Although Ralph Lazo was not Japanese American, many of his friends at Belmont High School in Los Angeles were. When the Civilian Exclusion Order called for all persons of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast to be incarcerated in concentration camps, Ralph witnessed many of his good friends forcibly removed from their homes and sent to camp. He considered his Japanese American friends to be his equals. Realizing the incarceration was unjust and wishing to support his friends, Ralph decided he would go to camp as well. He ended up living at Manzanar and going to high school there.
Take a look at this photograph from the Manzanar High School yearbook.
- Can you find Ralph Lazo?
- Does he stand out from the others in a drastic way?
- How would you describe his mood?