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Wherever There’s a Fight: Uncovering Hidden Civil Liberties History in the CHS Archives

March 23, 2021 | 5:30 pm 6:30 pm

Authors and former ACLU staffers Elaine Elinson and Stan Yogi dove deep into the archives at the California Historical Society and other libraries to uncover voices of Californians who stood up for their rights—voices that had been ignored, marginalized and even silenced. They found court documents from Charlotte Brown, a Black woman who fought against race segregation on San Francisco streetcars in 1863, identification papers of Wong Kim Ark who challenged anti-Asian restrictions on citizenship, and yellowing newspaper clips with photos of labor organizers Sol Nitzberg and Jack Green, who were tarred and feathered by vigilantes Santa Rosa. One of their most surprising finds was correspondence from their own ACLU revealing the controversy over challenging the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II.

Please join California Historical Society to hear from Elinson and Yogi and see some of their discoveries.

CHS archivist Al Bersch will join the authors with a practical how-to guide on using the recently digitized newsletters of the ACLU-NC, the ACLU News, to uncover thousands of civil rights cases dating back to 1936.

Register Here

About the Speakers

Elaine Elinson

Elaine Elinson

Elaine Elinson was the communications director of the ACLU of Northern California and editor of the ACLU News for more than two decades. She is a coauthor of Development Debacle: The World Bank in the Philippines, which was banned by the Marcos regime. Her articles have been published in the Los Angeles Daily Journal, the San Francisco ChronicleThe NationPoets and Writers, and numerous other periodicals. She is married to journalist Rene CiriaCruz and they have one son.

Stan Yogi

Stan Yogi

Stan Yogi is the coauthor, with Elaine Elinson, of Wherever There’s a Fight: How Runaway Slaves, Suffragists, Immigrants, Strikers, and Poets Shaped Civil Liberties in California, and, with Laura Atkins, of the children’s book Fred Korematsu Speaks Up. He managed development programs for the ACLU of Northern California for fourteen years and is the coeditor of two books, Highway 99: A Literary Journey through California’s Great Central Valley and Asian American Literature: An Annotated Bibliography. His work has appeared in the San Francisco ChronicleMELUSLos Angeles Daily Journal, and several anthologies. He is married to nonprofit administrator David Carroll and lives in Los Angeles.


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