We would love to help you bring the world of Allegiance into your classroom! The piece takes place in a rich but often ignored part of American history and we believe that Allegiance can serve as a profound way for your students to begin investigating that time period. We’ve built a number of resources to help your students engage with Allegiance. Take a look around and reach out if you have questions.
The Kimura family’s journey in Allegiance is set in one of the most fascinating and troubling times in recent American history. As a direct response to Pearl Harbor and the climax of nearly fifty years of anti-Japanese bias in America, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 (issued on February 19, 1942), authorized the forced removal and mass incarceration of over 120,000 Japanese Americans into American concentration camps.
That amounted to almost 90% of all Japanese Americans living in the continental U.S. Nearly two-thirds of those imprisoned were native-born U.S. citizens and about a third were children. Japanese Americans were stripped of their constitutional rights: there were no charges and no trials.
Allegiance’s story, inspired by the true-life experience of Star Trek’s George Takei, follows one Japanese American’s family, the Kimuras, during this time and the divided loyalties that haunt them for decades.
The Kimuras are forcibly relocated to Heart Mountain Camp in rural Wyoming where Sam and his sister Kei struggled to agree on a response to this unconstitutional imprisonment: to prove the loyalty of his people, Sam enlists in the army and bravely fights for the USA in Europe; Kei, still in the Heart Mountain Camp, leads a movement of resistance against the injustice. After the war, they attempt to reconcile their actions and hurtful words, but the family’s divided loyalties threaten to tear them apart forever.