On October 27, 2018, actor, activist, and author George Takei visited New York to deliver the keynote address at the School Library Journal’s 14th annual Leadership Summit. Speaking to a rapt audience of key figures from schools and libraries around the United States, Takei narrated his wrenching firsthand experience in childhood as one of 120,000 Japanese Americans forced into internment camps during World War II.
Takei also explored the complex lessons of patriotism and civic engagement passed down by his father, the duty of all Americans to stand up for our ideals, and his hopes for They Called Us Enemy to both educate and inspire new generations with the lessons of the past.
“Next year, we will put it in your hands, you librarians, to build the future of America, to inform the young people who will become the leaders of our future that we have a glorious history... but we should also be mindful of some of the horrible mistakes that we made,” he said. “As Americans, we all have a responsibility to build a better America.”
They Called Us Enemy is currently in preparation for release in Summer 2019, but some retailers are already beginning to offer preorders, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Hudson Booksellers, and the IndieBound network of independent bookstores.
Takei’s full keynote address to the SLJ Leadership Summit can be viewed on slj.com.