This is a list of readings and resources on Black people in Hawai‘i, and associated themes, to contextualize our cultural and political realities, and to hold space for us to imagine a Hawai‘i, a Pacific, and a world where we are free. 

Black Indigeneity and Movement

Shona N. Jackson. 2014. “Humanity beyond the Regime of Labor: Antiblackness, Indigeneity, and the Legacy of Colonialism in the Caribbean" Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education, & Society.

Saidiya Hartman. 2007.  Lose Your Mother: A journey along the Atlantic slave route (Prologue & Chapter 1 “Afrotopia” (3-48)

Stuart Hall. 1993.  “Cultural Identity and Diaspora” In Williams, Patrick & Laura Chrisman eds. Colonial Discourse & Postcolonial Theory: A Reader.  

Amos Beyan. 1991. The American Colonization Society & the Creation of the Liberian State: A Historical Perspective 1822-1900. Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America.

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o 1986. Decolonising the Mind.

George Yancey. 2003. Who is White: Latinos, Asians, and the New Black/Nonblack Divide. Boulder: Lynne Rienner Pub.

The Black Pacific

Settler/Indigenous Constructs

Haunani-Kay Trask. 2000. “Settlers of Color and ‘Immigrant’ Hegemony: ‘Locals’ in Hawai’i.” Amerasia Journal 26 (2): 1–24. 

Jonathan Y. Okamura. 2008.  Ethnicity and Inequality in Hawai‘i. Temple University Press. https://muse.jhu.edu/book/9695.

Maile Arvin. 2014. “Possessions of Whiteness: Settler Colonialism and Anti-Blackness in the Pacific.” Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education, & Society.

Locating Blackness in Moana Nui

Malama Meleisea. 1976. O tama uli: Melanesians in Western Samoa 1905-1975.

Joseph Veramo. 1989. The Black Messiah: A Collection of Short Stories and a Novella. Suva, Fiji: FijiCentre of the University of the South Pacific.

Serge Tcherkezoff. 2003. "A Long and Unfortunate Voyage Toward the Invention of the Melanesia-Polynesia Distinction 1595–1832". Journal of Pacific History. 38 (2): 175–196.

Teresia Teaiwa. 2004. “black in the blue pacific (for mohit and riyad).” Reprinted in Social and Economic Studies 56 (1/2), The Caribbean and Pacific in a New World Order

Gerald Horne,  2007. The White Pacific: US imperialism and Black slavery in the South Seas after the civil war. University of Hawaii Press.

Tarcisius Kabutaulaka. 2015. Re-presenting Melanesia: Ignoble Savages and Melanesian Alter-Natives. The Contemporary Pacific, Volume 27, Number 1, 73–180.

Tagi Qolouvaki. 2015. “Dreaming Black Love.” Ke Kaupu He Hehiale  

Terisa Sigatonu. “Meauli"  Spoken word performance available via All Def Poetry

Robbie Shilliam. 2015. The Black Pacific: Anti-Colonial Struggles and Oceanic Connections. Bloomsbury.

Teresia Teaiwa. 2016. "How Climate Change is like the Slave Trade." eTangata Magazine.

Ponipate Rokolekutu. 2016. Heterogeneity, Race and Genealogical Connection of Spiritual Hinterlands: A Response to Robbie Shilliam's The Black Pacific. 

 Scott Flower. 2016. Islam and Cultural Change in Papua New Guinea. Vol. 19. Taylor & Francis.

The Coconet. 2017. Tama Uli.  with actor Oscar Kightley.

Quito Swan. 2017. "Black Power in Papua New Guinea." Black Perspectives via the African American History Society.

Swan, Quito. 2018. "Blinded by Bandung? Illumining West Papua, Senegal, and the Black Pacific." Radical History Review no. 131 (2018): 58-81.

Teresia Teaiwa, Ojeya Cruz Banks, Joy Lehuanani Enomoto, Courtney-Savali Leiloa Andrews, Alisha Lola Jones, and April K. Henderson. 2017. Black and Blue in the Pacific. Amerasia Journal: Vol. 43, No. 1, pp. 145-193. 

