Common Ground (magazine)

1940s quarterly magazine that focused on issues facing America's new immigrants and ethnic and racial minorities. Published by the Common Council for American Unity (CCAU) with funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Common Ground featured many articles by and about Japanese Americans, particularly about their wartime incarceration and subsequent resettlement.

Background and Beginnings

The Common Council for American Unity began as the Division of Work with the Foreign Born, a World War I era government agency formed in 1918. It soon became the Foreign Language Information Service (FLIS), and continued on as an independent organization after being demobilized by the federal government in 1922. It's stated purpose was "“to aid in a better understanding of the adjustment problems of the foreign born in America, to encourage a keener appreciation of the cultural contributions of the foreign born to America, to promote tolerance, and combat prejudice and discrimination against anyone of foreign birth who has chosen America as his home.” [1] It did PR and educational work, sending out news releases, putting out a monthly newsletter titled The Interpreter , putting on cultural programs, and doing social welfare work. With the immigrant population shrinking through the 1930s, the organization changed its name to the Common Council for American Unity in 1939.

Best selling author Louis Adamic had joined the board of FLIS in 1934, bringing with him new visibility and many supporters. Adamic, along with immigration law authority Read Lewis, who had been the director of FLIS nearly since its inception, and staff member M. Margaret Anderson, led the creation of the magazine that would become Common Ground, and secured the grant from the Carnegie Foundation that enabled its creation. The first issue went to press in August 1940. The first printing of 5,000 issues quickly sold out, leading to the printing of 2,500 more copies, buoyed by positive notices in major newspapers and magazines and high profile endorsements. After six months, subscriptions stood at 4,000 despite the relatively high $2 annual subscription cost. [2]


Adamic served as the initial editor of Common Ground , and the early issues largely set the template for full run of the magazine. Each issue ran around 120 pages and featured approximately twenty main articles. These main articles included pieces by and about ethnic and immigrant Americans, both fiction and non-fiction, that sought to educate the larger population about various aspects of the ethnic and immigrant experience. Various regular departments followed, including “The Common Council at Work,” “From the Immigrant Press,” “Organizations and their Work”, “News Notes” and “Miscellany” and “The Bookshelf," among others. From the fourth issue, a section of photographs of ordinary ethnic American began to appear. The magazine took no ads, except those for books and occasional United Nations projects. An "Editorial Aside" in the first issue stated that "the aim of Common Ground is to begin to tell the story of the coming and meeting on this continent of peoples belonging to about 60 different national, racial, and religious backgrounds. This story is not now being covered by any other magazine." [3]

Six issues in, Adamic resigned as editor over differences with director Lewis about marketing and the general direction of the organization. Managing Editor Anderson took over as editor and would remain in that position throughout the magazine's run, 31 out of the 37 total issues. The main editorial change that took place under Anderson's editorship was an increase in the number of articles dealing with racism and racial issues, particularly having to do with African Americans, and a relative decline in coverage of white ethnic and immigrant groups. African American poet and activist Langston Hughes, a member of council's editorial advisory board, was the most frequent contributor to the magazine, with sixteen pieces published. Like Hughes and Adamic, many well known writers contributed pieces to Common Ground . But relative unknowns were frequent contributors as well. The second most frequent contributor was Georgian American George Papashvily, who wrote of his immigrant experiences in collaboration with his American born wife Helen Waite. The couple became famous as a result of their Common Ground pieces, the compilation of which became a best selling book. [4]

Japanese American Topics

The first piece on Japanese Americans to appear in the magazine was a short story by Toshio Mori in the Winter 1940 issue titled "Lil' Yokohama." The story depicted a few days in a Japanese American community in the San Francisco Bay area, built around the all-American pastime of baseball. Other than a brief and approving note on the 1940 JACL convention in Portland, no other stories on Japanese Americans appeared until after the attack on Pearl Harbor. [5]

