For those of you interested in Black Pacific histories, storytelling, postcolonial analysis, and Black-Asian and indigenous perspectives, you might appreciate my book: Dream of the Water Children: Memory and Mourning in the Black Pacific will be released this coming Fall (2015) by 2Leaf Press in New York.
It is a combination of family and friends’ collective memoir, dreams, dreams and recollections on being a black body in the Pacific Rim, from ancient times to the present, combined with a mystery and soul-searching investigation of my reflections on my relationship with my mother, as well as my father and family.
The Occupation of Japan, indigenous South Seas and Pacific Islands histories, women’s lives in relation to US militarism, divided Korea, the Philippines Resistance War against the US, Negrito peoples, African-American soldiers in Asian Wars, French Indochina and American Vietnam Wars, European colonization in the Pacific, and life in today across the US, are only some of the aspects evoked in a meditation of self-in-history.
The book is not written in traditional ways, mixing genres and disciplines without dividing into categories. It is not a social history or case study, but memories with research notes and reflections on readings, related directly to my investigation on how I and family members have grown to be a self within larger histories of militarism and colonization.
From my mother speaking to me through a dream, to my father’s interpretation of his Vietnam War experience, to my present-day experiences with racism in San Francisco from both Japanese and white people, to newspaper articles and stories from my childhood and the infanticide, a mystery regarding my own background opens new questions on the world, what it tells us versus what we know and remember, what we choose to maintain or refuse, and how we maintain, perpetrate or become victims of violence and oppressions is at the core of questions that I pose for the meaning of what lives we live and what we must become.
The central focus of my book is of being the identity of a Black-Japanese Amerasian, born in the postwar, to a mixed-race Japanese woman who meets my would-be father, an African-American military man stationed in Japan during the Korean War. Transnational life, military life, and the jarring changes and adjustments needed in the middle of it, and continuing into adulthood–are the main ways in which I choose to remember a few events in my life, and conversations with my mother, to evoke a dream-like sequence between academic writing and the lament of life in loss, war, and the struggle for empowerment.
If interested, please visit the website for my book, to keep informed: