Obscurity defies achievements
The election of Senator Barack Obama as U.S. President in 2008 brought new attention to the Hawaii of his birth and the people who live there.
Although the latest Census shows that 40,000 African Americans are residing in the islands, many of those are military personnel and their dependents. The civilian population has been invisible in the public eye, in history books, and in the traditional media.
Such obscurity defies the achievements and accomplishments over the two hundred years African Americans have lived in the islands of Hawaii, located in the middle of the Pacific.
Holding Fast the Dream: Hawaii’s African American Experience is a 90 minute documentary film that was selected for screening at the San Diego Black Film Festival in 2011 and for the Hawaii International Film Festival in 2010.
First welcomed by royalty of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1810, blacks became a part of the mostly Polynesian population. Many intermarried with the local population and after World War II the black population increased with a small group of professionals consisting of teachers, doctors, lawyers, civil servants and elected officials.
Dr, Miles M. Jackson, executive producer and retired faculty member of the University of Hawaii and the author of two books and articles on Blacks in Hawaii, says that the film tells the story that has been largely untold – until now.
Jackson teamed up with award winning filmmaker Steve Okino to make the first-ever visual presentation of the achievements and struggles of the Black community in Hawaii.
To purchase a copy of the DVD or for more details, visit holdingthedream.org.