Community groups present “Holding Fast The Dream”

(From a news release issued by the Hawai‘i NAACP:)

In commemoration of Black History Month, Hawaii’s African American Community Organizations will present the film “Holding Fast The Dream” Hawaii’s African American Experience on February 26, 2011 at 5 p.m. at Leeward Community College Theatre.

The film highlights a two-hundred year history beginning with the story of a freed slave in the early 1800s to the historic election of Barack Obama as U.S. President. The film presents the challenges of building community and the irony of their struggle with racial stereotypes and discrimination in a land heralded as a paradise of diversity and acceptance.

Before 1900, many Africa Americans came to escape slavery and the harshness of United States racism; others came as adventurers and decided to remain. Despite their individualized motives for coming to the islands African Americans were warmly received by the Native Hawaiian people. The film explores fully the contemporary issues faced by the approximate 40,000 African Americans living in Hawaii today including a growing middle class population.

The film was directed by Steve Okino and is based on the pioneering research of Dr. Miles M. Jackson, producer and author, “And They Came” and “They Followed the Trade Winds.” Primary funding came from the Hawaii Council for the Humanities, the Gerbode Foundation, Bank of Hawaii, University of Hawaii Foundation, and many individual contributions.

Following the film presentation, an open and reflective discussion entitled “Moving Forward – African Americans in Hawaii.” Project individuals and representatives from the organizations highlighted in the movie will be on hand for a question and answer session.

African American organizations include the African American Association of Hawaii; African American Cultural Diversity Center of Hawaii; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority; Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity; Blacks in Government; Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Coalition; Hickam African American Heritage Association; Honolulu Black Nurses Association; Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity; Links Inc.; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; Omega Psi Phi Fraternity; Prince Hall Affiliated Organizations; Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority.

The event is free to the public.

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