The first issue after the the attack featured several pieces by Nisei reflecting on the war and the hopes and fears it brought out, while also affirming each author's faith and hope in America. After reprinting Mike Masaoka 's ultra patriotic " Japanese American Creed ," the magazine ran pieces by Mary Oyama , Tooru Kanazawa , and Satoko Murakami. Oyama's recounts the scene in Los Angeles and the difficulties that enemy alien internment and freeze of Issei assets brought on the community before reiterating her gratitude of being an American and her hope that "[a]fter this stressful period of inevitably intensified prejudice, intolerance, and discrimination, we hope for—and we fight for—a new era where we Nisei will be accepted as full-fledged Americans." Oyama would contribute two other pieces to the magazine, an Autumn 1942 piece reporting on life at the Santa Anita Assembly Center , and a December 1946 piece reporting on her family's return to their home in Los Angeles. Kanazawa's similar piece reports on the scene in New York and ends with his vow to "take up arms when the Army calls me" and that "when the war is finally over, we know it will be found that Japanese Americans have acquitted ourselves creditably and honorably in defense of our country." Murakami, a Kibei who had been raised in Japan until age fifteen, contrasts her Japanese and American educational experiences, while affirming her faith in both Japanese American loyalty and the "American spirit... to bring the better world of tomorrow." [6]

Once the forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans had occurred, reports from behind barbed wire were frequent, both by Japanese American correspondents and sympathetic whites, many of whom were government officials, including War Relocation Authority Director Dillon Myer and Manzanar Director Ralph Merritt . The Summer 1943 issue featured a section of five articles titled "Democracy Begins at Home—II" that strongly backed the WRA policy of resettlement , highlighted by editor M. Margaret Anderson's piece, "Get the Evacuees Out!," perhaps the angriest piece on the incarceration to appear in the magazine. [7] Anderson's continued interest in Japanese Americans continued after the war, with numerous postwar pieces reported on the progress of the Japanese Americans post-resettlement and on legal gains made in the postwar years. She hired Eddie Shimano , who had been the editor of the concentration camp newspapers the Santa Anita Pacemaker and Denson Tribune , enabling him to leave camp to resettle in New York . Serving as assistant editor, Shimano also wrote the "Current Fiction" book review feature during the magazine's last year. Anderson was also a friend and advisor to Nisei artist Miné Okubo , whose drawings often augmented stories in Common Ground . [8]

Shutting Down

Through the war years, the Common Ground' s circulation numbers rose steadily, peaking at just under 9,000 in 1946. But after the war, those number began to decline, to 7,617 in 1947, 6,396 in 1948, and 5,826 in 1949, no doubt influenced by changing political winds and growing anti-Communist fervor. [9] Further bad news came in 1946 with the results of a study on the Common Council commissioned by the Carnegie Corporation that criticized Common Ground for a lack of focus, for "too many sentimental, fictional items which have the additional weakness of strengthening feelings of group difference," and for having "too much material on the racial—Negro and Jewish—issues." In November 1946, Carnegie informed the council that they would be ending their funding and awarded a final $90,000 grant in January 1947. Carnegie's annual support to the council had been approximately $25,000 to $30,000 a year; though not all for Common Ground, Carnegie's support covered over half of Common Ground annual expense. Though other funders were sought, the gap was too much to make up, and the quarterly ended publication at the end of 1949. [10]

The legacy of Common Ground is difficult to assess. Though it had a relatively short lifespan and limited circulation, it was widely used by educational groups and other organizations, its articles were frequently reprinted, and it was often consulted by mainstream organizations about minority issues. Deborah Ann Overmyer writes that "Letters of appreciation came from librarians, teachers in elementary schools through college, social workers, religious leaders, soldiers at home and overseas, and plenty of what Adamic called ‘run-of-the-mill’ Americans.” She also lists 39 books "which grew directly or indirectly from Common Ground." [11] It has been the subject of Overmyer's doctoral dissertation and academic articles by William C. Beye. Most recently, historian Matthew Briones writes about the artists and writers of what he calls the "Common Ground School" in his 2012 biography of Charles Kikuchi; it is also often mentioned in studies of ethnic history, Louis Adamic or Langston Hughes. In 2012, the Utz Archive made digital versions of 33 of 37 issues of Common Ground (all but the first four issues) available online.

