Russell Contreras

For Russell Contreras's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Denver's 'Harlem of the West' legacy endures

Feb 25, 2017

Denver's 'Harlem of the West' legacy endures

The neighborhood was once called “The Harlem of the West.” It’s a place where Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington and Miles Davis performed to packed rooms not far from the snowcapped Rocky Mountains. For years, the area served as a haven for black residents who ...

Used bookstores help tell stories along Route 66

Oct 24, 2015

Used bookstores help tell stories along Route 66

Travelers along historic Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles have no problem finding their fix of fake American Indian jewelry and vintage Elvis posters. However, along this path motorists also will discover something once declared dead: the used bookstore. There’s the Chicago bookstore ...

Santa Claus has many faces, races

Dec 24, 2013

Santa Claus has many faces, races

In Atlanta, Georgia, children of many races share their Christmas wish lists with a black Santa Claus. In Houston, Texas, Santa dons a red zoot suit and dances to jazz as he hands out gifts in Mexican-American neighborhoods. In Indian Country, Native American Santas ...