It's hard to imagine a time when the U.S. government singled out a racial group, rounded-up more than 100,000 of its members (most of whom were American citizens), and imprisoned them in some of the harshest climates in the country.
In a recent gallery, Alan Taylor reminds us of a dark period of American history with a series of photos documenting life before, during, and after the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. Looking through the images, the detention centers provoke an uneasy parallel to Nazi concentration camps: Japanese-Americans were forced out of their homes, put on trains, and sent to live in neatly-aligned barracks in desolate areas of the country. But at the time, the mass evacuation was framed as a patriotic sacrifice, even a means of protecting the Japanese.
After the Supreme Court decided in 1944 that U.S. citizens could not be detained without a cause, the internees returned to looted homes and businesses. But perhaps the greater damage was inflicted on the Japanese family. The camps wedged a divide between immigrants and their first-generation American children -- a generation that desired to assimilate into the country that imprisoned them. Later on, studies on the effects of internment on detainees found the camps increased Japanese-Americans' feeling of guilt and shame in regards to their cultural background.