The Japanese residents and proprietors of Los Angeles' Little Tokyo were forcibly evacuated in 1942. The district filled up with African Americans denied housing elsewhere. Its wartime name was Bronzeville. In 1945 when Japanese internees were allowed to return, the two communities, each with a history of race-based dislocations, made efforts to accommodate each other in a biracial "Little Bronze Tokyo." The efforts and frictions were reflected in the columns written by Nisei Hisaye Yamamoto in the pages of the Tribune, a black newspaper. A second evacuation in 1950 of part of the district for the construction of a new police headquarters injured the returning Japanese community but devastated what was left of Bronzeville. Bronzeville ceased to exist less from disputes between African and Japanese Americans than as a result of racist spatial practices by local government. In the immediate post-war period, however, both competitive and coalitional approaches to multiracialism made possible a biracial landscape. Both communities learned from the brief experience of "Little Bronze Tokyo."
- Copyright 2011 Historical Society of Southern California