Grits and Sushi brings us “Nappy Routes and Tangled Tales–a dialog on blackness in Okinawa” taking place on Friday, May 4, 2012 at 3 pm Japan time and Sunday May 6, 2012 at 3 pm Japan time. Via the blog, where one can find musings on Okinawa, race, militarization, and blackness, Mitzi writes:
For those of you in Okinawa and interested in race, space, and blackness, please mark your calendars for Friday, May 4 and Sunday, May 6, 2012 at 3pm. I am helping to organize an open dialog/experimental focus group to rethink blackness in Okinawa. Yes, you heard that right. Black folks, Okinawan folks, and military, activists, rappers, scholars all talking about spaces of blackness on the shima.
What is this? I will be there to do a very brief overview of black history in Okinawa and to talk some about the Koza Riots and my own experiences of being “Blackinawan.” But thankfully for everyone involved, I will not be the focus of the event. This event will be more dynamic. There will be former black Marines from different generations to talk about their own experiences as a black man/woman in Okinawa and how their experiences were shaped by being in Okinawa and what they make of those transformations–about race, class, cultural practices, etc. One scholar will be present to talk about his role in the black nationalist movement here in Okinawa during the 60′s/early 70s. An Okinawan rapper will be there to talk about how cultural forms of blackness have impacted him. A black blogger will be there to talk about his posts about blackness in southern Okinawa and what it means to be a young, black, non-military person in Okinawa. An Okinawan spoken word artist will talk about hybrid forms/spaces of understanding between black America and Okinawa.
This will be a dialog setting, not a lecture. The “presenters” are there as discussion starters–to be responsible for answering a few questions and move the dialog along. We will all be asking new questions of each other–reframing questions and answers, and making history in the present. There’s never been anything like it here. There will be a translator for Okinawans coming to the event as this will be mostly in English.
Be sure to check out the rest of the post via the Grits and Sushi blog by clicking here!