August 4, 2014
The legendary photos of Malcolm X aka El Hajj Malik el Shabazz will forever be etched in the pages of American history. In one photo, a Japanese woman holds his head as his spirit left his body. This woman was a friend and comrade of El Hajj Malik el Shabazz; her name is Yuri Kochiyama. She lived an extraordinary life that was intertwined with the Black human rights struggle and the Black Power Movement.
July 1, 2014
Her name was Yuri, a Japanese woman born in the United States. I hesitate to call her a Japanese-American, for to do so suggests she was a citizen. In light of how she, her family and her community were treated during World War II, especially after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, to call any of them citizens would be an exaggeration. Yuri Kochiyama, freedom fighter, after 93 summers, has become an ancestor.