Authored by Brian Niiya , Densho

For More Information

The Unz Archive includes digitizations of 33 of the 37 issues of Common Ground .

Beyer, William C. "Searching for 'Common Ground,' 1940–1949: An American Literary Magazine and Its Related Movements in Education and Politics." Ph.D. dissertation, University of Minnesota, 1988.

———. “Creating ‘Common Ground’ on the Home Front: Race, Class, and Ethnicity in a 1940s Quarterly Magazine.” In The Home-Front War: World War II and American Society . Edited by Kenneth Paul O’Brien and Lynn Hudson Parsons. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1995. 41–61.

Briones, Matthew M. Jim and Jap Crow: A Cultural History of 1940s Interracial America . Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2012.

Ichioka, Yuji. "'Unity Within Diversity': Louis Adamic and Japanese Americans." In Before Internment: Essays in Prewar Japanese American History . Ed. Gordon H. Chang and Eiichiro Azuma. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2006. 127–52.

Overmyer, Deborah Ann. " Common Ground and America’s Minorities, 1940–1949: A Study in the Changing Climate of Opinion." Ph.D. dissertation, University of Cincinnati, 1984.

Wall, Wendy L. Inventing the "American Way": The Politics of Consensus from the New Deal to the Civil Rights Movement . New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.

Common Ground Articles by or about Japanese Americans

This list includes all articles with substantial content on Japanese Americans. There are many other articles that contain brief mentions of Japanese American related topics—particularly mentions of events, reviews of books, or excerpts from ethnic newspapers in regular departments such as "News Notes," "Miscellany," and "The Bookshelf"—that are not noted here. Also not noted are Eddie Shimano's book review columns that were a regular feature in the 1949 issues.

Volume 1, Number 2, Winter 1940

Mori, Toshio. "Lil' Yokohama." 54–56. [Short story depicting a few days in a Japanese American community in the Bay Area]

"Organizations and Their Work: The Nisei Convention in Portland." 78–79. [Account of the 1940 JACL convention reporting on the positive local reception.]

Volume 2, Number 3, Spring 1942

Roosevelt, Mrs. Franklin D. " The Democratic Effort. " 9–10. [Call for unity and acceptance of aliens in general and German, Italian and Japanese Americans in particular.]

Masaoka, Mike. " The Japanese American Creed. " 11. [Full page reproduction of the creed .]

Oyama, Mary. " After Pearl Harbor—Los Angeles. " 12–13. [Reflections on the war by a Los Angeles Nisei writer.]

Kanazawa, Tooru. " After Pearl Harbor—New York City. " 13–14. [First person account of the situation in New York by a Japanese American Committee for Democracy organizer.]

Murakami, Satoko. " I Am Alive. " 15–18. [Hopeful personal essay by a Kibei college student raised in Japan until age 15, contrasting her education in Japan and the U.S.]

Harville, Margery. " Dear Mr. Adamic—. " 103–04. [Letter ostensibly from a 7th grader about ethnic American students at her school, including Nisei students who have been "treated pretty bad" since the attack on Pearl Harbor.]

Volume 2, Number 4, Summer 1942

Rowe, James, Jr. " The Alien Enemy Program—So Far. " 19–24. [Outline and defense of the Justice Department's program by an assistant to the attorney general notes Executive Order 9066 without mentioning Japanese Americans.]

McWilliams, Carey . " Japanese Evacuation: Policy and Perspectives. " 65–72. [Outlines various considerations in formulating a policy for the ongoing "herculean and utterly novel project."]

Kawachi, Asami. " Strangers' Rice. " 73–76. ["First-place winner in the college division of Common Ground's Writing contest, Asami Kawachi was a student at Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles, California." Tells her life story as a Nisei who returned to Japan with her mother and siblings at age 11, coming back at 13 to be raised by foster parents.]

