Not that Mr. Takei needs any help from me, but I thought I’d take this time-appropriate moment to write about his campaign anyhow.
When I was a kid, I had a very odd obsession about WWII. Like, all of it. I don’t know if I experienced it in a past life or what, but for every history project and even a creative writing assignment, I would tackle some aspect of The War. Since we moved around quite a bit, no one noticed which was probably just as well. hehehehe.
I don’t remember how I stumbled across it, but I read about the Japanese Internment Camps when I was 14 and wow did that hurt. Everything I’d read until that point made sure to present that we were the Good Guys. It was the battle against Evil. And it was, of course, there’s no denying the world would be hugely different if the Nazis had won. (go read or watch The Man in the High Castle, for instance.)
I remember reading through these huge library books and finding only tiny sections on the Japanese camps, but I was determined to find what I could. And I did. I wrote my report about how US Citizens were pulled from their homes simply because they were Japanese and driven to internment camps right here in the States. I got an A and life went on. I do remember the teacher was surprised by the subject matter, though I don’t know if it was because he’d never known about the camps (horrifying, if true, since he was a history teacher) or because it was such a depressing subject for a teenager.
I never forgot this terrible part of WWII. It lingered at the back of my mind my entire life to randomly pop up in my brain. I never did anything about it because it never seemed like anything could be done. It was simply a part of history and a lot of history sucks.
That brings me to George Takei’s Legacy Project. Allegiance, a musical, was written based on his experiences as a child in the Heart Mountain Internment Camp in Wyoming. It’s going to Broadway this fall. Before that happens, he’s raising money to assist with production and whatever else it takes to get shows on Broadway. That alone would be a good cause. I personally believe that you can’t be a good citizen without knowing all your history, including the ugly chapters, and this musical is a way of bringing awareness to everyone.
Adding to the greatness of his cause, Mr. Takei has made it so that by donating, they are going ‘match’ funds raised as if invested by the Japanese American National Museum. What that means is that a share of the profits will go directly to the Museum for as long as the show runs (maybe beyond that depending on the contract between Allegiance and the Museum and what ‘spinoffs’ happen in the future. I dunno, not a lawyer).
The indiegogo campaign to donate to this wonderful cause is here. I donated because every little bit counts. If a million people give $10, well, you do the math. (seriously. I don’t feel like getting out a calculator ;o)) Right now it’s only 79% funded and there are 53 days left to donate. If you can’t donate, then please spread the word.
Let’s help Mr. Takei boldly go where he’s never gone before, as he put it! 😀
(ps-the image comes from the Allegiance website and was taken by Henry DiRocco, check it out)