What does it mean to be Black in Hawai‘i? 

The Pōpolo Project is here to mine what Blackness means in Hawai‘i and in the larger Pacific and to ask whether Blackness matters in a place where there are few Black people. We want to share the stories of the Black folks for whom Hawai‘i is home and we want to use this space to see if there is room for Black community in the understory of Hawai‘i's multicultural landscape. By making the lives of Black folks visible among what we commonly think of as Local, the Pōpolo Project highlights the vivid, complex diversity of Blackness.



Patrisse Khan-Cullors in Honolulu

We are excited to welcome Patrisse Khan-Culllors, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, back to Honolulu for a public reading from her new book When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir, followed by audience Q&A, Thursday, June 28 at the Doris Duke Theatre at the Honolulu Museum of Art.


Ta-Nehisi Coates in Conversation

Saturday, August 25Save the date! As part of our Black August Honolulu observance this year we invite you to join us for a moderated conversation with best-selling author Ta-Nehisi Coates to connect the threads between the African-American experience in North America and the cultural politics and history of Hawai‘i. Moderated by Dr. Akiemi Glenn, founder and curator of the Pōpolo Project, we will explore the potential for better understanding the intersection between the experience of Blackness in the Pacific and the experience of Blackness in the continental United States.

The conversation will be preceded by Healing Traditions, a short film by the The Pōpolo Project, and the Hawai‘i premiere of Blackbird, written and directed by Solomon Islander Amie Batalibasi, and brief talk back with scholars about the history and politics of  Blackness in the Pacific.