Hawai′i Is My Haven: Race and Indigeneity in the Black Pacific

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, Social Science, United States on 2021-08-31 02:03Z by Steven

Hawai′i Is My Haven: Race and Indigeneity in the Black Pacific

Duke University Press
September 2021
360 pages
17 illustrations
Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-1437-9
Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-1346-4

Nitasha Tamar Sharma, Professor of African American Studies and Asian American Studies
Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois

Hawaiʻi Is My Haven maps the context and contours of Black life in the Hawaiian Islands. This ethnography emerges from a decade of fieldwork with both Hawaiʻi-raised Black locals and Black transplants who moved to the Islands from North America, Africa, and the Caribbean. Nitasha Tamar Sharma highlights the paradox of Hawaiʻi as a multiracial paradise and site of unacknowledged anti-Black racism. While Black culture is ubiquitous here, African-descended people seem invisible. In this formerly sovereign nation structured neither by the US Black/White binary nor the one drop rule, non-White multiracials, including Black Hawaiians and Black Koreans, illustrate the coarticulation and limits of race and the native/settler divide. Despite erasure and racism, nonmilitary Black residents consider Hawaiʻi their haven, describing it as a place to “breathe” that offers the possibility of becoming local. Sharma’s analysis of race, indigeneity, and Asian settler colonialism shifts North American debates in Black and Native studies to the Black Pacific. Hawaiʻi Is My Haven illustrates what the Pacific offers members of the African diaspora and how they in turn illuminate race and racism in “paradise.”

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Hawaiʻi Is My Haven
  • 1. Over Two Centuries: The History of Black People in Hawaiʻi
  • 2. “Saltwater Negroes”: Black Locals, Multiracism, and Expansive Blackness
  • 3. “Less Pressure”: Black Transplants, Settler Colonialism, and a Radical Lens
  • 4. Racism in Paradise: AntiBlack Racism and Resistance in Hawaiʻi
  • 5. Embodying Kuleana: Negotiating Black and Native Positionality in Hawaiʻi
  • Conclusion: Identity↔Politics↔Knowledge
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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Shadow Child, A Novel

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Media Archive, Novels, United States on 2019-09-10 23:51Z by Steven

Shadow Child, A Novel

Grand Central Publishing (an imprint of Hachette Book Group)
2018-05-08
352 pages
6.4 x 1.2 x 9.4 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1538711453

Rahna Reiko Rizzuto

Shadow Child

For fans of Tayari Jones and Ruth Ozeki, from National Book Critics Circle Award finalist Rizzuto comes a haunting and suspenseful literary tale set in 1970s New York City and World War II-era Japan, about three strong women, the dangerous ties of family and identity, and the long shadow our histories can cast.

Twin sisters Hana and Kei grew up in a tiny Hawaiian town in the 1950s and 1960s, so close they shared the same nickname. Raised in dreamlike isolation by their loving but unstable mother, they were fatherless, mixed-race, and utterly inseparable, devoted to one another. But when their cherished threesome with Mama is broken, and then further shattered by a violent, nearly fatal betrayal that neither young woman can forgive, it seems their bond may be severed forever–until, six years later, Kei arrives on Hana’s lonely Manhattan doorstep with a secret that will change everything.

Told in interwoven narratives that glide seamlessly between the gritty streets of New York, the lush and dangerous landscape of Hawaii, and the horrors of the Japanese internment camps and the bombing of Hiroshima, Shadow Child is set against an epic sweep of history. Volcanos, tsunamis, abandonment, racism, and war form the urgent, unforgettable backdrop of this intimate, evocative, and deeply moving story of motherhood, sisterhood, and second chances.

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Shark Dialogues, a Novel

Posted in Books, History, Media Archive, Novels, Oceania, United States on 2018-08-27 02:52Z by Steven

Shark Dialogues, a Novel

Scribner (an imprint of Simon & Schuster)
March 2010
512 pages
eBook ISBN: 9781439192436

Kiana Davenport

“An epic saga of seven generations of one family encompasses the tumultuous history of Hawaii as a Hawaiian woman gathers her four granddaughters together in an erotic tale of villains and dreamers, queens and revolutionaries, lepers and healers” (Publishers Weekly).

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“A Hawaiian is a Hawaiian is a Hawaiian. Whether they have a drop or more than 50 percent.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2015-12-30 22:47Z by Steven

“A Hawaiian is a Hawaiian is a Hawaiian,” said Michelle Kauhane, president and CEO of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement. “Whether they have a drop or more than 50 percent.”

Jennifer Sinco Kelleher, “Rulemaking under way for DNA testing for Hawaiian homelands,” The Associated Press, December 28, 2015. http://bigstory.ap.org/article/d5481a15bd164d25ba02fc510473d046/rulemaking-under-way-dna-testing-hawaiian-homelands.

