The book by Terese Svoboda, Black Glasses Like Clark Kent (Graywolf Press 2008), tells the personal true story of Svoboda’s journey, beginning with her Uncle who becomes depressed, then takes his own life.
Her uncle served in the US Occupation of Japan, working as a Military Stockade guard.
He began recording his stories on how the US Occupation authorities ordered the reduction of prisoners in the stockades. Within a context of a Black Pacific, the role African-Americans played in resistance and as targets of racism, and how this reflects and affects thoughts of American identity.
But as the author’s uncle’s death is a mystery, that centerpoint leads to her investigations. Her investigations lead to dark secrets embedded in U.S. military history, that begs for many questions without answers, linked with why her uncle took his own life.
What happened in the stockades of U.S. Occupied Japan? What secrets area revealed? Covered Up?
What are the parameters of life, death, and racism during Jim Crow U.S. cultural morals and the Occupied territories?
A hallmark of nation-states is the entitlement to decide who lives and who dies, as well as the hierarchies that informs those decisions, generating and maintaining racisms according to causes and conditions. It is not “natural.” It is a playing out of the enlightenment, the race hierarchy, of hypodescent embedded in modernization and/or nationalisms.
Jim Crow Black/White violent apartheid of the USA, was also practiced as American culture in the U.S. military during the Occupation of Japan.
Terese Svoboda has given us another untold story that continues to inform us on the invisible Black Pacific. Thank you Terese.
VIDEO TRAILER for the book:
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