Dream of the Water Children: The Black Pacific

About

Me_Smile

My name is Fredrick D. Kakinami Cloyd.

I tell stories, I study, I reflect, then begin this cycle again,

through a postcolonial lens, my histories are linked with other histories (like everyone’s), in relation to social justice, militarism, race, gender, sexuality, class, caste, transnational aspects of identity-making, trauma, violence, healing and resistance.

I believe that lament is a needed aspect of social justice work, alongside empowerment, allliance-building across difference, knowledge, accountability, and ethics.

My postings are meant to point to and intervene into EFFECTS and tactics and strategies of thinking toward social justice. My points are to deconstruct any “truth” of history.

What are the effects of our actions in doing social justice and thinking of ways for social change?

This entire project, including my book (to be published in Spring 2016) is dedicated to my mother and father, and all of my ancestors, and all those working on behalf of peace, social justice, understanding, thinking, and healing.  With my cultural heritage from African-American, Japanese, and other identities, I write this work.

I was born in postwar Japan (the 1950s) in a small town west of Tokyo.  My mother and I survived until my father–an African-American soldier of the Korean War, came for us and we moved to the United States in 1963.  We lived in Hawaii for two years, then moved back to Japan.  We lived on U.S. military bases or in civilian housing sponsored by the U.S. military.

We moved back to the U.S in 1970 and I have lived in many places across the U.S. since.

My reflections focus on the transmigration of racism, sexism, heterosexism and homophobia, class/caste-ism, and nationalism, which infuses personal and communal lives, particularly in the phenomenon of colonialism and military occupation, including the seemingly innocuous presence of U.S. military bases in the Pacific region.

My experiences traverse diversity consulting, intercultural communication certification programs, and independent speaker.

For most of my life, I was head coach and director of several high-ranked junior olympic volleyball clubs for both girls and boys in Los Angeles, Colorado, Upstate New York, as well as head coach of high school teams which have won state championships.

From 1983 to 1992, I was a serious Zen Buddhist practitioner in Colorado, New York, and Seattle, practicing within the Sanbo Kyodan (Three Treasures) lineage.  I am now a lone practitioner, not belonging to any centers.

After leaving the monastery and leaving my life-long volleyball coaching career, I entered Antioch University Seattle to finish my B.A. degree (Liberal Arts with focus on Transcultural studies), and then received my Masters’ Degree in Feminist Advocacy and Participatory Social Cultural Anthropology  from California Institute of Integral Studies.  My research focused on Kurdish and Dersim communities of Turkey within Turkey and the European and American diaspora. Soonafter, I began to revisit my own writings about my own life and my ancestral history.

Our brothers and sisters, mothers, fathers, and elders from: North and South Korea, the Philippines, China, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Hawaii, Guam, the Solomon and Marianas, Indonesia, Malaysia, the South Seas including the Torres Straits and Tasmania, into Australia and New Zealand, Samoa, Tahiti, Fiji, Taiwan, Okinawa, and Japan and stretching to Peru, Brazil, and Mexico, and connecting to the western shores of the United States and Canada and all the diaspora spread around the world, I say, are intimately connected to what began strongly in the Pacific Slave Trade that intensified after the American Civil War, and continues today.  Alive or passed away, millions of bodies are linked with this world that is untenable and insecure as the world moves more toward false ideas of security. And quite frankly, most people know nothing of it, think nothing of it, missing that link.

I am particularly interested in the memories and lives of Amerasians (people of mixed-Asian mothers and American occupying and/or military and civilian father-soldiers and administration as well as the children of African-American occupying women soldiers and Japanese fathers of the same eras) and mixed-race people across the Pacific and the diaspora, hoping that the study of a Pan-Amerasian-ness and mixedness is taken seriously, not as some special identity, but as a lens that opens liberatory possibilities for better lives for all people.

In addition, I am focused on the ideas of “Blackness” and “Asian-ness” and “Islander-ness” in contrast to white supremacist colonial enterprises that mark the identities and power-structures that form nation-states and what they do to the hierarchies and policies related to racism, sexism, colorism, homophobia and heterosexism, and classism.  “Belonging” seems to be the crux, the boundary-maker, and power-distributor in the formations of global politics, identity-formation, and communal relations of power and survival.

My first book: Dream of the Water Children: Memory and Mourning in the Black Pacific, will be published by 2Leaf Press (New York) in November 2017.

4 thoughts on “About”

    1. Thank you so much. Any work that brings knowledge, accountability, and ethical concern, helps and encourages and heals. Your own work is important and I wholeheartedly support your efforts in the directions you take to challenge the status quo. Our mothers would be proud.

      Like

  1. I eagerly await publication of your book! Your story in many ways mirrors my own. My father also African American, met my mom in Japan in the early 1950’s. My older sister and I were born in Japan and my dad also returned to marry my mom.

    It’s a very strange place to be when we look like we do but having been raised by a mother who is culturally different than what America has determined us to be. I also had the privilege and the price of experiencing racial segregation in the deep South at age 10 after landing on U.S. soil in 1966.

    I can understand the breadth and depth of the many isms that are merged in your experiences.

    Like

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