Doctoral student publishes short story about struggles against racism and triumph

University of Hawaii at Mānoa doctoral student Nina Louise is passionate about illustrating how colorism, or discrimination based on skin color, profoundly affects people of color. the English department PhD the candidate poured this initiative into a recently published short story, The sea of ​​dead souls. Set in Shreveport, Louisiana in the early 1940s, the story’s protagonist, Naomi Gatson, is a young black woman who longs to flee the south for the north in a quest to find a safe passage to freedom.

“My mission would be to uncover many of these stories, to reveal them to readers so that they know and understand each other’s struggles, difficulties, triumphs, tragedies,” Louise said.

Louise, who is a graduate assistant for the uh Manoa Commission on Racism and Prejudice Education Committee, also pledged to write more books aimed at helping form a stronger ally between African Americans and the Asian community, two communities she says are too often pitted against each other. to the other.

Erase lines, borders

Louise’s fierce conduct stems from her own personal experiences with racism, an unfortunate recurrence for her while living in the continental United States. These fights were rare in Hawaii where she spent most of her childhood and graduated from Waipahu High School. She believes that more harmony can be achieved if people take the time to understand the historical traumas and dilemmas experienced by other ethnicities.

She is already working on another non-fiction piece about the disposition of the nation in the 1970s, through the lens of two minority children, one black, the other Native American. It also aims to publish works on Chinese immigrants who worked on the plantations of South America.

“40-50% of Chinese men married black women because the Exclusion Act of 1882 did not allow Asian women to enter the states,” she explained.

Besides novels, Louise hopes to expand her repertoire and eventually venture into screenwriting and eventually the big screen. She can trace her talent for theatrical intrigue to her high school days when she wrote her very first play, Clause’s magicianabout old Saint Nick hitting Waipahu neighborhoods.

This work is an example of uh Mānoa’s goal of Improve student success (PDF), one of the four objectives identified in the Strategic Plan 2015-2025 (PDF), updated December 2020.

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