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Race in Mind: Critical Essays

Posted in Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United Kingdom, United States on 2015-12-25 04:33Z by Steven

Race in Mind: Critical Essays

University of Notre Dame Press
2015
408 pages
ISBN: 978-0-268-04148-9

Paul Spickard, Professor of History
University of California, Santa Barbara

With contributions by Jeffrey Moniz and Ingrid Dineen-Wimberly

Race in Mind presents fourteen critical essays on race and mixed race by one of America’s most prolific and influential ethnic studies scholars. Collected in one volume are all of Paul Spickard’s theoretical writings over the past two decades. Ten of the articles have been revised and updated from previous publications. Four appear here for the first time. Spickard’s work embraces three overarching themes: race as biology versus race as something constructed by social and political relationships; race as a phenomenon that exists not just in the United States, but in every part of the world, and even in the relationships between nations; and the question of racial multiplicity.

These essays analyze how race affects people’s lives and relationships in all settings, from the United States to Great Britain and from Hawaiʻi to Chinese Central Asia. They contemplate the racial positions in various societies of people called Black and people called White, of Asians and Pacific Islanders, and especially of those people whose racial ancestries and identifications are multiple. Here for the first time are Spickard’s trenchant analyses of the creation of race in the South Pacific, of DNA testing for racial ancestry, and of the meaning of multiplicity in the age of Barack Obama.

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But even the aloha spirit has its limits. We must be mindful that the present multicultural society grew from the collapse of the Native Hawaiian population and the dispossession of their land.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2015-09-16 18:40Z by Steven

Unlike the continental United States, Hawaii has no group that is the racial majority, and people can identify with multiple races and ethnicities over several generations. This is the norm, rather than an anomaly.

Early social scientists, the tourist industry, and visitors credit this long history of mixing to the “aloha spirit,” or culture of tolerance and inclusivity, that is the hallmark of living in Hawaii. True, Hawaii is a place where a mixed-race person like myself can blend in, and where people of color are not seen as a curiosity. And yes, people generally get along here.

But even the aloha spirit has its limits. We must be mindful that the present multicultural society grew from the collapse of the Native Hawaiian population and the dispossession of their land.

Rudy P. Guevarra, Jr., “Is Hawaii a Racial Paradise?,” Zócalo Public Square, September 15, 2015. http://www.zocalopublicsquare.org/2015/09/15/is-hawaii-a-racial-paradise/ideas/up-for-discussion/.

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Is Hawaii a Racial Paradise?

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Census/Demographics, History, Media Archive, Oceania, Social Science, United States on 2015-09-16 18:13Z by Steven

Is Hawaii a Racial Paradise?

Zócalo Public Square
2015-09-15

Rudy P. Guevarra, Jr., Associate Professor of Asian Pacific American Studies
Arizona State University

Nitasha Sharma, Associate Professor of African-American Studies and Asian-American Studies
Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois

David A. Swanson, Professor of Sociology
University of California, Riverside

Lee A. Tonouchi (“Da Pidgin Guerilla”)
Hawaii

Roderick Labrador, Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies
University of Hawaii, Mānoa (also Director of the UCLA Hawaii Travel Study Program)

Maile Arvin, Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies
University of California, Riverside

Races, Ethnicities, and Cultures Mix More Freely Than Elsewhere in the U.S., But There Are Limits to the Aloha Spirit

Early in the 2008 film Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Jason Segal, playing a guy who travels to Hawaii to get over a breakup, drunkenly pours out his feelings to two people in his hotel, a newlywed man and a bartender. The new husband encourages Segal to think there’s still hope for the relationship, but the bartender, Dwayne, has no sympathy for Segal’s sadness.

“You’ve gotta move on,” Dwayne says. “It’s that easy, I promise you it is. I lived in South Central. South Central. And I hated it. So I moved to Oahu. Now I can name you over 200 different kinds of fish!” He starts naming them.

The scene is hilarious, but it also hints at one of America’s fundamental Gordian knots—race—and the various ways we’ve tried to untie it. The story uses Los Angeles’ “South Central” neighborhood as a code word for a place where gangs are divided along color lines, racial tensions can erupt in violence, and residents feel stuck in the cycle. The implication is that Dwayne, who’s black, escaped all that by coming to Hawaii. He puts forth Hawaii as a paradise—a place where the only thing he has to worry about is learning how to pronounce Humuhumunukunukuapua`a.

Hawaii is one of America’s most diverse and happiest states. Some would contend people get along better here than almost anywhere else. But tossing different groups together also means there are frictions—ones that perhaps are too often are obscured by the sunshine and ukuleles in tourist guides.

