It’s November 9th.
Perhaps you don’t know, but on November 9th 1938, Nazis launched the Kristallnacht. Never forget! Today Neonazis are marching and celebrating.
And today, Americans voted a fascist into office. Today, Donald Trump is president-elect of the United States.
I’m so worried for you, my friends! This is horrifying and I know you will be hit the hardest. I wish I could at least be there for real hugs!
I have thought about not posting today, you need time to mourn to steal yourself for this even more explicit racist society you’re living in. I have decided to go ahead, because I still believe that diverse literature can effect real change. And so I want this blog on November 9th, 2016, to push PoC lit by focusing on indigenous #ownvoices literature.
Wonderful Brendon at Reading and Gaming for Justice is hosting the “Native Hawaiian #OwnVoices” blog event, to promote Native Hawaiian voices, to educate ourselves on our own blind spots (settler colonialism for example). Read all about it here. I have decided on non-fiction, to get you all to put some of these on your #nonfictionnovember lists and because I think, like myself, you perhaps also need some background literature. I know many of the are academic texts and there are concerns of accessibility. But I hope many of you can and will give these a try. I hope I’ll find some more accessible texts in the future, but I also love to discuss because often understanding texts happens in group discussions.
In 1897, as a white oligarchy made plans to allow the United States to annex Hawai’i, native Hawaiians organized a massive petition drive to protest. Ninety-five percent of the native population signed the petition, causing the annexation treaty to fail in the U.S. Senate. This event was unknown to many contemporary Hawaiians until Noenoe K. Silva rediscovered the petition in the process of researching this book. With few exceptions, histories of Hawai’i have been based exclusively on English-language sources. They have not taken into account the thousands of pages of newspapers, books, and letters written in the mother tongue of native Hawaiians. By rigorously analyzing many of these documents, Silva fills a crucial gap in the historical record. In so doing, she refutes the long-held idea that native Hawaiians passively accepted the erosion of their culture and loss of their nation, showing that they actively resisted political, economic, linguistic, and cultural domination. (Duke UP)
A Nation Rising chronicles the political struggles and grassroots initiatives collectively known as the Hawaiian sovereignty movement. Scholars, community organizers, journalists, and filmmakers contribute essays that explore Native Hawaiian resistance and resurgence from the 1970s to the early 2010s. Photographs and vignettes about particular activists further bring Hawaiian social movements to life. The stories and analyses of efforts to protect land and natural resources, resist community dispossession, and advance claims for sovereignty and self-determination reveal the diverse objectives and strategies, as well as the inevitable tensions, of the broad-tent sovereignty movement. The collection explores the Hawaiian political ethic of ea, which both includes and exceeds dominant notions of state-based sovereignty. A Nation Rising raises issues that resonate far beyond the Hawaiian archipelago, issues such as Indigenous cultural revitalization, environmental justice, and demilitarization. (Duke uP)
The Seeds We Planted tells the story of Hālau Kū Māna, one of the only Hawaiian culture-based charter schools in urban Honolulu. Against the backdrop of the Hawaiian struggle for self-determination and the U.S. charter school movement, Noelani Goodyear-Ka‘ōpua reveals a critical tension: the successes of a school celebrating indigenous culture are measured by the standards of settler colonialism. (UP Minnesota)
Voices of Fire: Reweaving the Literary Lei of Pele and Hi’iaka
by Ku‘ualoha ho‘omanawanui
Stories of the volcano goddess Pele and her youngest sister Hi‘iaka, patron of hula, are most familiar as a form of literary colonialism—first translated by missionary descendants and others, then co-opted by Hollywood and the tourist industry. But far from quaint tales for amusement, the Pele and Hi‘iaka literature published between the 1860s and 1930 carried coded political meaning for the Hawaiian people at a time of great upheaval. Voices of Fire recovers the lost and often-suppressed significance of this literature, restoring it to its primary place in Hawaiian culture. (Minnesota UP)