" America's Youngest Newspaper. " 111–12. [On the beginnings of the Manzanar Free Press .]

Volume 3, Number 1, Autumn 1942

Brown, Robert L. " Manzanar—Relocation Center. " 27–32. [On the arrival and adjustment of Manzanar population by the public relations director" at Manzanar.]

Oyama, Mary. " This Isn't Japan. " 32–34. [Sketch of life at Santa Anita; two letters in response published in Dec. 1943 issue.]

" Sincerely Yours: Letters to Louis Adamic. " 88–90. [One is by a Nisei who decries the discrimination leading to incarceration.]

Volume 3, Number 3, Spring 1943

" What Happened at Manzanar: A Report. " 83–86. [Unsigned account of the Manzanar riot/uprising of Dec. 1942.]

Merritt, Ralph P. Untitled letter to aunt. 86–88. [On Christmas at Manzanar in the wake of the riot/uprising by the camp director at Manzanar.]

Volume 3, Number 4, Summer 1943

Anderson, M. Margaret. " Get the Evacuees Out! " 65–66. [Appeals to all Americans to aid in resettlement efforts and serves as introduction to the series of articles on Japanese Americans in this issue titled "Democracy Begins at Home—II."]

Frase, Robert W. " Relocating a People. " 67–72. [Case for large scale resettlement out of the camps made by the WRA's assistant chief of the employment division.]

O'Brien, Robert W. " Student Relocation. " 73–78. [On the ongoing program to send Nisei from the camps to colleges by one of the leaders of that effort.]

Shimano, Eddie. " Blueprint for a Slum. " 78–85. [Bleak portrayal of life behind barbed wire that advocates strongly for resettlement; editor of the camp newspapers at Santa Anita and Jerome , the author is "awaiting induction into the Army" while on the staff of Common Ground .]

Sickels, Alice L. " St. Paul Extends a Hand. " 86–87. [Rosy picture of resettlement in St. Paul, Minnesota by the "executive of the International Institute in St. Paul and secretary of the St. Paul Resettlement Committee."]

Volume 4, Number 1, Autumn 1943

McWilliams, Carey. " Race Tensions: Second Phase. " 7–12. [On the rise of racial tensions in the U.S., including the rise of anti-Japanese activity in California despite the incarceration.]

Goodman, Ezra. " Motion Pictures of the Quarter. " 94–95. [Review of current movies mostly focuses on Air Force and its inaccurate portrayal of Japanese Americans in Hawai'i.]

Volume 4, Number 2, Winter 1943

Myer, Dillon S. " Democracy in Relocation. " 43–48. [Overview of "relocation" to that point by the director of the WRA, ending with efforts to reenter inmates into the labor force through leave for farm work.]

Morimitsu, George. " Shipment. " 89–90. [On new soldiers shipping out from the Reception Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, where the author works.]

Volume 4, Number 3, Spring 1944

Beshoar, Barron B. " Report from the Mountain States. " 23–30. [includes a discussion of employment issues faced by resettled Japanese Americans by the regional chief of information of the War Manpower Commission in the mountain states.]

Kuniyoshi, Yasuo . " The Artist and the War. " 33–35. [Speech delivered at the American Common by the well known artist, addressing his thoughts about the war, his role in it, and the role of art.]

Cranston, Alan. " Friendship Through Food: Food Follows Our Flag. " 75–78. [On the role of food production in the war effort; notes the contributions of Japanese Americans' agricultural labor in and out of the WRA camps.]

Kehoe, Monika. " Education for Resettlement. " 99–101. [On adult education at Gila by the director of adult education there.]

Volume 4, Number 4, Summer 1944

Kuroki, Sergeant Ben . " Fighting Together. " 44–52. [War hero Kuroki's address before the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco in February describes his experiences as a Nisei tail gunner.]

