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FRANK ABE wrote, produced and directed the award-winning PBS documentary Conscience and the Constitution, on the largest organized resistance to the incarceration of Japanese Americans. He is co-editor and author of a new biography in the anthology, JOHN OKADA: The Life & Rediscovered Work of the Author of No-No Boy (University of Washington Press), winner of a 2019 American Book Award. He is currently collaborating on two books: the graphic novel WE HEREBY REFUSE: Japanese American Resistance to Wartime Incarceration (The Wing Luke Museum/Chin Music Press, February 2021), and The Penguin Book of Japanese American Incarceration (Penguin Classics, 2021).
Abe contributed the afterword to Nisei Naysayer: The Memoir of Militant Japanese American Journalist Jimmie Omura (Stanford University Press), contributed a chapter to Frontiers of Asian American Studies (Washington State University Press), and has written for Amerasia Journal, The Bloomsbury Review, Case Western Reserve Law Review, International Examiner, Nichi Bei Weekly, Rafu Shimpo, and Pacific Citizen, among others. He blogs at Resisters.com.
Abe helped produce the first-ever “Day of Remembrance” in 1978 with Frank Chin and Lawson Inada, and together they invented a new Japanese American tradition by producing car caravans and media events in Seattle and Portland that publicly dramatized the campaign for redress. “Days of Remembrance” are now observed as an annual event wherever Japanese Americans live. He was project director in 1980 for a series of successful public symposiums, “Japanese America: Contemporary Perspectives on the Internment,” funded by the Washington Commission for the Humanities.
Abe is a former National Vice-President of the Asian American Journalists Association, and taught broadcast writing at Seattle University. He was a founding member of the Asian American Theater Workshop in San Francisco, studied at the American Conservatory Theater, and was featured as an incarceration camp leader in John Korty’s 1976 NBC-TV movie, Farewell to Manzanar.
Abe served 14 years as a reporter for KIRO Newsradio, the CBS Radio affiliate in Seattle, and 25 years as communications director for King County (Washington) Executives Gary Locke and Dow Constantine, and the Metropolitan King County Council.