About the book, Don’t Cry, Chiisai, Don’t Cry
At Earlham College in 1942, Ruthanna Farlow and her friends felt they had something of a nirvana, a place that others only dreamed of. It was a time of war, but Earlham was a place of Quakerly kindness. Love was for all, not a select few. This sort of spirit came as no shock to Ruthanna. She was from the southern Indiana town of Paoli. Its population was about 3,000 if you counted the dogs and cats. The town had been settled by Quakers and dominated by the Penn love ethic. No one had ever specifically said to her, “All people are the same.” She just assumed it to be true because if you loved your neighbor, how could it be otherwise? That same spirit of tolerance would bring a young Japanese American man into her life. Despite it being only months since the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Earlham College had opened its doors to Japanese American students from the West Coast, students who would have otherwise been interned. Friendships with these students would be encouraged. Interracial dating, however, was another matter. Marriage? Illegal in Indiana and most other states.