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Samurai Among Panthers: Richard Aoki on Race, Resistance, and a Paradoxical Life
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Richard Aoki: The man, the activist, the leader » Nichi Bei
Item location:. Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. Ships to:. This amount is subject to change until you make payment.
Diane C. Fujino, Ph.D.
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Janitors, Street Vendors, and Activists. His life story exposes the personal side of political activism as it illuminates the history of ethnic nationalism and radical internationalism in America. A reflection of this interconnection, Samurai among Panthers weaves together two narratives: Aoki's dramatic first-person chronicle and an interpretive history by a leading scholar of the Asian American movement, Diane C. Aoki's candid account of himself takes us from his early years in Japanese American internment camps to his political education on the streets of Oakland, to his emergence in the Black Panther Party.
He joined the early Black Panther Party and was eventually promoted to the position of Field Marshal. Although there were several Asian Americans in the Black Panther Party, Aoki was the only one to have a formal leadership position. In junior high Aoki joined a gang, later would brag that he was a great street fighter, and still managed to become co-valedictorian. Later, in a deal to expunge his criminal record, Aoki spent one year in active duty serving in the United States Army , first as a medic and later in the infantry, and 7 years in the reserves.
In this time he became proficient in firearms. During his time in the reserves he was elected to The Berkeley Young Socialist Alliance's executive council and was a member other socialist groups, reporting the information he gathered back to the FBI.
He attended Merritt College for two years, where he became close friends with his longtime acquaintances Huey Newton and Bobby Seale , the founding members of the Black Panther Party; the organization was founded in October , one month after Aoki transferred to the University of California, Berkeley. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in sociology in and a Master of Social Work degree in It was originally reported that Aoki died at his home in Berkeley from complications from dialysis. His life was chronicled in the documentary film, Aoki. I developed him.