July 3, 2018

Media contacts:

Kathleen Wong
Tel: 808-532-8748

Taylour Chang

Tel: (808) 532-3033


Theatre screens short film on slavery in the Pacific, followed by discussion with Ta-Nehisi Coates on black diasporic experience

WHAT: Ta-Nehisi Coates in Conversation
WHEN: Saturday August 25, 6pm
TICKETS: $30 for general admission, $25 for museum members
INFO: 532-6097,, (publishable)
High-res images available on request

HONOLULU, HAWAI‘I—Following the popularity of his all too timely #1 New York Times bestselling book Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates became a household name. The award-winning writer continues to be one of the most valued commentators on the current political landscape, sharing his experience as a black man with captivating and moving language. On the evening of Saturday, August 25, Ta-Nehisi Coates will visit the Doris Duke Theatre for a moderated conversation on the commonalities between the African American experience in the United States and the current 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.  

Special thanks to supporting sponsor The Pōpolo Project. 

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

Ta-Nehisi Coates 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 book, 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.

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. Glenn'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. Glenn is the founder and curator of the Pōpolo Project. She is currently the director of Tele!, a language revitalization and engagement project in Hawai‘i's Tokelauan community funded by the federal Administration for Native Americans and administered by Te Taki Tokelau Community Training & Development.

The Pōpolo Project is a multimedia project that explores what it means to be black in Hawai'i and the larger Pacific. By making the lives of Black folks visible among what we commonly think of as local, the Pōpolo Project highlights the vivid, complex diversity of blackness.


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About the Honolulu Museum of Art

One of the world’s premier art museums, the Honolulu Museum of Art presents international caliber special exhibitions and features a collection that includes Hokusai, van Gogh, Gauguin, Monet, Picasso and Warhol, as well as traditional Asian and Hawaiian art.

Located in two of Honolulu’s most beautiful buildings, visitors enjoy two cafés, gardens, a shop, and films and concerts at the theater. The museum is dedicated to bringing together great art and people to create a more harmonious, adaptable, and enjoyable society in Hawai’i.


Honolulu Museum of Art: 900 S. Beretania Street
Honolulu Museum of Art Spalding House: 2411 Makiki Heights Drive
Honolulu Museum of Art School: 1111 Victoria Street
Honolulu Museum of Art at First Hawaiian Center: 999 Bishop Street
Honolulu Museum of Art Doris Duke Theatre: 901 Kinau Street (at rear of museum)


Honolulu Museum of Art: Tues–Sun 10 am–4:30pm; closed Monday.
Honolulu Museum of Art Spalding House: Tues–Sun 10am–4pm; closed Monday.

Admission (permits entry to both museums on the same day):
$20 general admission; $10 Hawai‘i residents and active duty military living in Hawai‘i; children 18 and under are free.

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