Kiyoshi Kuromiya

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Kiyoshi Kuromiya
Born(1943-05-09)May 9, 1943
DiedMay 10, 2000(2000-05-10) (aged 57)
Alma materUniversity of Pennsylvania
Monrovia High School
OccupationAuthor, civil and social justice advocate

Kiyoshi Kuromiya (May 9, 1943 – May 10, 2000) was a Japanese American author and civil rights activist. He was born in a Japanese American internment camp on May 9, 1943 in Heart Mountain, Wyoming.[1] He died on the night of May 10, 2000, due to complications from cancer,[2] although it was initially reported to be an AIDS related death.

In the 1950s, Steven Kiyoshi Kuromiya lived with his father and mother and younger sister in Monrovia, California, a suburb of Los Angeles in the east San Gabriel Valley. In 1961, he graduated with honors from Monrovia High School, where he was active in the Scholarship Society and the Science Club. He was accepted at the University of Pennsylvania.

He was a committed civil rights and anti-war activist. He was also one of the founders of Gay Liberation Front - Philadelphia and served as an openly gay delegate to the Black Panther Convention that endorsed the gay liberation struggle. Kuromiya was an assistant of Martin Luther King Jr. and took care of King's children immediately following his assassination.[3]

To protest of the use of napalm in the Vietnam War in 1968, he announced that a dog would be burned alive in front of the University of Pennsylvania's Van Pelt Library. Thousands turned up to protest, only to find a message from Kuromiya: "Congratulations on your anti-napalm protest. You saved the life of a dog. Now, how about saving the lives of tens of thousands of people in Vietnam."[4]

Kuromiya was involved in all aspects of the AIDS movement, including radical direct action with ACT UP Philadelphia and the ACT UP network, People With AIDS (PWA) empowerment and coalition-building through We The People Living with HIV/AIDS, national and international research advocacy, and loving and compassionate mentor ship and care for hundreds of people living with HIV. Kiyoshi was the editor of the ACT UP Standard of Care, the first standard of care for people living with HIV produced by PWAs.

Kiyoshi is perhaps best known as the founder of the Critical Path Project, which brought the strategies and theories of his associate/mentor Buckminster Fuller to the struggle against AIDS. The Critical Path newsletter, one of the earliest and most comprehensive sources of HIV treatment information, was routinely mailed to thousands of people living with HIV all over the world. He also sent newsletters to hundreds of incarcerated individuals to insure their access to up-to-date treatment information.

Critical Path provides free access to the Internet to thousands of people living with HIV in Philadelphia and the region, hosted over a hundred AIDS related web pages and discussion lists, and showed a whole generation of activists and people living with HIV that the Internet can be a tool for information, empowerment and organizing.

Kiyoshi Kuromiya was a leader in the struggle to maintain freedom of speech on the Internet, participating in the successful lawsuit against the Communications Decency Act.

Kuromiya was the leading plaintiff in the Supreme Court of the United States case, Kuromiya vs. The United States of America, calling for the legalization of marijuana for medical uses.

He was also a nationally ranked Scrabble player and a master of Kundalini yoga. He was the author (as Steve Kuromiya) of 1968 Collegiate Guide to Greater Philadelphia (1967) and, with R. Buckminster Fuller, of Cosmography: A Posthumous Scenario for the Future of Humanity (1992).

Brief timeline[edit]

  • 1962 CORE restaurant sit-ins, Route 40, Aberdeen, Maryland
  • 1963 Martin Luther King speech, 8/28, Lincoln Memorial, and later to meet King at Willard Hotel, Washington, DC
  • 1965 Injured at State Capitol Building, Montgomery Alabama, leading black high school students in voter registration march, 3/13
  • 1965 First homosexual rights demonstration ever - Independence Hall, Philadelphia, 7/4
  • 1967 "Armies of Night" march on Pentagon Building
  • 1968 Lincoln Park and Conrad Hilton, Chicago, Democratic National Convention riots at Grant Park
  • 1968 Martin Luther King funeral, Atlanta - cared for Martin Jr. and Dexter week of funeral at King house in Vine City
  • 1969 Spoke at Black Panther Party's Revolutionary People's Constitutional Convention, Temple University, Philadelphia
  • 1970 "Rebirth of Dionysian Spirit," National Gay Liberation Conference, Austin, TX
  • 1972 First Rainbow Family Gathering, Granby, CO
  • 1974-77 Survived metastatic lung cancer
  • 1978-83 Traveled worldwide with Buckminster Fuller, collaborated on his last 6 books, wrote last book posthumously in 1992 (Fuller died in 1983), Philadelphia, California
  • 1988 First employee of We the People with Aids and charter member of ACT-UP, Philadelphia
  • 1992 ACT-UP members injured at demo at Bellevue Stratford Hotel, numerous ACT-UP arrests around the country
  • 1996 Sat on FDA panel that recommended approval of first potent protease inhibitors
  • 1997 Critical Path Aids Project - Supreme Court overturns communications decency act on internet censorship - lead litigant
  • 1999 Kuromiya vs. United States of America - class action suit on medical use of marijuana.


  1. ^ Susie Ling (September 20, 2016). "The Kuromiyas of Monrovia: A Family of Unsung Heroes". Rafu Shimpo. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Kiyoshi Kuromiya". Critical Path Learning Center. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  3. ^ Susie Ling (January 25, 2017). "Respected Monrovia Japanese-American Civil and Gay Rights Activist Remembered". Monrovia Weekly. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  4. ^ Vaughan, Steve (October 18, 1968). "The Defiant Voices of S.D.S." Life magazine. pp. 90–91.

External links[edit]