Monday, May 8, 2023 – The crops of colonization

Hawai’i has a long association with pineapples. Although the precious fruit likely came to the islands in the 18th Century, it wasn’t until industrialized agriculture arrived with the Dole corporation — backed by U.S. military support to overthrow the existing Hawaiian government — that the pineapple became so ubiquitous. Sugar cane has a similar role in colonizing places like Hawai’i, Puerto Rico, and the American Southeast with plantations that flourished at the expense of Indigenous people and culture.


José Barreiro (Taino), scholar emeritus from the Smithsonian Institution, writer and author of Taino: A Novel

Dr. Sydney Iaukea (Native Hawaiian), author of The Queen and I: A Story of Dispossessions and Reconnections in Hawaiʻi and Kekaʻa: The Making and Saving of North Beach West Maui

Dr. Gary Okihiro, visiting professor of American studies at Yale University; professor emeritus at Columbia University