McWilliams, Carey. " The Nisei Speak. " 61–73. [Excerpts from letters sent to the author by Japanese Americans reflecting on their "amazing adventure"; a condensation of a chapter from his book.]

Konvitz, Milton R. " The Pursuit of Liberty: Alien Chinese Now Eligible to Own Land. " 100–01. [The first of several articles (this on on alien land laws ) by the renowned legal scholar who was then an assistant general counsel to Thurgood Marshall at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.]

Volume 5, Number 1, Autumn 1944

Konvitz, Milton R. " The Pursuit of Liberty: The Right of Residence. " 95–96. [Review of legal cases in the face of local efforts to prevent Japanese American resettlement.]

Konvitz, Milton R. " The Pursuit of Liberty: Segregation By Federal Law. " 96–97. [Review of Hirabayashi case .]

Volume 5, Number 2, Winter 1944

Biddle, Francis . " Democracy and Racial Minorities ," part of "Are Race Relations the Business of the Federal Government?" symposium. 3–12. [Speech delivered on Nov. 11, 1943 before the Jewish Theological Seminary of America that deals mostly with the situations of Japanese and African American and that seems to oppose a federal race relations committee.]

Tajiri, Larry . " Farewell to Little Tokyo. " 90–94. [Assessment of the situation for Japanese Americans, advocating for the ending of Little Tokyos and for Japanese Americans seeing themselves as part of the larger racial problem in the U.S.]

Volume 5, Number 3, Spring 1945

The People of Sierra Madre. " Two Advertisements. " 17–19. [Reprint of two ads that appeared in the Sierra Madre News in November and December 1944, the first taking an anti-Japanese slant in promoting a blood drive for American G.I.s and the second a call for fair play for returning Japanese Americans.]

Beshoar, Barron B. " When Goodwill Is Organized. " 19–22. [On the successful campaign to defeat a November 1944 alien land law ballot initiative in Colorado by one of its organizers.]

Volume 5, Number 4, Summer 1945

Konvitz, Milton R. " The Pursuit of Liberty: The Constitution and Foreign Languages. " 94–96. [Discussion of foreign language instruction in the U.S. includes discussion of Japanese language schools .]

Volume 6, Number 1, Autumn 1945

Kimble, G. Eleanor. " Restrictive Covenants. " 45–52. [includes discussion of housing issues facing returning Japanese Americans.]

Myer, Dillon S. " Japanese American Relocation: Final Chapter. " 61–66.

Volume 6, Number 3, Spring 1946

Seton, Marie. " Saturday Nights: Americans Meet Americans. " 34–36. [On dinner parties arranged by the author in Chicago with guests of different races, including resettled Japanese Americans.]

Constable, M. H. " Nisei, Nisei! " 47–48. [Poem; "M. H. Constable in private life is Mary Takahashi. Born in Boston, she now lives and works as a writer in Chicago."]

Smith, Bradford. " Case History. " 71–76. [Short story about a Nisei couple settling in "Centreville" and trying to open a flower shop, told from the perspective of the various people they encounter in the town.]

Shapiro, Leo. " Intergroup Education. " 102–05. [On race relations high school curricula in Seattle and Minneapolis, the former of which is titled "Toward Preparing Students for the Return to Seattle of Japanese Americans."]

Volume 6, Number 4, Summer 1946

Constable, M. H. " Kei-Lan. " [Poem.]

Shapiro, Leo. " Intergroup Education. " 102–05. [On a San Francisco "intercultural education" program; notes the omission of Japanese Americans from it.]

Volume 7, Number 1, Autumn 1946

Greene, Stephen. " Nisei—Ears for the Government. " 17–20. [Laudatory account of Kibei/Nisei translators of Japanese radio broadcasts in the Foreign Broadcast Intelligence Service—who were allowed to stay in the Pacific Northwest during the war—by the head of the Portland office.]

Volume 7, Number 2, Winter 1946

Oyama, Mary. " A Nisei Report from Home. " 26–28. [Account of the author's family's relatively smooth return to their Los Angeles home.]

