DACA 1900

About five year ago I came across this striking portrait and posted it with the following backstory. Then my friend Reuben McKnight added the subsequent wiki post in answer to my wondering.

This is Taku Yamashita’s senior picture at Tacoma High School, a member of the millennium generation. He was graduating into a new century, in a fine vested suit, delicate silk tie and confident gaze of a young man with great promise. Twenty years later his hometown congressman would question his sense of belonging and by the time he was in his early sixties, if still here, he was relocated. What he couldn’t know in this youthful photograph would have broken his heart but on this hopeful day in the early summer of 1900 the new century was just ahead. He was determined and smart and I have a feeling Taku succeeded. Wish I knew.



Reuben McKnight: Perhaps he did succeed after all.

Takuji Yamashita (1874–1959), born in Yawatahama on Ehime, Shikoku, Japan, was a civil-rights campaigner. In spite of social and legal barriers, he directly challenged three major barriers against Asians in the United States: citizenship, joining a profession, and owning land.


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