George Takei’s ‘They Called Us Enemy’ graphic novel chosen to kick-start Long Beach Reads One Book at LBCC after 6-year hiatus


Photo by Sean Macgowan | Courtesy LBCC

The popular Long Beach Reads One Book program has been revitalized by the Long Beach City College Foundation and Long Beach City College after a six-year hiatus, the foundation announced Monday, Dec. 2. The New York Times Bestselling graphic novel “They Called Us Enemy” by actor, author and social justice activist George Takei was selected to kick-off the reactivation of Long Beach Reads One Book.

After being on a hiatus for six years, a popular reading program dubbed Long Beach Reads One Book returns to Long Beach City College. The Long Beach Community Foundation selected actor, and social-justice activist George Takei’s “They Called Us Enemy” graphic novel to reignite the program.

“They Called Us Enemy” is a graphic memoir recounting Takei’s childhood imprisoned within American internment camps during World War II, and his firsthand account of those years behind barbed wire, the joys of childhood and the terrors of growing up under legalized racism, his mother’s hard choices, his father’s faith in democracy, and the way those experiences planted the seeds for his astonishing future.

“Long Beach City College is proud to be part of the movement to bring Long Beach Reads One Book back,” LBCCD Superintendent-President Dr. Reagan Romali said. “Participating in this wonderful citywide effort is a unique way to promote education in our community.”

Founded in 2002, Long Beach Reads One Book is a community-focused cultural project designed to bring people together, foster community, and to raise the enjoyment of literacy by encouraging everyone in Long Beach to read the same book at the same time. The Long Beach Public Library Foundation organized this annual citywide effort until 2013.

Over the next few months, residents are encouraged to read Takei’s book, which is available for purchase at Gatsby Books in Long Beach, major retail and online bookstores and at both LBCC Viking Bookstores at the Liberal Arts Campus and Pacific Coast Campus.

The foundation is planning to close the program on March 19, 2020, with a community book event at the college with special guest Takei.