Scenes from Iolani Palace

While in Hawaii, I visited Iolani Palace, the seat of the last Hawaiian monarchs before they were illegally overthrown by allies of the United States. I could’ve tossed these photos on my Instagram feed, but the experience deserved more reverence than being squeezed between photos of my boobs in various bikinis. If you follow me on IG, you’re welcome.

I love how the staff demands respect for the space. You can’t wear beach attire. Your shoes are covered before walking into the museum. Whatever bag you’re carrying needs to be flipped to the front of your body so you’re not knocking into things.

While I was familiar with the annexation of Hawaii (a truly appalling story that you can hear on the “Until We Meet Again” episode of the Noble Blood podcast), I left the museum with such a deeper appreciation for Hawaiian history, culture, and resilience. Even as they’ve been absorbed by the United States, they don’t see themselves as “American.”

And living in a nation with a horrific history of salting the earth when they conquer, seeing a culture hold on to itself is refreshing.

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a girl named rob

I used to be "skinny black girl." I'm now a slender woman on the other side of 35 with no new moniker who is not quite interested in writing under her given name. Still writing my life, a day (or some months) at a time. Also, still black.

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