Camellia Webb-Gannon and Michael Webb. 2018. "Sound tracks of the black Pacific: Music, identity and resilience in Australian South Sea Islander communities."

Black Hawai‘i

Black organizations in Hawai‘i

African Diversity Cultural Center Hawaiʻi

African American Lawyers’ Association of Hawaiʻi

African Americans on Maui Association

Honolulu African American Film Festival

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Honolulu Branch



Local Hawai‘i lenses on Blackness

Ebony Magazine. 1968. “The Negro in Hawaii.” September Issue: Pages 26—35.

Peppo’s Pidgin to Da Max. 1981. “Popolo.”

Randolph L. Chambliss. 1982. “The Blacks.” Social Process in Hawaii 29: 113–15.

Pidgin to Da Max . 1984. "Popolo Suntan Lotion." Aired November 1984 on KGMB TV in Honolulu.

Eleanor C. Nordyke. 1988. Blacks in Hawai'i: A Demographic and Historical Perspective. East-West Center.

Andrew Weintraub. 1993. "Jawaiian and Local Cultural Identity in Hawaii." Perfect Beat 1(2): 78-89.

Edgar C. Knowlton, Jr.  2004. “Cabo Verde, West Africa, and Hawai’i.” They Followed the Trade Winds, Social Process in Hawaii, 43 (June 2004): 89

Daphne E. Barbee-Wooten and M.M. Jackson. 2004. “The Politics of Change: Law and African Americans in Twentieth Century Hawaii.” Social Process in Hawaii, 43, pp 123-47.

Kimeta R. Hairston. 2008. “Dehumanization of the Black American Female: An American/Hawaiian Experience.” Spaces for Difference: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 1(1).

Steve Okino. 2010. Holding Fast the Dream: Hawaii’s African American Experience. Documentary.

David Yoo, Russell Leong, Keith Camacho, & Nitasha Tamar Sharma.  2011. Pacific Revisions of Blackness: Blacks Address Race and Belonging in Hawai‘i. Amerasia Journal, 37, 43-60.

Janet Mock. 2014. Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More.  Atria Books.

Popolo-Offical Film trailer. 2014.

King Zelee, Bianca Toubilino, and Quintae Love. 2014. ThinkTech HawaiiInterview on Popolo—A Martial Arts Indie film. 

Bryan Kamaoli Kuwada. 2014. “Dear Ferguson”

Ibrahim Aoude, Amy Agbayani, Faye Kennedy, and Ty Tengan. 2016. Island Connections: Ethnic Studies, African Americans, and UHM. Recorded on March 11, 2016.

Women's Voices, Women Speak. 2016. "10 Reasons Black Lives Matter in the Hawaiian Kingdom."

Joy Enomoto. 2017. Where will you be? Why Black Lives Matter in the Hawaiian Kingdom.

Hina Wong-Kalu. 2018. "Understanding the use of pōpolo, haole, and māhū." Community Perspectives. Civil Beat.

Black people & 19th Century Hawai‘i

Eleanor C. Nordyke 1988. Blacks in Hawai’i: A Demographic and Historical Perspective. Hawaiian Journal of History, Vol 22.

Albert S. Broussard. 1990. “Carlotta Stewart Lai, a Black Teacher in the Territory of Hawai’i.” The Hawaiian Journal of History 24: 129–30.

Marc Scruggs. 1992. “Anthony D. Allen: A Prosperous American of African Descent in Early 19th Century Hawai’i.” The Hawaiian Journal of History, 26, pp 55 – 93.

Kathryn Waddell Takara. 2004. “The African Diaspora in Nineteenth Century Hawaii.” They Followed the Trade Winds. Social Process in Hawaii, 43 (June).

 Marc Scruggs. 2004. “There Is One Black Man, Anthony D. Allen.”  They Followed the Trade Winds. Social Process in Hawaii, 43 (June).

Karen A. Johnson. 2006. “Undaunted Courage and Faith: The Lives of Three Black Women in the West and Hawaii in the Early 19th Century.” The Journal of African American History 91 (1): 4–22.

Edgar C. Knowlton, Jr. 2004. “Cabo Verde, West Africa, and Hawai’i.” They Followed the Trade Winds, Social Process in Hawaii, 43 (June 2004): 89. 

