Dream of the Water Children: The Black Pacific

Podcast: “Violence and Memory” — My Discussion at As(I)Am project


This is a Podcast from a February 2015 edition of “Drop That Hyphen” at the Project As(I)Am Online Magazine which is a Hub that brings together Asian-American activist-artist-thinkers together to challenge racism, sexism, heterosexism and homophobia, nationalism, class/caste-ism, and other oppressions toward social change.


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Ariana Miyamoto 宮本エリアナ 磨美子: Black Japanese Miss Universe 2015

Ariana Miyamoto 1

In March of 2015, Ariana Miyamoto (宮本 エリアナ 磨美子  Miyamoto Ariana Mamiko) won the crown for Miss Universe Japan. For the Japanese nation and culture, this was a huge and monumental event. What makes it so, is that she is the first ‘Black-Japanese’ mixed race woman to win the crown. What this did was bring into the cultural spotlight, the issues of identity, race, color, nation, and gender–into an intense configuration that, I think, is necessary for Japan to struggle with today.  It remains to be seen whether this has far-reaching effects.

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‘Black-birding’ is a British term which was used to speak of the 19th century Pacific labor/slave trade for the colonialists.  Australia, France, Britain, Germany and the United States were the main traders. Blackbirding mostly involved kidnapping and trickery (to sign contracts) for laboring in mines and plantations in South America, the U.S., Canadian West Coast, and Australia and their colonies.

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Dream of the Water Children
Fredrick D. Kakinami Cloyd’s first book: Dream of the Water Children: Memory and Mourning in the Black Pacific, will be published this fall by 2Leaf Press.  He is needing digital scans that can be included in the book.  Details:

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