The response has been overwhelming. I signed 138 backorders for the Wing Luke Museum today, which is taking close to 1,000 copies of the 3,000 in the second printing. Chin Music Press has a whopping 865 back orders that will start shipping on September 1. That doesn’t leave many for the classroom orders coming in, but the publisher has learned from history and is moving quickly to order a third printing.
Our book is getting a second wind with classroom adoption by the educators we’ve met this spring and summer through the Association for Asian American Studies conference, the California Council for the Social Studies conference, the two National Endowment for the Humanities workshops through the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation, and the Wing Luke’s own teacher workshops, which we recorded and will soon have online for repeat viewing.
To keep the conversation going, we have three more events set for early fall. For the Tadaima! Community Virtual Pilgrimage we’re going to try something new with “We Hereby Refuse: The Next Generation,” For this one you’ll have a chance to meet Jim Akutsu’s son Phillip, Mitsuye Endo’s daughter Wendy, and Hiroshi Kashiwagi’s son Soji, and hear their reactions to the characterization of their parents. Set for Saturday, September 18, 2021, 1:00 pm PDT.
If it’s safe to go, I hope to attend in-person at the Brooklyn Book Festival, the largest free literary festival in New York City, where I would represent We Hereby Refuse on an amazing graphic novel panel at St. Francis College called “From the Past to the Future.” It will feature remarkably similar works of well-researched documentary history by Brian Keith Mitchell (Monumental), Bill Campbell (The Day the Klan Came to Town), and Dash Shaw (Discipline), and be moderated by Lara Saguisag (College of Staten Island). If travel is not advised, this will be virtual, but one way or another it will happen on Saturday, October 3, 2021, at noon.
In Washington, DC, the Graphic Narratives Symposium at George Washington University will definitely be virtual. Students in their fall courses will be reading We Hereby Refuse and I Was Their American Dream. Tamiko Nimura and I will be joined by author Malaka Gharib in virtual conversation at a symposium on “Race and Immigration in Comics: A New Conversation” on Friday, October 15, 2021, time TBA.
Looking ahead to 2022, we hope to be able to go back on the road with visits to UCLA and the University of Pennsylvania. Hope to see you in person someday soon.