Ta-Nehisi Coates in Conversation

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Ta-Nehisi Coates in Conversation


Tuesday Sep 04 06:00 PM


Doris Duke Theatre


Museum members: $25.00
General Admission: $30.00

About the Performance:

This event is a Honolulu African American Film Festival program in celebration of Black August. Special thanks to the Honolulu African American Film Festival Committee: Sandra Simms, Daphne Barbee-Wooten, John Nichols, Tadia Rice, Akiemi Glenn, Sharon Yarbrough, Marsha McFadden, and David Goldberg.

Sponsored by The Pōpolo Project

UPDATE: this event is SOLD OUT. A wait list will be available on the day of the event at 5pm. Any unclaimed seats will be released for purchase 10 minutes prior to the start of the program. Please note that we cannot guarantee that any extra seats will be available. The event will be filmed.

Join us for a moderated conversation with Ta-Nehisi Coates to connect the threads between the African-American experience in North America and the cultural politics and history of Hawai‘i. Moderated by Dr. Akiemi Glenn—founder and curator of the Pōpolo Project—the discussion will explore the liabilities and boons for better understanding the intersection between the experience of Blackness in the Pacific and the experience of Blackness in the continental United States. 

The conversation will be preceded by Healing Traditions, a short film by the The Pōpolo Project, and the Hawai‘i premiere of Blackbird, a short film written and directed by Solomon Islander Amie Batalibasi, along with a brief talkback with scholars about the experience of slavery in the Pacific. Blackbird will be followed by a brief talkback with Dr. Ponipate Rokolekutu and Dr. Luafata Simanu-Klutz to discuss the experience of slavery in the Pacific.   

Event timeline
6pm: Screening of Healing Traditions and Blackbird with moderated discussion
7pm: Ta-Nehisi Coates in Conversation, moderated by Dr. Akiemi Glenn
8pm: Drinks and book sale with no-host bar in Luce Pavilion featuring live music by Kamakakēhau Fernandez.

Ta-Nehisi Coates is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Between the World and Me, winner of the National Book Award. His recent book We Were Eight Years in Power is a collection of his essays on the Obama Era. He currently writes the Black Panther and Captain America comic books, in addition to writing as a national correspondent for The Atlantic.

His award-winning writing combines reportage, historical analysis and personal narrative to address some of America’s most complex and challenging issues pertaining to culture and identity. For more information about this speaker, please visit www.prhspeakers.com.

Dr. Akiemi Glenn is a Honolulu-based scholar and cultureworker. She holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and a B.A. in linguistics from New York University. Her research considers the interplay of space, geography, community and language. Akiemi's primary interests are in how Indigenous peoples, refugees, captives, migrants and other diasporic peoples in the Pacific and the Americas use language to construct, navigate and politicize their identities. She commits her interests in systems, semiotics and culture to an applied research method and practice that explore the rich vectors of change in community culturework programming. Akiemi is the founder and curator of the Pōpolo Project, a multimedia exploration of Blackness in Hawai‘i and the larger Pacific.

Dr. Ponipate Rokolekutu holds a doctorate in political science from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa where he is also an instructor in indigenous politics and Pacific Island studies. His research is on the economic marginalization of iTaukei (Native Fijians) in the colonial experience and he has contributed critical perspectives on the political impacts of the notion of “Melanesia” or a “Black Pacific” as a unifying identity in Pacific politics.  

Dr. Luafata Simanu-Klutz is an assistant professor at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s department of Indo-Pacific Languages and Literatures where she teaches Samoan language, literature, and history. Her research, poetry, and playwriting focus on the often unknown aspects of Pacific women’s history, especially in political representation and empowerment in resistance to colonial forces. She is also an affiliate faculty for the Center for Pacific Islands Studies and the founder of Pacific Islanders in the Arts, an incubator program that supports the development of working artists and scholars of Pacific ancestry. 

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