george takei

George Takei at a 2016 event.

George Takei is helping bring back a Long Beach tradition.

City College has revived the Long Beach Reads One Book program six years after the Long Beach Public Library Foundation, which launched the initiative in 2002, put it on hiatus to focus on other efforts. And the months-long program, which asks Long Beach residents to all read a single book, will mark its return with “They Called Us Enemy,” a graphic memoir by Takei that recounts his childhood imprisoned within the U.S.’s Japanese internment camps during World War II.

City College announced the program’s return on Monday, Dec. 2.

Takei — an actor best known for playing Sulu, the helmsman of the USS Enterprise on the original “Star Trek” television series — will appear at an event bringing the program to a close on March 19.

“There are still a shocking number of people who are unaware of the time during World War II when the U.S. government robbed their own citizens of due process,” Takei said in a statement, “and wrongly locked families behind barbed wire because they were of Japanese descent.

“I’m proud that we can use my graphic memoir as a way to engage and educate a huge number of people about the atrocities that our own government made,” the Los Angeles native added, “so we never repeat the mistakes of the past.”

The Long Beach Public Library Foundation ran the program for more than a decade. But in 2013, said Executive Director Kate Azar, the organization shifted its “resources to focus on two back-to-back capital campaigns to support new libraries being constructed in Long Beach.

“We are thrilled,” she added, “that the program found a new home at Long Beach City College.”

Takei’s book is available for purchase at Gatsby Books in Long Beach; major retail and online bookstores; and at both LBCC Viking Bookstores, on the Liberal Arts Campus and Pacific Coast Campus. Folks can also borrow the book from the Long Beach Public Library.

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