‘Fifty years ago the Polynesian Panther Party began to shine a light on racism and oppressive systems, and we made small changes. But these small changes were and are so much greater than the sum of their parts; they are writ large by the liberating education some of us are still involved in and the snowballing effect it has.’
In a book that is both deeply personal and highly political, Melani Anae recalls the radical activism of Auckland’s Polynesian Panthers. In solidarity with the US Black Panther Party, the Polynesian Panthers was founded in response to the racist treatment of Pacific Islanders in the era of the Dawn Raids. Central to the group’s philosophy was a three-point ‘platform’ of peaceful resistance, Pacific empowerment and educating New Zealand about persistent and systemic racism.
Melani Anae is senior lecturer in Pacific Studies at the University of Auckland. A Fulbright Scholar, a Marsden Award recipient and holder of the Queen's Service Order Medal for services to Pacific communities, she has published extensively in the areas of transnational Pacific leadership, the politics of identity, Pacific activism in New Zealand, and Pacific research methodologies and relational ethics.
BWB Texts are short books on big subjects by great New Zealand writers. Spanning contemporary issues, history and memoir, new BWB Texts are released regularly, and the series now amounts to well over fifty works.