valerie j. matsumoto When I got a copy of What Comes Naturally, I felt a pang upon seeing the cover: there was Nikki Bridges, also known as Noriko Sawada Bridges Flynn, captured by a press photographer in 1958, standing beside her soon-to-be husband Harry Bridges, the well-known leader of the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union (ILWU). Nikki--warmhearted, witty, a spirited civil rights activist and writer--was a dear friend. I met her as a graduate student at Stanford when her organization, the Center for Japanese American Studies in San Francisco, invited me to give a talk about my research. She would have gotten a kick out of being on the cover of Peggy Pascoe's book. One of the many things I appreciate about What Comes Naturally is Pascoe's resistance to portraying interracial couples as one-dimensional champions of justice. In this essay I aim to add more dimension to the history of the Nisei (U.S.-born second-generation) woman on the cover. I also briefly consider how Asian American families have responded to the issue of interracial marriage and how Japanese Americans--the Asian Pacific American group I know best--have been affected by the changes illuminated in What Comes Naturally. nikki sawada bridges
Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Dec 3, 2010
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