Nitasha Tamar Sharma: Hawai’i Is My Haven: Race and Indigeneity in the Black Pacific

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Audio, Book/Video Reviews, History, Interviews, Media Archive, Oceania, Social Science, United States on 2022-04-01 16:51Z by Steven

Nitasha Tamar Sharma: Hawai’i Is My Haven: Race and Indigeneity in the Black Pacific

New Books Network
2022-03-30

Hawai’i Is My Haven: Race and Indigeneity in the Black Pacific (Duke UP, 2021) 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.”

Listen to the interview (01:48:48) here.

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Eric Stinton: It’s Time To Recognize That Black History Is Part Of Hawaii’s History

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, History, Media Archive, Oceania, Social Science, United States on 2022-02-07 21:53Z by Steven

Eric Stinton: It’s Time To Recognize That Black History Is Part Of Hawaii’s History

Honolulu Civic Beat
Honolulu, Hawaii
2022-02-07

Eric Stinton

Nitasha Tamar Sharma

Nitasha Tamar Sharma attempts to clarify misconceptions and challenges common assumptions about race in Hawaii in her book “Hawaiʻi Is My Haven.”

On the cover of Nitasha Tamar Sharma’s recent book, “Hawaiʻi Is My Haven,” is a striking image of Kamakakēhau Fernandez wearing a pink bombax flower lei. The Na Hoku Hanohano award-winning falsetto singer and ukulele player was adopted from Arkansas by a Maui family when he was six weeks old, and was enrolled in Hawaiian language classes starting in kindergarten. He grew up in Hawaii and with Hawaii in him.

Fernandez is one of countless examples of Black locals who have contributed to Hawaiian culture and life for over 200 years, yet whose stories have largely gone unrecognized.

“Black people have been evacuated out of the narrative of who is in Hawaii,” Sharma says. “Historically we don’t think Black people were in Hawaii when they actually were.”…

Read the entire article here.

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

Posted in Anthropology, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, United States on 2021-10-03 00:17Z 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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No mass protests after Honolulu police shoot, kill Black man

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, United States on 2021-06-06 23:50Z by Steven

No mass protests after Honolulu police shoot, kill Black man

ABC News
2021-06-06

Jennifer Sinco Kelleher and Mogomotsi Magome, Associated Press


n a 2021 photo provided by Bickerton Law Group representing the family of Lindani Myeni, he is standing on a beach in Waimanalo, Hawaii with his wife and two children. Some Black people in Hawaii say Myeni’s shooting death by Honolulu police is a reminder that Hawaii isn’t the racially harmonious paradise it’s held up to be. (Myeni Family Photo/Bickerton Law Group via AP)

Honolulu police shot and killed Lindani Myeni, a Black man, three months after he moved to Hawaii with his wife, believing it would be safer place to raise their two Black children

HONOLULU — Lindsay Myeni and her South African husband moved to Hawaii, where she grew up, believing it would be safer to raise their two Black children here than in another U.S. state.

Three months after they arrived, Honolulu police shot and killed her husband, 29-year-old Lindani Myeni, who was Black.

“We never thought anything like this would ever happen there,” Lindsay Myeni, who is white, told The Associated Press in an interview from her husband’s hometown, Empangeni in Kwazulu-Natal province.

To some, Lindani Myeni’s death and the muted reaction from residents, is a reminder that Hawaii isn’t the racially harmonious paradise it’s held up to be.

The couple moved to Honolulu from predominately white Denver in January.

Hawaii, where white people are not the majority and many people identify as having multiple ethnicities, felt right: “We were refreshed to be back to somewhere that is so diverse.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Shadow Child

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Media Archive, Novels, United States, Women on 2020-07-06 14:53Z by Steven

Shadow Child

Grand Central Publishing
2018-05-08
352 pages
Hardcover ISBN-13: 9781538711453
eBook ISBN-13: 9781538711446

Rahna Reiko Rizzuto

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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Possessing Polynesians: The Science of Settler Colonial Whiteness in Hawai`i and Oceania

Posted in Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Oceania, United States on 2019-12-02 01:21Z by Steven

Possessing Polynesians: The Science of Settler Colonial Whiteness in Hawai`i and Oceania

Duke University Press
November 2019
320 pages
Illustrations: 19 illustrations
Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-0633-6
Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-0502-5

Maile Arvin, Assistant Professor of History and Gender Studies
University of Utah

Possessing Polynesians

From their earliest encounters with indigenous Pacific Islanders, white Europeans and Americans asserted an identification with the racial origins of Polynesians, declaring them to be, racially, almost white and speculating that they were of Mediterranean or Aryan descent. In Possessing Polynesians Maile Arvin analyzes this racializing history within the context of settler colonialism across Polynesia, especially in Hawai‘i. Arvin argues that a logic of possession through whiteness animates settler colonialism, through which both Polynesia (the place) and Polynesians (the people) become exotic, feminized belongings of whiteness. Seeing whiteness as indigenous to Polynesia provided white settlers with the justification needed to claim Polynesian lands and resources. Understood as possessions, Polynesians were and continue to be denied the privileges of whiteness. Yet Polynesians have long contested these classifications, claims, and cultural representations, and Arvin shows how their resistance to and refusal of white settler logic have regenerated Indigenous forms of recognition.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Polynesia Is a Project, Not a Place
  • Part I. The Polynesian Problem: Scientific Production of the “Almost White” Polynesian Race
    • 1. Heirlooms of the Aryan Race: Nineteenth-Century Studies of Polynesian Origins
    • 2. Conditionally Caucasian: Polynesian Racial Classification in Early Twentieth-Century Eugenics and Physical Anthropology
    • 3. hating Hawaiians, Celebrating Hybrid Hawaiian Girls: Sociology and the Fictions of Racial Mixture
  • Part II. Regenerative Refusals: Confronting Contemporary Legacies of the Polynesian Problem in Hawai’i and Oceania
    • 4. Still in the Blood: Blood Quantum and Self-Determination in Day v. Apoliona and Federal Recognition
    • 5. The Value of Polynesian DNA: Genomic Solutions to the Polynesian Problems
    • 6. Regenerating Indigeneity: Challenging Possessive Whiteness in Contemporary Pacific Art
  • Conclusion. Regenerating an Oceanic Future in Indigenous Space-Time
  • 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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Assessing Multiracial Ethnic Identity Status and Mental Health in Hawaiʻi

