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21 powerful photos show what life inside a Japanese internment camp was like.

Dorothea Lange's work was hidden away for more than 60 years.

When the U.S. government hired photographer Dorothea Lange in 1942, she thought she'd be documenting history for the world to see.

After spending much of the 1930s snapping candid shots of Americans during the Great Depression, Lange was offered the chance to document Japanese-American internment camps during World War II.

While she was personally opposed to internment, Lange accepted the government's offer in hopes that her work would provide a valuable record of events for future generations.


Tenant farmer of Japanese ancestry who has just completed settlement of their affairs and everything is packed ready for evacuation in Woodland, California. All photos by Dorothea Lange/National Archives.

Flag of allegiance pledge at Raphael Weill Public School in San Francisco, California.

Grandfather of Japanese ancestry teaching his little grandson to walk at this War Relocation Authority center for evacuees at Manzanar Relocation Center, Manzanar, California.

For more than 60 years, Lange's work sat in the National Archives, hidden from public view.

U.S. military officials were unhappy with Lange's honest and sympathetic look at what life was like for the more than 110,000 people living in internment camps and, as a result, seized her work and locked it away.

It wasn't until the 2006 release of "Impounded: Dorothea Lange and the Censored Images of Japanese American Internment" that many of Lange's suppressed images resurfaced in a meaningful way.

Saturday afternoon shoppers reading an order directing evacuation of persons of Japanese ancestry. This store on Grant Avenue in Chinatown was vacated by an art dealer of Japanese descent.

Kimiko Kitagaki, a young evacuee guarding the family baggage prior to departure by bus in one half hour to Tanforan Assembly Center in Oakland, California.

Making artificial flowers in the art school at this War Relocation Authority center for evacuees of Japanese ancestry at Manzanar Relocation Center, Manzanar, California.

Though the government has never offered an explanation for why Lange's photos were held, the reasoning is pretty clear: They showed us a glimpse of the internees' humanity.

The decision to house Japanese-Americans in internment camps is largely looked back on as a scar on American history. In issuing Executive Order 9066 and authorizing the internment camps on Feb. 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt embraced the fear of the "other," a sentiment that directly opposed the famous line from his first inaugural address, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

Japanese mother, wife of interned Shinto priest with youngest of her nine children who are American born in San Francisco, California.

A young evacuee looks out the window of bus before it starts for Tanforan Assembly Center in San Francisco, California.

The first contingent of evacuees of Japanese ancestry board the buses for assembly centers in San Francisco, California.

Two years later, in 1944, Roosevelt suspended the executive order, beginning the process of closing the internment camps, but the damage was done.

Internees were released, though for many, they no longer had a home. Even worse, the government did nothing to help them financially. Japanese-Americans were forced to rebuild their lives from scratch. The entire ordeal was one injustice after another as none of the internees had done anything to deserve being forcibly uprooted and detained.

Residents of Japanese ancestry file forms containing personal data two days before evacuation in San Francisco, California.

An early comer arrives with personal effects in San Francisco, California.

Street scene of barrack homes at this War Relocation Authority Center at Manzanar Relocation Center, Manzanar, California.

It wasn't until 1988 that the U.S. offered any sort of formal apology or reparations to surviving detainees.

President Ronald Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which called internment "a grave injustice" and acknowledged that "these actions were carried out without adequate security reasons and without any acts of espionage or sabotage ... motivated largely by racial prejudice, wartime hysteria, and a failure of political leadership."

Each surviving internee received $20,000.

In 1991, President George H.W. Bush issued another formal apology to those affected by internment:

"In remembering, it is important to come to grips with the past. No nation can fully understand itself or find its place in the world if it does not look with clear eyes at all the glories and disgraces of its past. We in the United States acknowledge such an injustice in our history. The internment of Americans of Japanese ancestry was a great injustice, and it will never be repeated."

It's with that in mind that Lange's photos remain essential today.

Making camouflage nets for the War Department at the Manzanar Relocation Center, Manzanar, California.

Guayule beds in the lath house at the Manzanar Relocation Center, Manzanar, California.

