“I Am An American” – Oakland Store After Pearl Harbor

This is a powerful photo showing what life was like for Japanese-Americans in California during World War II. The photo below was taken in 1942. The store below was located at 401 8th St. at Franklin. A few months after this image was taken, the owner was shipped off with other Japanese to internment camps in the middle of the country. The store was then purchased and run by Chinese-American families.

Oakland, Calif., Mar. 1942. A large sign reading “I am an American” placed in the window of a store, at 13th and Franklin streets, on December 8, the day after Pearl Harbor. The store was closed following orders to persons of Japanese descent to evacuate from certain West Coast areas. The owner, a University of California graduate, will be housed with hundreds of evacuees in War Relocation Authority centers for the duration of the war

Source: Library of Congress