Posted in Dissertations, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2019-08-27 00:17Z by Steven

Assessing Multiracial Ethnic Identity Status and Mental Health in Hawaiʻi

University of Hawai’i at Manoa
April 2019
104 pages

David A. Stupplebeen

A DISSERTATION SUBMITTED TO THE GRADUATE DIVISION OF THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAIʻI AT MĀNOA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY IN PUBLIC HEALTH

The multiracial population, or people who identify as two or more races, is one of the fastest growing segments of the population nationally, and about one-quarter of people in Hawai‘i are multiracial. How multiracial people identify racially or ethnically has been explored by researchers for nearly 100 years. Many theories developed during this time suggest that multiracial people develop an identity in a linear fashion, though others contend that ethnic and racial identity is situational and in reaction to a number different factors, ranging from individual-level factors like skin color to policy-level factors related to data collection. In addition, ethnic and racial identity have a demonstrated relationship with self-esteem and mental health outcomes. However, much of this research has been conducted on the continental United States. The purpose of this dissertation was to examine the relationship between ethnic and racial identity and mental health across the lifespan in Hawaiʻi.

Study 1: In the first study, the psychometric properties of the Multiracial-Heritage Awareness and Personal Affiliation scale (M-HAPA), which measures identity status, was tested with a cohort of multiracial Hawaiʻi-based adolescents. After iterative exploratory factor analyses and confirmatory factor analysis, this study found that the cohort endorsed five different identity statuses.

Study 2: The second study examined the relationship between identity status, self-esteem, and depression via structural equation modeling. This study found a highly significant relationship between identity status, self-esteem and depression, and that identity status and self-esteem mediated one another.

Study 3: A qualitative study that employed a timeline method examined the relationship between ecological factors that affect identity status and mental health across time in a sample of multi-racial adults in Hawai‘i. Thematic results from this study reflected the racism and health model and common factors across the lifespan that affect identity and mental health. Taken together, these three studies demonstrate the relationship between ethnic identity and mental health for multiracial individuals across the life course in Hawaiʻi. Implications for public health practice, educators, and mental health practitioners include considerations for multiracial identity status in culturally grounded interventions, shifting practice to include cultural humility, and supporting multiracial individuals in their identity development through increased practitioner awareness of multiracial identity issues.

Read the entire dissertation here.

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Want to Be Less Racist? Move to Hawaii

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2019-07-28 23:14Z by Steven

Want to Be Less Racist? Move to Hawaii

The New York Times
2019-06-28

Moises Velasquez-Manoff, Contributing Opinion Writer
Photographs by Damon Winter

We asked people on Oahu to give their ethnicity. Many had long answers.
We asked people on Oahu to give their ethnicity. Many had long answers.
Photographs by Damon Winter/The New York Times; Illustration by Katie Scott

The “aloha spirit” may hold a deep lesson for all of us.

HONOLULUKristin Pauker still remembers her uncle’s warning about Dartmouth. “It’s a white institution,” he said. “You’re going to feel out of place.”

Dr. Pauker, who is now a psychology professor, is of mixed ancestry, her mother of Japanese descent and her father white from an Italian-Irish background. Applying to colleges, she was keen to leave Hawaii for the East Coast, eager to see something new and different. But almost immediately after she arrived on campus in 1998, she understood what her uncle had meant.

She encountered a barrage of questions from fellow students. What was her ethnicity? Where was she from? Was she Native Hawaiian? The questions seemed innocent on the surface, but she sensed that the students were really asking what box to put her in. And that categorization would determine how they treated her. “It opened my eyes to the fact that not everyone sees race the same way,” she told me…

Read the entire article here.

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The Seeker of Stories

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2019-05-24 20:15Z by Steven

The Seeker of Stories

Christina Torres: Teacher. Runner. Writer.
2019-05-23

Christina Torres, Teacher
Punahou School, Honolulu, Hawai‘i

“So… what are you? Like, where are you from?”

Like many mixed-race and/or “ethnically ambiguous” people, I’ve spent quite a bit of time explaining myself. I grew up in a mostly white suburb in Southern California, I’ve spent a lot of my time (and writing) trying to explain who I am (my dad is Chicano and my mom is Filipina. My brother and I call it “Mexipino/a”).

Being mixed-race in the U.S. was and is confusing at times. In a society desperately trying to slip an easily-read label, we struggle to fit that narrative. We get told we’re “not-_______ enough,” or not really _______ , as if our mixed status means there’s a quantifiable amount of culture we’ll never be able to maintain.

And, like it did for a lot of mixed race folks, those words hurt. A lot. They made me question myself and my identity, they made me feel less than to my community in a world that already looked at Brown people as less than. Yes, my parents helped me try to navigate these waters and helped me be proud of both cultures, but it was hard when people I thought would get me still made me feel alone. It made me feel as if I had nowhere to go…

Read the entire article here.

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