High school boys on balcony of Japanese American Citizens League in San Francisco, California.

Today, as the country grapples with threats of war and terrorism, some are suggesting that we once again implement this sort of wide-range racial stereotyping.

On Nov. 16, 2016, one of Donald Trump's supporters appeared on Fox News' "The Kelly File" to advocate for a Muslim registry. Asked about the legality of such a program, proposed by the president-elect, Trump supporter Carl Higbie cited Japanese internment to support his position that the U.S. could and should create a database of Muslims in the U.S.

This is the exact wrong lesson to be taken away from what happened during World War II. If we are to once again cave to a fear of the "other," we'll only be setting ourselves up for future shame over human rights abuses.

Field laborers of Japanese ancestry in front of Wartime Civil Control Administration station in Byron, California.

A child evacuee of Japanese ancestry gets a haircut at Manzanar Relocation Center, Manzanar, California.

An art school wall has been established in this assembly center in San Bruno, California.

Lange's photos are essential artifacts of American history, and it's no wonder that they've been getting increased attention in late 2016.

On Dec. 6, 2016, Tim Chambers of Anchor Editions devoted a blog post to Lange's "lost" photos, publishing in honor of the 75th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack. In addition to his blog post, he's selling prints of Lange's work, donating half of the proceeds to the ACLU, a group that fought for the rights of those detained during Japanese internment and has vowed to push back on efforts to create religious or ethnicity-based profiling.

Greenhouse on nursery operated, before evacuation, by horticultural experts of Japanese ancestry in San Leandro, California.

A young evacuee arrives at 2020 Van Ness Avenue, meeting place of first contingent to be removed from San Francisco to Santa Anita Park Assembly center at Arcadia, California.

Residents of Japanese ancestry appear for registration prior to evacuation in San Francisco, California.

As Bush said, "No nation can fully understand itself or find its place in the world if it does not look with clear eyes at all the glories and disgraces of its past." Lange's work, in its pain and its beauty, reminds us of the disgraceful past we must never return to.

Images courtesy of Letters of Love
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When Grace Berbig was 7 years old, her mom was diagnosed with leukemia, a cancer of the body’s blood-forming tissues. Being so young, Grace didn’t know what cancer was or why her mother was suddenly living in the hospital. But she did know this: that while her mom was in the hospital, she would always be assured that her family was thinking of her, supporting her and loving her every step of her journey.

Nearly every day, Grace and her two younger sisters would hand-make cards and fill them with drawings and messages of love, which their mother would hang all over the walls of her hospital room. These cherished letters brought immeasurable peace and joy to their mom during her sickness. Sadly, when Grace was just 10 years old, her mother lost her battle with cancer.“

Image courtesy of Letters of Love

Losing my mom put the world in a completely different perspective for me,” Grace says. “I realized that you never know when someone could leave you, so you have to love the people you love with your whole heart, every day.”

Grace’s father was instrumental in helping in the healing process of his daughters. “I distinctly remember my dad constantly reminding my two little sisters, Bella and Sophie, and I that happiness is a choice, and it was now our job to turn this heartbreaking event in our life into something positive.”

When she got to high school, Grace became involved in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and a handful of other organizations. But she never felt like she was doing enough.

“I wanted to create an opportunity for people to help beyond donating money, and one that anyone could be a part of, no matter their financial status.”

In October 2018, Grace started Letters of Love, a club at her high school in Long Lake, Minnesota, to emotionally support children battling cancer and other serious illnesses through letter-writing and craft-making.


Image courtesy of Letters of Love

Much to her surprise, more than 100 students showed up for the first club meeting. From then on, Letters of Love grew so fast that during her senior year in high school, Grace had to start a GoFundMe to help cover the cost of card-making materials.

Speaking about her nonprofit today, Grace says, “I can’t find enough words to explain how blessed I feel to have this organization. Beyond the amount of kids and families we are able to support, it allows me to feel so much closer and more connected to my mom.”