Holly Kilinahe Coleman. 2012. “The Early Hawaiian Antislavery Movement: 1837-1843.”

 Justin W. Vance and Anita Manning. 2012. "The Effects of the American Civil War on Hawai'i and the Pacific World," World History Connected

Marc Scruggs. 2014. “Betsey Stockton: Missionary and Educator.” Polite On Society. January 29.

Suzanne S. Finney. 2015.  Confederates in the Pacific? Hawai‘i's Accidental Involvement in the U.S. Civil War.

Mixed-race Black people

Teresa Kay Williams and Michael C. Thornton. 1998. “Social Construction of Ethnicity Versus Personal Experience: The Case of Afro-Amerasians.” Journal of Comparative Family Studies 29 (2): 255–67.

Teresa Kay Williams and Michael C. Thornton. 1998. “Social Construction of Ethnicity Versus Personal Experience: The Case of Afro-Amerasians.” Journal of Comparative Family Studies 29 (2): 255–67.

Nitasha Tamar Sharma. 2018. “Black Hawaiians and Race in Hawai‘i.” In Beyond Paradise: New Politics of Race in Hawai‘i. Rudy Guevarra, Camilla Fojas, and Nitasha Sharma, eds. University of Hawai‘i Press.

Bernard S. Lucious, 2005. "In the Black Pacific: Testimonies of Vietnamese Afro-Amerasian Displacements." Displacements and Diasporas: Asians in the Americas. Ed. Wanni W. Anderson and Robert G. Lee. Rutgers UP, 2005. 122-56.


Black people in US Military

Mady Wechsler Segal, Meridith Hill Thanner, Meredith Hill Thanner, and David R. Segal. 2007. “Hispanic and African American Men and Women in the U.S. Military: Trends in Representation.” Race, Gender & Class 14 (3/4): 48–64.

 Kimberley L. Phillips. 2012. War! What Is It Good For?: Black Freedom Struggles and the U.S. Military from World War II to Iraq. University of North Carolina Press.

Wendy M. Christensen. 2016. “The Black Citizen-Subject: Black Single Mothers in US Military Recruitment Material.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 0 (0): 1–19.

Amy Lutz. 2008. “Who Joins the Military?: A Look at Race, Class, and Immigration Status.” Journal of Political and Military Sociology 36 (2): 167-188.

  Yasuhiro Okada, 2008. "Gendering the "Black Pacific": Race Consciousness, National Identity, and the Masculine/feminine Empowerment among African Americans in Japan under U.S. Military Occupation, 1945-1952." Dissertation, Michigan State University.

Etsuko Taketani. 2014.The Black Pacific Narrative: Geographic Imaginings of Race and Empire

between the World Wars. Hanover: Dartmouth College, 2014 


Black military personnel and families in Hawai‘i

Kimetta R. Hairston. 2004. “Transitioning to Paradise--A Challenging Journey: African American Military Experiences in Hawai’i Public Schools.” They Followed the Trade Winds, Social Process in Hawaii, 43 (June): 209.

Miles M. Jackson. 2004. “A Different Drummer: African Americans in the Military in Hawai’i.” Social Process in Hawaii 43 (June): 189.


Hawai‘i in the Age of Obama

Obama's identity as a commentary on Hawai‘i racial politics

Maraniss, David. "Though Obama had to leave to find himself, it is Hawai‘i that made his rise possible." The Washington Post (2008).

Thanawala, Sudhin. 2008. “In Multiracial Hawai‘i, Obama Faced Discrimination.” Associated Press, May 19.

Kirtley, William. “Kama‘āina Hawai‘i-born: President Barack Obama’s Early Years in Hawai‘i." In National Social Science Proceedings Volume 46# 2 National Technology and Social Science Conference, 2011, p. 123.

Glauberman, Stu, and Jerry Burris. The dream begins: How Hawai'i shaped Barack Obama. Watermark Pub, 2009.


The #PopoloSyllabus is an invitation to add to this collection. In the spirit of crowd sourcing and popular participatory education, the #PopoloSyllabus is a curated, living document. To contribute sources, contact info@thepopoloproject.org or @PopoloProject on Twitter.