The Sunday porch: Martha’s Vineyard

Writer Dorothy West on her porch in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, ca. 1981, by Judith Sedwick, via Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America on flickr (both photos here).

West’s writing desk. Click to enlarge.

In 1978, West had been a participant in the Black Women Oral History Project. In 1981, photographer Judith Sedwick made portraits of a number of the interviewees, including West.

West had lived in her family’s former vacation home at Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard, since 1947 and wrote articles and stories for the The Vineyard Gazette.

Oakland, California

Oakland, Calif., 26 April 1942, Natl Archives Commons on flickr
“Arranging flowers for alter on last day of service at Japanese Independent Congregational Church, prior to evacuation [internment],” Oakland, California, April 26, 1942, by Dorothea Lange for the U.S. War Relocation Authority, via National Archives Commons on flickr.

All along the Pacific coast — from 1942 to January 1945 — over 110,000 people of Japanese heritage were forced into internment camps.  Sixty-two percent were American citizens.

In 1988, in the Civil Liberties Act, the U.S. Government admitted that its actions had been based on “race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership.”