Since its inception, Letters of Love has grown to more than 25 clubs with more than 1,000 members providing emotional support to more than 60,000 patients in children’s hospitals around the world. And in the process it has become a full-time job for Grace.

“I do everything from training volunteers and club ambassadors, paying bills, designing merchandise, preparing financial predictions and overviews, applying for grants, to going through each and every card ensuring they are appropriate to send out to hospitals.”

Image courtesy of Letters of Love

In addition to running Letters of Love, Grace and her small team must also contend with the emotions inherent in their line of work.

“There have been many, many tears cried,” she says. “Working to support children who are battling cancer and other serious and sometimes chronic illnesses can absolutely be extremely difficult mentally. I feel so blessed to be an organization that focuses solely on bringing joy to these children, though. We do everything we can to simply put a smile on their face, and ensure they know that they are so loved, so strong, and so supported by people all around the world.”

Image courtesy of Letters of Love

Letters of Love has been particularly instrumental in offering emotional support to children who have been unable to see friends and family due to COVID-19. A video campaign in the summer of 2021 even saw members of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings and the NHL’s Minnesota Wild offer short videos of hope and encouragement to affected children.

Grace is currently taking a gap year before she starts college so she can focus on growing Letters of Love as well as to work on various related projects, including the publication of a children’s book.

“The goal of the book is to teach children the immense impact that small acts of kindness can have, how to treat their peers who may be diagnosed with disabilities or illness, and how they are never too young to change the world,” she says.

Since she was 10, Grace has kept memories of her mother close to her, as a source of love and inspiration in her life and in the work she does with Letters of Love.

Image courtesy of Grace Berbig

“When I lost my mom, I felt like a section of my heart went with her, so ever since, I have been filling that piece with love and compassion towards others. Her smile and joy were infectious, and I try to mirror that in myself and touch people’s hearts as she did.”

For more information visit Letters of Love.

Please donate to Grace’s GoFundMe and help Letters of Love to expand, publish a children’s book and continue to reach more children in hospitals around the world.

Freya from Maya Higa's YouTube video.

Ever wonder what an ideal date for a lemur would be? Or a lizard’s favorite Disney princess?

Thanks to one YouTube poster with a passion for animals and an endearing sense of humor, all questions shall be answered. Well, maybe not all questions. But at the very least, you’ll have eight minutes of insanely cute footage.

In a series titled “Tiny Mic Interviews,” Maya Higa approaches little beasties with a microphone so small she has to hold it with just her thumb and forefinger. And yes, 99% of the animals try to eat it.

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Images courtesy of AFutureSuperhero and Friends and Balance Dance Project
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The day was scorching hot, but the weather wasn’t going to stop a Star Wars Stormtrooper from handing out school supplies to a long line of eager children. “You guys don’t have anything illegal back there - any droids or anything?” the Stormtrooper asks, making sure he was safe from enemies before handing over a colorful backpack to a smiling boy.

The man inside the costume is Yuri Williams, founder of AFutureSuperhero And Friends, a Los Angeles nonprofit that uplifts and inspires marginalized people with small acts of kindness.

Yuri’s organization is one of four inaugural grant winners from the Upworthy Kindness Fund, a joint initiative between Upworthy and GoFundMe that celebrates kindness and everyday actions inspired by the best of humanity. This year, the Upworthy Kindness Fund is giving $100,000 to grassroots changemakers across the world.

To apply, campaign organizers simply tell Upworthy how their kindness project is making a difference. Between now and the end of 2021, each accepted individual or organization will receive $500 towards an existing GoFundMe and a shout-out on Upworthy.

Meet the first four winners:

1: Balance Dance Project: This studio aims to bring accessible dance to all in the Sacramento, CA area. Lead fundraiser Miranda Macias says many dancers spend hours a day at Balance practicing contemporary, lyrical, hip-hop, and ballet. Balance started a GoFundMe to raise money to cover tuition for dancers from low-income communities, buy dance team uniforms, and update its facility. The $500 contribution from the Kindness Fund nudged Balance closer to its $5,000 goal.

