Sikhs have been part of the fabric of America for over a century. Though subject to racism and violence since they first immigrated to the U.S., Sikh Americans have experienced increased hate crimes, discrimination, bullying and racial profiling since 9/11. The Sikh Coalition’s national traveling exhibit “Sikh Project” challenges misconceptions and bigotry through photographs and accompanying stories capturing the beauty and diversity of the Sikh community in the United States.
The portraits by British photographers Amit and Naroop feature several California Sikhs, including a third-generation farmer, a violinist and one of the longest-serving turbaned law enforcement officers in the U.S.
The exhibit is presented in recognition of November’s California Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month.
Featuring more than 200 photographs and negatives taken by Susumu “Sus” Ito (1919-2015), “Before They Were Heroes” documents Ito’s tour of duty in Europe as a soldier in the celebrated all-Japanese American 442nd Regimental Combat Team’s 522nd Field Artillery Battalion.