George Takei remembers the discrimination that cost him and his family their freedom during World War II.
“Pearl Harbor was bombed, and there was fear the West Coast would be next,” the TV and movie actor told the News-Press in 2017. “We happened to look like the people who bombed Pearl Harbor. They (the U.S. government) saw us as the enemy.”
“My mother was born in Sacramento. My father was a San Franciscan,” said Mr. Takei, who played Mr. Sulu on the original “Star Trek” series. “They met and married in Los Angeles, and my siblings and I were born in Los Angeles. We were Americans. We had nothing to do with Pearl Harbor.”
Mr. Takei, who was a boy at the time, and his family were sent by train to a prison camp in Arkansas.
“My mission in life is to get that dark chapter of American history known to all Americans,” Mr. Takei said.
He is among the people featured in the documentary “And Then They Came for Us.” It is screening as part of the Santa Barbara Public Library’s events commemorating the Day of Remembrance.
The library has partnered with 16 other California libraries and film producer Abby Ginzberg to screen the documentary for free during Feb. 12-18. The award-winning documentary is directed by the Peabody Award-winning team of Abby Ginzberg and Ken Schneider.
“And Then They Came for Us” brings history into the present and follows Japanese-American activists as they speak out against the Muslim registry and travel ban.
At 4 p.m. Feb. 19, the public can join a live discussion and Q&A of the film with Mr. Takei and producer Ms. Ginzberg.To participate, register at gooddocs.net/pages/attcfu-ca-public-libraries.
Additional community events include the library’s “TED & Joe in the Morning” and Social Justice Book Club.
“TED & Joe in the Morning” is a series in which two to four TED Talks on a particular topic are discussed. This month, the topic for 9:30 a.m. Friday is “Truth & Reconciliation.” Registration is required to receive the link to join. Go to santabarbaraca.evanced.info/signup/EventDetails?eventid=33090.
The February meeting of the Social Justice Book Club will discuss Mr. Takei’s “They Called Us Enemy, ” a graphic-novel adaptation of Mr. Takei’s childhood experience of incarceration in the camp for Japanese-American. The Social Justice Book Club will meet at 5:45 p.m. Feb. 25. “They Called Us Enemy” is available to check out in paperback and eBook.
To register for the book club, go to santabarbaraca.evanced.info/signup/EventDetails?eventid=33022.
As part of the Day of Remembrance programming, the library has partnered with the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation to view a virtual exhibit of Santa Barbara’s Nihonmachi (Japantown). Go to https://poly.google.com/view/6W017JEKQ31.
For more information, go to sbplibrary.org.