2: Citizens of the World Mar Vista Robotics Team: In Los Angeles, middle school teacher James Pike is introducing his students to the field of robotics via a Lego-building team dedicated to solving real-world problems.

James started a GoFundMe to crowdfund supplies for his students’ team ahead of the First Lego League, a school-against-school matchup that includes robotics competitions. The team, James explained, needed help to cover half the cost of the pricey $4,000 robotics kit. Thanks to help from the Upworthy Kindness Fund and the generosity of the Citizens of the World Middle School community, the team exceeded its initial fundraising goal.

Citizens of the World Mar Vista Robotics Team video update youtu.be

3: Black Fluidity Tattoo Club: Kiara Mills and Tann Parker want to fix a big problem in the tattoo industry: there are too few Black tattoo artists. To tackle the issue, the duo founded the Black Fluidity Tattoo Club to inspire and support Black tattooers. While the Brooklyn organization is open to any Black person, Kiara and Tann specifically want to encourage dark-skinned artists to train in an affirming space among people with similar identities.

To make room for newcomers, the club recently moved into a larger studio with a third station for apprentices or guest artists. Unlike a traditional fundraiser that supports the organization exclusively, Black Fluidity Tattoo Club will distribute proceeds from GoFundMe directly to emerging Black tattoo artists who are starting their own businesses. The small grants, supported in part with a $500 contribution from the Upworthy Kindness Fund, will go towards artists’ equipment, supplies, furnishings, and other start-up costs.

4: AFutureSuperhero And Friends’ “Hope For The Holidays”: Founder Yuri Williams is fundraising for a holiday trip to spread cheer to people in need across all fifty states.

Along with collaborator Rodney Smith Jr., Yuri will be handing out gifts to children, adults, and animals dressed as a Star Wars’ Stormtrooper, Spiderman, Deadpool, and other movie or comic book characters. Starting this month, the crew will be visiting children with disabilities or serious illnesses, bringing leashes and toys to animal shelters for people taking home a new pet, and spreading blessings to unhoused people—all while in superhero costume. This will be the third time Yuri and his nonprofit have taken this journey.

AFutureSuperhero started a GoFundMe in July to cover the cost of gifts as well as travel expenses like hotels and rental cars. To help the nonprofit reach its $15,000 goal, the Upworthy Kindness Fund contributed $500 towards this good cause.

Think you qualify for the fund? Tell us how you’re bringing kindness to your community. Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis from now through the end of 2021. For questions and more information, please check out our FAQ's and the Kindness Toolkit for resources on how to start your own kindness fundraiser.

Cellist Cremaine Booker's performance of Faure's "Pavane" is as impressive as it is beautiful.

Music might be the closest thing the world has to real magic. Music has the ability to transform any atmosphere in seconds, simply with the sounds of a few notes. It can be simple—one instrument playing single notes like raindrops—or a complex symphony of melodies and harmonies, swirling and crashing like waves from dozens of instruments. Certain rhythms can make us spontaneously dance and certain chord progressions can make us cry.

Music is an art, a science, a language and a decidedly human endeavor. People have made music throughout history, in every culture on every continent. Over time, people have perfected the crafting of instruments and passed along the knowledge of how to play them, so every time we see someone playing music, we're seeing the history of humanity culminated in their craft. It's truly an amazing thing.

The pandemic threw a wrench into seeing live musicians for a good chunk of time, and even now, live performances are limited. Thankfully, we have technology that makes it easier for musicians to collaborate and perform with one another virtually—and also makes it easier for people to create "group" performances all by themselves.

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A round-up of delights from around the internet this week.

Hey all!

Welcome to Upworthy's weekly roundup of delights from around the internet. This week's list features a little of everything—gorgeous music, cute kids, adorable animals, hope for the planet and a brand new video message from the late and great Betty White.

That's right, Betty White left us a message of gratitude shortly before her passing. It's brief, but how lovely to see and hear her speak to her millions of fans one last time. Few celebrities are as universally beloved as Betty White was, and though we knew she couldn't live forever, it would have been fun to see her celebrate her 100th birthday. Now, at least, we get to experience her joy and warmth with a few last words.

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