HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Pōpolo Project is a safe place for Black residents of Hawaii to come together and share experiences. 

Akiemi Glenn, the creator behind the project said this started out as a blog which quickly gained attention and grew into something much bigger.

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She named her blog the Pōpolo Project after the Hawaiian word for a nightshade plant. She said pōpolo is a small little shrub that grows black berries. 

Glenn said she is not quite sure of the origin on calling Black and dark skinned people in Hawaii pōpolos.

However, she does think it is important to speak to Black people about their experiences living here in Hawaii.

“We envision a just future for Hawai‘i, achieved by investing in the intersections of our diverse histories and cultures to build connections across communities,” said Glenn.

She said this prefect aims to make the lives of Black folks visible among what people commonly think of as local. 

“The Pōpolo Project highlights the vivid, complex diversity of Blackness,” said Glenn.

She said their work redefines what it means to be Black in Hawaii and in turn what it means to be Black in the world. 

They create spaces and opportunities for Black people to radically reconnect to themselves, their communities, their ancestors and the land. 

“We produce educational and cultural learning opportunities, host community gatherings, and create original media that create new narratives for and about Black people, rooting our experiences and identities in a lush ecosystem of knowledge and kinship,” said Glenn.

This Friday, Feb. 11 at 3pm, they will be showcasing Afro-Indigenous History of the United States. 

You can join their zoom meeting and learn about Dr. Kyle Mays’ newest book, An Afro-Indigenous History of the United States” (2021).

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For more information on the Pōpolo Project and to look at other upcoming events, click here