7, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-haiko-03-0021

<Begin Segment 21>

TI: And during this time in New York with these jobs, you were also involved with the AAA, the Asian Americans for Action.

AH: Right.

TI: And so it feels like... what's the right word? It feels like you're awakening to something new?

AH: Definitely.

TI: Can you talk a little bit about that? What's awakening in you?

AH: Well, I had been pretty, I don't think I was ever a conservative, but I was not as progressive as I thought I was until I met, became a member of AAA. And those people just opened my eyes, the members of AAA, Kazu, Tak, Chris Ijima, Min Matsuda, all these people were just wonderful persons. And I started to learn about, I think we started, I started to wonder more about why the camps happened. I was too busy sort of rebuilding the life, my life to put much thought to it. But then the black movement and Martin Luther King and Kennedys and all those things started happening, I started to think more about it. And when I was invited to join the AAA, come listen to what they had to say, just a meeting, informal meeting, I was really struck by my ignorance about political systems, about racism, things I hadn't given much thought to, really deep thought to. And being a member of AAA at that particular time was, to me, the door that opened me for the future and how I would live. It was very influential. AAA was very influential in my life.

TI: And would you say that that was the core, or the main reason that really got you more aware of these things, AAA?

AH: Definitely. There's no question. If I had not been there, I would still be the same old, "Don't make waves, just stay in the background, be part of the wallflower group." That would have been... they were so effective in changing how I thought, and facing reality.

TI: Okay. I have a lot more questions about the AAA, but in a previous interview we asked you more questions about this, so I'm going to move on.

AH: Okay.

TI: And if people who are either reading this transcript or listening want to know more about the AAA, we have another interview that goes into this in more depth.

AH: Okay, fine.

<End Segment 21> - Copyright © 2009 Densho. All Rights Reserved.