So what’s the actual nature of racial relations in Hawaii? And what can the rest of us learn from it? In advance of the “What It Means to Be American” event “What Can Hawaii Teach America About Race?,” we asked a variety of experts on and off the islands that same question…

Read the entire article here.

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From Okinawa to Hawaii and Back Again

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, History, Media Archive, United States on 2015-08-31 17:42Z by Steven

From Okinawa to Hawaii and Back Again

What It Means to Be American: Hosted by The Smithsonian and Zócalo Public Square
2015-08-31

Laua Kina, Vincent de Paul Professor of Art, Media, & Design
DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois


Kibei Nisei, 30 x 45 inches Oil on canvas (2012)

A Painter Follows the Currents of Her Family History

I am a hapa, yonsei Uchinanchu (a mixed-race, 4th-generation Okinawan-American) who was born in Riverside, California, in 1973 and raised in the shadow of the Cascade Mountains in Washington state. My mom’s roots stem from Spanish-Basque migrants in California and white southerners in Tennessee. My father is Okinawan from Hawaii. Because I don’t look quite white, people frequently ask, “What are you?” From an early age, even though Hawaii and Japan were enigmas to me, I have had to explain my relationship to these “exotic” places.

Growing up, we lived by my mother’s family and visited her parents weekly at their road-side motel near a Puget Sound ferry landing, but I knew little about my father’s childhood, an ocean away, on a Piihonua sugarcane plantation near Hilo. I got a glimpse on occasional vacations to visit family on the Big Island of Hawaii or my aunties in Los Angeles. The only other traces were evident in the Spam in our sushi, the fact that we called instant ramen noodles saimin, and in the echoes of Pidgin English in Dad’s accent that refused to be erased.

I am a painter, and at the heart of my paintings is the journey I’ve been on to understand how these different currents have formed my American experience. I’ve followed their flow back in time to the canefields of Territorial Hawaii and early 20th-century Okinawa, Japan…

Read the entire article here.

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Legacy of the President’s Mother

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Biography, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2014-10-15 16:21Z by Steven

Legacy of the President’s Mother

Mālamalama, The Magazine of the University of Hawaiʻi System
January 2009 (2009-01-14)

Paula Bender
Honolulu, Hawaiʻi


Stanley Ann Dunham

The candidacy and election of President Barack Obama drew international eyes to the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, where his parents met. But among some at the university, it is Obama’s late mother who stirs strong emotions of memory and hope.

Stanley Ann Dunham took an unconventional approach to life on both personal and professional levels. Her son’s book portrays her as an innocent, kind and generous; academics who knew her and reporters who have discovered her describe the idealism and optimism of her worldview and work ethic.

In her work, she was not a romantic, rather appreciating the artistic while dealing with the realistic, one contemporary observes.

Dunham was born in Kansas and attended high school in Washington State. Moving to Hawaiʻi with her parents, she entered UH in 1960. In Russian class, she met the first African student to attend UH, charismatic Barack Obama Sr., who moved in politically liberal, intellectual student circles that included future Congressman Neil Abercrombie. They married and had Barack Obama Jr. in 1961.

Obama Sr. left his family for Harvard [University] and then Kenya. Dunham returned to UH, earning a math degree. She pursued graduate work, married another international student, Lolo Soetoro, and returned with him to Indonesia. There she began extensive research and fieldwork and welcomed the birth of daughter Maya Kassandra Soetoro, nine years Barack’s junior.

Although eventually divorced a second time, Dunham is credited with encouraging her children’s appreciation of their ethnic heritages…

Read the entire article here.

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DANCE/CHANGE: The Mixed-Race Polynesian Body in Settler and Indigenous Performance

Posted in Anthropology, Live Events, Media Archive on 2014-10-05 21:53Z by Steven

DANCE/CHANGE: The Mixed-Race Polynesian Body in Settler and Indigenous Performance

University of California, Riverside
900 University Avenue
Riverside, California 92521
Athletics & Dance Building Dance Studio Theatre, ATHD 102
Tuesday, 2014-10-21, 16:10-18-00 PDT (Local Time)

Maile Arvin, UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow
Department of Ethnic Studies
University of California, Riverside

The Mixed-Race Polynesian Body in Settler and Indigenous Performance

This talk examines the genealogy of settler images of the mixed-race, “almost white,” Polynesian body within early twentieth century eugenics. I look at why the idea that Polynesians used to be white, and are destined to be white again in the future, persists, and how it structures settler colonialism in Polynesia, with a particular focus on Hawaiʻi.

I also show how Indigenous artists work to decolonize categories of race and gender attributed to Polynesian bodies, reframing their own bodies within Indigenous frameworks and futures.

For more information, click here.

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