Just a few days from today will mark the seventh anniversary of the fatal shooting of Philando Castile in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan area. A couple of months ago marked the three year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd, also in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan area. Located just miles from both of these tragic incidents was our guest today, David Mura. David is a third generation Japanese American. Both his grandparents and parents spent time in Japanese internment camps during World War II.
Already an accomplished author, David recently published his newest book The Stories Whiteness Tells Itself: Racial Myths and Our American Narratives. This book explores how white stories about race attempt to erase the brutality of the past and underpin systemic racism in the present. This book takes an indepth look at how historical and fictional narratives have been told to justify and maintain white supremacy. It is a book that can at times feel like a gut check to readers. But it is one that I feel we need to explore more on Anchored in Education.
David Mura’s most recent book is the acclaimed The Stories Whiteness Tells Itself: Racial Myths and Our American Narratives. His previous book was on creative writing and race, A Stranger’s Journey: Race, Identity & Narrative Craft in Writing. With essayist Carolyn Holbrook, Mura is co-editor of an anthology of Minnesota BIPOC writers, We Are Meant to Rise: Voices for Justice from Minneapolis to the World.
In addition to teaching at colleges across the country, Mura has served as Director of Training for The Innocent Classroom, a program designed by writer and educator Alexs Pate to train K-12 teachers to improve their relationships with students of color.
Mura is a poet, creative nonfiction writer, fiction writer, critic, playwright and performance artist. A Sansei or third generation Japanese American, Mura has written two memoirs: Turning Japanese: Memoirs of a Sansei , which won a 1991 Josephine Miles Book Award from the Oakland PEN and was listed in the New York Times Notable Books of Year, and Where the Body Meets Memory: An Odyssey of Race, Sexuality and Identity.
Mura co-produced, wrote and narrated the Emmy winning documentary by Twin Cities Public Television, Armed With Language, about the Japanese American Military Intelligence Services linguists who served in WWII.