Kimble, G. Eleanor. " The 'Disloyal' at Tule Lake. " 74–81. [Analysis of the population remaining at Tule Lake at the end of 1945 by a former head counselor there.]

Volume 7, Number 3, Spring 1947

Haan, Aubrey. " Books Make Bigots. " 3–12. [Survey of California social studies textbooks finds treatment of minorities—including Japanese and Japanese Americans—wanting.]

Keroher, Grace Cable. " California's Proposition 15. " 27–32. [On the successful effort to defeat California's Proposition 15 , which would have amended the state constitution to make the alien land laws permanent.]

Volume 7, Number 4, Summer 1947.

Walsh, Richard J. " For Equality in Naturalization. " 12–17. [Argues the unfairness of racial bans on naturalization, citing effects on international relations and impact on Issei parents of Nisei soldiers killed in the war.]

Konvitz, Milton R. " The Pursuit of Liberty: Alien Land Laws Before the Supreme Court. " 92–94. [Review of the pending Oyama case .]

Volume 8, Number 1, Autumn 1947

Cullum, Robert M. " People in Motion. " 61–68. [Summary of the recent government publication on resettlement by its principal author.]

Volume 8, Number 2, Winter 1947

Smith, Bradford. " The Great American Swindle. " 34–38. [On the sad fate of Japanese American owned property and belongings after their removal; includes illustrations by Miné Okubo.]

Volume 8, Number 3, Spring 1948

Rose, Arnold M. " Progress Report. " 72–80. [Overview of racial progress in the U.S. by the co-author of An American Dilemma includes a brief discussion of Japanese American resettlers in St. Louis.]

Volume 8, Number 4, Summer 1948

Suyemoto, Toyo . " Transplanting. "10. [Short poem.]

Baldwin, Roger. " The Nisei in Japan. " 24–28. [Description of the author's trip to Japan to investigate Nisei who had been trapped there during the war, a number he estimates at 10,000, half of whom had lost their citizenship somewhat arbitrarily and nearly all of whom wanted to return to the U.S.]

Okada, Ferd. " Rice Instead of Potato. " 68–71. [Short story about eating in a Chinese restaurant in Nevada; illustrated by Miné Okubo.]

Konvitz, Milton R. " The Pursuit of Liberty: California Japanese Fishing Case Before Supreme Court. " 102–04. [On the Takahashi case that challenged the ban on fishing licenses for Issei.]

Volume 9, Number 2, Winter 1948

Smith, Bradford. " Legalized Blackmail. " 34–36. [On fees levied by California against Nikkei landowners targeted in escheat cases to quiet title.]

Volume 9, Number 3, Spring 1949

McWiliams, Carey. " Los Angeles: An Emerging Pattern. " 3–9. [includes a brief discussion of Japanese Americans; with sketches by Miné Okubo.]

O'Brien, Robert W. " Seattle: Race Relations Frontier, 1949. " 18–23. [An assessment of race relations in Seattle—including the state of the Japanese community—and descriptions of early efforts at community planning.]

Yashima, Mitsu . " Letter to Mako to Meet Again. " 41–46. [Letter to the author's fourteen year old son by a Japanese refugee artist living in New York on the eve of his coming the U.S. to join his parents after a ten-year separation.]

Volume 9, Number 4, Summer 1949

Konvitz, Milton R. " The Pursuit of Liberty. " 96–101. [Includes a discussion of the Namba case , which challenged the alien land law in Oregon.]

Volume 10, Number 2, Winter 1949

Smith, Bradford. " Japanese Etiquette. " 16–20. [Humorous short story about the first encounter between an Issei housekeeper and her harried white employer; includes an illustration by Miné Okubo.]

Cogley, John. " The Busy Bishop. " 37–46. [Profile of Bishop Bernard James Sheil, founder of the Catholic Youth Organization; among many other things, he assisted with resettlement to Chicago, starting Nisei House.]

