Hawai'i Is My Haven

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


Tuesday, February 22, 2022
2:00PM to 3:15PM
RSVP: http://tinyurl.com/HIMHzoom


Hawai'i is My Haven


In this Zoom Q&A session, author Nitasha Tamar Sharma will engage in conversation with Evyn Lê Espiritu Gandhi (Asian American Studies) and Kyle Mays (African American Studies, American Indian Studies, and History) about her new book, Hawai'i Is My Haven: Race and Indigeneity in the Black Pacific (Duke UP, 2021). Hawai'i 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 Hawai'i-raised Black locals and Black transplants who moved to the Islands from North America, Africa, and the Caribbean. Sharma highlights the paradox of Hawai'i as a multiracial paradise and site of unacknowledged antiBlack 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 Hawai'i 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. Hawai'i Is My Haven illustrates what the Pacific offers members of the African diaspora and how they in turn illuminate race and racism in "paradise."


Nitasha Tamar Sharma is a professor of African American Studies and Asian American Studies at Northwestern University where she is a Faculty Fellow this year with the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research.


RSVP: http://tinyurl.com/HIMHzoom