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"City Girls: The Nisei Social World in Los Angeles, 1920-1950" with Valerie Matsumoto

Nisei girls and young women played vital roles in the ethnic community in prewar Los Angeles, working in the family economy and serving as cultural mediators. Because, like other youth of color, they were unwelcome in many school clubs and activities during the 1920s and 30s, they formed an extensive network of ethnic youth clubs through which they could enjoy parties, dancing, and sports, as well as gaining leadership training. For urban Nisei, clubs offered a haven of belonging in an era of racial exclusion and a vehicle through which girls could demonstrate American identity and claim modern femininity. Their organizational skills would prove important to the rebuilding of Japanese American communities after World War II uprooting and incarceration.
A program by FGSS, History, Asian American Studies, and the Clayman Institute for Gender Research.
This event is part of Herstory Month, a month-long event series dedicated to the stories and experiences of women-identified people. Herstory Month is sponsored by the Women’s Community Center and generously co-sponsored by Feminist Gender & Sexuality Studies. For questions or accessibility needs, contact Sarah Roberts at



Thursday, April 23, 2015. 04:15 PM


History Corner - Building 200, Room 307


Women's Community Center