The Hapa Project: How multiracial identity crosses oceans

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Barack Obama, Campus Life, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2011-01-18 06:10Z by Steven

The Hapa Project: How multiracial identity crosses oceans

UH Today
University of Hawai`i
Spring 2007

Alana Folen and Tina Ng

Hawai`i—often overlooked as nothing more than a scenic paradise—recently started to live up to its “melting pot” reputation when a U.S. senator representing Illinois formally announced his presidential candidacy. With personal ties to Hawai`i, Sen. Barack Obama inadvertently put Hawai`i in the spotlight.   

It was his physical appearance that separated Obama from his competitors. Obama is hapa. His father was black and from Kenya; his mother was white and from Kansas. His unique look brought attention to the hapa population in Hawai`i.

Although the growing population of hapa people is beginning to get recognized, their experiences in Hawai`i and the continental United States vary from each individual. The cultural implications of having multiple identities have surfaced and more hapa people have needed to defend who and what they are…

Read the entire article here.

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