July 1, 2023

Elaine Black Yoneda Resource Guide

Elaine Black Yoneda was the daughter of Russian Jewish immigrants, a labor rights activist, and a member of the Communist Party during the 1930s. She also spent time in a concentration camp for Japanese Americans with her husband, Karl Yoneda, and young son during World War II. Elaine’s remarkable life story was the subject of a CHS virtual program with author Rachel Schreiber. This blog post provides links to the resources that CHS staff and program attendees shared during the webinar.

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Elaine Black Yoneda Resource Guide

Above: Elaine Black Yoneda speaking at the funeral of political activist and labor leader Tom Mooney, May 8, 1942. Yoneda was district secretary for International Labor Defense (ILD) in San Francisco in 1934. California Historical Society


Yoneda program promoOn July 26, 2022, CHS hosted the virtual program Elaine Black Yoneda: A California Story with author Rachel Schreiber in conversation with Tanya Hollis from the San Francisco State University Labor Archives and Research Center. The illuminating presentation and discussion highlighted Yoneda’s remarkable life story as described in Rachel Schreiber’s new book, Elaine Black Yoneda: Jewish Immigration, Labor Activism, and Japanese American Exclusion and Incarceration (Temple University Press, 2021). 

Elaine Black Yoneda was the daughter of Russian Jewish immigrants. She accompanied her Japanese American husband, Karl Yoneda, and their son, Tommy, when they were required to spend eight months in the Manzanar concentration camp for Japanese Americans. Prior to World War II, Yoneda had had an important career in labor activism throughout California. She was the only woman on the organizing committee of the 1934 General Strike in San Francisco, and she was extensively involved in agricultural activism throughout the Central Valley and Northern California.

During the virtual program, an enthusiastic discussion took place in the chat, where CHS staff and program attendees shared many resources relating to the Yoneda family, Jewish immigration, Japanese American exclusion and incarceration, and labor activism. Below is a list of those resources. You can watch the full program at CHS’s YouTube channel.


Elaine Black Yoneda Resource Guide


Online Resources:

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