Sunday, June 16, 2024

Charles Tureaud Celebrates

200 Years of Black in Hawaii

Blacks in Hawaii

On a recent business trip to Hawaii, I had the opportunity to attend the Jazz Cultural Journey Sunday event put on by the African American Diversity Cultural Center Hawaii. According to a report in the organization’s official publication, “During the late 1700s and early 1800s, Hawaii was sparsely populated. Many people of African ancestry came to Hawaii aboard merchant and whaling ships. The earliest settlers arrived in the Hawaiian Islands around 1769. Maritime labor during the 17th and 18th centuries was predominantly black. Although the conditions were harsh, and the pay low, it was better than being a slave. These men came from Cape Verde Islands off the coast of West Africa, the Caribbean and the mainland United States. Throughout the age of sail, black hands maneuvered white sails traversing the ocean waterways. The Atlantic Ocean ships brought blacks to the slave blocks, the Pacific Ocean brought them to freedom. Many black men used the oceans as their underground railroads. In Hawaii, blacks were free to go ashore without harassment, dozens of them jump(ed) ship and made Hawaii their home. They were welcomed by the Hawaiian people.”

For more on this nonprofit, visit or call (808) 597-1341.

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