In the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act (HHCA) of 1921, the U.S. Congress defined “native Hawaiians” as those people “with at least one-half blood quantum of individuals inhabiting the Hawaiian Islands prior to 1778.” This “blood logic” has since become an entrenched part of the legal system in Hawai‘i. Hawaiian Blood is the first comprehensive history and analysis of this federal law that equates Hawaiian cultural identity with a quantifiable amount of blood. J. Kēhaulani Kauanui explains how blood quantum classification emerged as a way to undermine Native Hawaiian (Kanaka Maoli) sovereignty. Within the framework of the 50-percent rule, intermarriage “dilutes” the number of state-recognized Native Hawaiians. Thus, rather than support Native claims to the Hawaiian islands, blood quantum reduces Hawaiians to a racial minority, reinforcing a system of white racial privilege bound to property ownership. (Duke UP)
Many indigenous Hawaiian men have felt profoundly disempowered by the legacies of colonization and by the tourist industry, which, in addition to occupying a great deal of land, promotes a feminized image of Native Hawaiians (evident in the ubiquitous figure of the dancing hula girl). In the 1990s a group of Native men on the island of Maui responded by refashioning and reasserting their masculine identities in a group called the Hale Mua (the “Men’s House”). As a member and an ethnographer, Ty P. Kāwika Tengan analyzes how the group’s mostly middle-aged, middle-class, and mixed-race members assert a warrior masculinity through practices including martial arts, woodcarving, and cultural ceremonies. Some of their practices are heavily influenced by or borrowed from other indigenous Polynesian traditions, including those of the Māori. The men of the Hale Mua enact their refashioned identities as they participate in temple rites, protest marches, public lectures, and cultural fairs. (Minnesota UP)
Apparently critiques by Hawaiian women will be discussed as well, I certainly hope so!
Since its publication in 1993 From a Native Daughter, a provocative, well reasoned attack against the rampant abuse of Native Hawaiian rights, institutional racism, and gender discrimination, has generated heated debates in Hawai’i and throughout the world. This revised work includes new material that builds on issues and concerns raised in the first edition: Native Hawaiian student organizing at the University of Hawai’i; the master plan of the Native Hawaiian self-governing organization Ka Lahui Hawai’i and its platform on the four political arenas of sovereignty; the 1989 Hawai’i declaration of the Hawai’i ecumenical coalition on tourism; a typology on racism and imperialism. Brief introductions to each of the previously published essays brings them up to date and situates them in the current Native Hawaiian rights discussion.(UH Press)
This one comes highly recommended by Alice Walker and is somewhat of a classic in the field.
In this first extensive study of contemporary Hawaiian literature, Brandy Nalani McDougall examines a vibrant selection of fiction, poetry, and drama by emerging and established Hawaiian authors, including Haunani-Kay Trask, John Dominis Holt, Imaikalani Kalahele, and Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl. At the center of the analysis is a hallmark of Hawaiian aesthetics—kaona, the intellectual practice of hiding and finding meaning that encompasses the allegorical, the symbolic, the allusive, and the figurative.
Throughout, McDougall asserts that “kaona connectivity” not only carries bright possibilities for connecting the present to the past, but it may also ignite a decolonial future. Ultimately, Finding Meaning affirms the tremendous power of Indigenous stories and genealogies to give activism and decolonization movements lasting meaning. (U of Arizona Press)
A Chosen People, a Promised Land explores how Native Hawaiian members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints negotiate their place in this quintessentially American religion. Using the words of Native Hawaiian Latter-Day Saints to illuminate the intersections of race, colonization, and religion, this book examines Polynesian Mormon faith and identity within a larger political context of self-determination. (U Minnesota Press)
Asian Settler Colonialism is a groundbreaking collection that examines the roles of Asians as settlers in Hawai‘i. Contributors from various fields and disciplines investigate aspects of Asian settler colonialism to illustrate its diverse operations and impact on Native Hawaiians. Essays range from analyses of Japanese, Korean, and Filipino settlement to accounts of Asian settler practices in the legislature, the prison industrial complex, and the U.S. military to critiques of Asian settlers’ claims to Hawai‘i in literature and the visual arts. (UH Press)
And finally, this work is not edited by Native Hawaiian people, but the book has two sections: Natives and settlers, so you’ll find their perspectives inside. I also think it is important for settlers to work through their position and so I have chosen to add this book to the list. Read the introductory chapter here!
I know it’s a horrible time, please take care and practice self-case! I’m here for hugs and talking!