Cullum, Robert M. " Japanese American Audit—1948. " 87–92. [Generally positive assessment of Japanese American fortunes, highlighting the work of the JACL.]


  1. Quoted in Deborah Ann Overmyer, "Common Ground and America’s Minorities, 1940–1949: A Study in the Changing Climate of Opinion” (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Cincinnati, 1984) 39–40.
  2. Among Adamic's books was From Many Lands , which contained the classic essay " A Young American with a Japanese Face ," anonymously authored by Charles Kikuchi. William C. Beyer, “Creating ‘Common Ground’ on the Home Front: Race, Class, and Ethnicity in a 1940s Quarterly Magazine,” in The Home-Front War: World War II and American Society , edited by Kenneth Paul O’Brien and Lynn Hudson Parsons (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1995), 42–43.
  3. "Editorial Aside," Common Ground 1.1 (Autumn 1940), 2.
  4. Beyer, "Creating 'Common Ground,'" 47, 50.
  5. Toshio Mori, "Lil' Yokohama," Common Ground 1.2 (Winter 1940), 54–56; "Organizations and Their Work: The Nisei Convention in Portland," Common Ground 1.2 (Winter 1940), 78–79.
  6. Mike Masaoka, "The Japanese American Creed," Common Ground 2.3 (Spring 1942), 11, ; Mary Oyama, "After Pearl Harbor—Los Angeles," Common Ground 2.3 (Spring 1942), 13, ; Tooru Kanazawa, "After Pearl Harbor—New York City," Common Ground 2.3 (Spring 1942), 14, ; Satoko Murakama, "I Am Alive," Common Ground 2.3 (Spring 1942), 18, ; Mary Oyama, "This Isn't Japan," Common Ground 3.1 (Autumn 1942) 32–34, ; Mary Oyama, "A Nisei Report from Home," Common Ground 7.2 (Winter 1946), 26–28, , all accessed on January 17, 2013. See also Yuji Ichioka, “’Unity Within Diversity’: Louis Adamic and Japanese Americans,” in Before Internment: Essays in Prewar Japanese American History, ed. Gordon H. Chang and Eiichiro Azuma (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2006), 143–45.
  7. Dillon S. Myer, "Democracy in Relocation," Common Ground 4.2 (Winter 1943), 43–48, ; Ralph P. Merritt, Untitled letter to aunt, Common Ground 3.3 (Spring 1943), 86–88, ; Dillon S. Myer, "Japanese American Relocation: Final Chapter," Common Ground 6.1 (Autumn 1945), 61–64, . In strikingly contemporary language, Anderson writes "It seems crystal clear that against our Japanese Americans democracy has done deep wrong. Evacuated from their West Coast homes in the hysteria that followed Pearl Harbor, over 100,000 people, two-thirds of them native born-American citizens, have been detained now over a year in government camps euphemistically known as relocation centers but uncomfortably close to concentration camps; detained not on investigated and determined dangerousness to the country, but because they happen to have been born with Japanese faces and names, and because the rest of us—citizens by no better right that the almost 70,000 Nisei, the accidental right of birth—forgot for a moment the story of transplantation that lies behind all American citizenship, were blind to the implications of something that threatened the security of all Americans. For if the United States government can not only evacuate from designated areas but indefinitely detain American citizens, without a hearing, only because of race or nationality background, than no one of us is safe." M. Margaret Anderson, "Get the Evacuees Out!," Common Ground 3.4 (Summer 1943), 65, , all accessed on January 17, 2013.
  8. Anderson also helped Okubo organize a show of her drawings and subsequently sent in on a national tour. Greg Robinson, After Camp: Portraits in Midcentury Japanese American Life and Politics (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012), 76.
  9. Overmyer, "'Common Ground,'" 387n5.
  10. Overmyer, "'Common Ground,'" 294–96, 353; quotes from the Carnegie Corporation's report from p. 294.
  11. Overmyer, "'Common Ground,'" 356–57, 410–12.

Last updated Dec. 18, 2023, 6:12 p.m..