Our Executive Director, Dr. Akiemi Glenn, sat down with The Blue Hawaii Podcast to talk story about the Pōpolo Project and our work. They talked about race in Hawai‘i and in North America, different experiences of Blackness in the Pacific, and the observance of Black August in Honolulu.
As part of our series of events for Black History / Black Futures Month 2018, we hosted a special panel conversation at the Arts at Mark's Garage in Honolulu's Chinatown Arts District.
Ea, Wakanda: Visualizing Black and Hawaiʻi Futures utilizes the themes and visuals of Marvel Studios's Black Panther to frame a conversation exploring the place and promise of futurism in communities of color, the power of collective imagination and artmaking, and the potential for exchange among the once colonized. This conversation centers the histories, struggles, and collective futures of the people of Hawaiʻi and the African diaspora.
Noelani Goodyear-Ka’ōpua is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Her research focuses on Indigenous and Native Hawaiian politics, with an emphasis on education, social movements, Indigenous resurgence, and Indigenous futures. Her writing and research work is one aspect of a lifetime commitment to aloha ʻāina.
Prentis Hemphill is a healer, Somatics practitioner, teacher, writer and organizer who works at the intersections of healing and justice. As the former Healing Justice Director at Black Lives Matter, Prentis committed to supporting and nurturing the brilliant strategies of organizers and healers to address trauma, move through conflict and center wholeness in the BLM network and in the broader movement for Black freedom and liberation.
David A.M. Goldberg is a writer, teacher, programmer and media developer who has used a lifelong interest in art, culture and technology to transform the means by which people access, assess and organize knowledge. Currently he writes art and culture pieces for the Honolulu Star Advertiser, programs and manages local and mainland web development projects, teaches in the department of American Studies at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, and independently develops curriculum.
Moderated by Dr. Akiemi Glenn, Executive Director of The Pōpolo Project.
"By supporting Black Lives Matter, we do not lose Hawaiian ways of resistance and knowing, we do not stop perpetuating our culture or lose our language. By supporting Black Lives, our ea is enhanced. As a sovereign people we are saying we will stand as an example to those that would do us all harm, that their old tricks can no longer divide us. There is nothing more threatening to the state than mass solidarity across race, class and gender differences because there are far more of us. As long as we let the label of Blackness be seen as something less than beautiful, we are consenting to white supremacy. But when we embrace Blackness in all its forms, we no longer let the mark of Blackness hurt us. If we instead say, 'Thank you, I am proud to stand in resistance with my sisters and brothers in the struggle,' then we can be better than we were yesterday. Onipaʻa ana ka pono–let the right stand firm. Let us stand up for Blackness and protect Black lives. BLACK LIVES MATTER IN THE HAWAIIAN KINGDOM."Read More
Black people have a long history in Hawai’i dating back to the 19th century. The state’s more than 21,000 blacks make up a little over 3 percent of the population. That compares to a national average of 13 percent and ranks Hawai’i 39th among all state in the percentage of its population that is black. These numbers are just one reason for such a unique experience for black cultures here in Hawai’i. HPR’s Ku’uwehi Hiraishi has this story.Read More
Pōpolo is reflected everywhere in the Pacific and yet in Hawai‘i it has taken on an association with Blackness—and Black foreignness—that twines the plant's shallow roots with racial ideas brought by European settlers. Set to flourish in an environment that saw Black communities and identities as temporary in the landscape of Hawai‘i, White supremacist ideas about Black people as unmoored from land and culture, illegitimate, and on the margins of the human play out in the everyday lives of Black folks in Hawai‘i. Another entry in Pukui and Elbert’s dictionary, nika, is an older term for Black people, borrowed from English in the 19th century:Read More
"In 1968 the United States was embroiled in the Vietnam War and domestically cities across the US seethed with violence and repression of anti-war and civil rights actions and organizing. In April of that year King was assassinated and the Civil Rights Act was signed by President Johnson. After a summer of unrest, Ebony magazine published a feature on “The Negro in Hawaii” in its September issue, amid other cover stories like “How the Ghetto Gets Gypped[sic],” “Black Revolt in White Churches,” and “Coretta King: In Her Husband’s Footsteps.”Read More