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Remembering forgotten heroes who died seventy-four years ago in the West Loch Disaster at Pearl Harbor, two years after December 7, 1941 bombing.

Unless you live in Hawaii, it’s doubtful that you have ever heard of the West Loch Disaster. It happened on May 21, 1944, on a Sunday afternoon. Crew members from the 29th Decontamination Unit were loading ammunition and fuel on landing ship tanks (LSTs) in preparation for Operation Forager, an invasion of the Japanese-held Mariana Islands. At 3:08 p.m., an explosion suddenly ripped through LST 353 spreading fire among the tightly packed ships loaded with munitions and fuel. The fires last 24 hours destroying six LSTS and hundreds of lives. The incident is not well known, in part because it was classified ‘top secret’ until the 1960s.

On Monday, May 21, 2019, in collaboration with Hawaii Joint Military Forces, the public is invited to the 10th Celebration of Life & Memory of West Loch Internees at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at 2:00 p.m.

Contact: Molentia Guttman Telephone: 808-597-1341

Email: Honolulu, Hawaii
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Our History
In February 2018, the board of directors voted to use the brand name  “OBAMA HAWAIIAN AFRICANA MUSEUM” to honor the Birthplace of the the 44th U.S. President’s legacy.  The parent organization African American Diversity Cultural Center Hawaii (AADCCH) was founded in October 1997.

The museum was certified by the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) as a    501(c )(3) nonprofit agency in January 1998. to share this little known Hawaiian African history to educate the community (young & old) via its collection in exhibits onsite and in public venues, youth enrichment programs in schools, cultural literacy basket for elementary schools, lunch & learn presentations, film and  lecture series, to name a few program services.

Who We Are

We are a culturally diverse people of Africana ancestry embracing and claiming our Hawaiian heritage dating back to the mid-1700s. Synergism is the common thread and fabric of our Hawaiian connectivity that will bring the human race together.
The Africana settlers  were young men from Africa, Brazil, Caribbean Islands, and mainland United States.  They were ship hands (laborers) on commercial and whaling ships escaping slavery and seeking freedom of opportunities for a better life.   They married Hawaiian, Portuguese and Asian women.  Their descendants still live among us.

Mission Statement

To preserve, perpetuate & promote the contributions about Africana early settlers, descendants, & contemporary (AA) to educate young and old residents including visitors.

Vision Statement

To preserve the footprints of Hawaiian Africana settlers, an amalgamation contributions to Island history including World War II Pacific Theater.
This history has been hidden in Hawaiian archives for over two hundred years.  Until 1997, no institution had focused or acknowledge the history about Africana people population in Hawai’i.
Since 1997, volunteers have been sharing these untold stories in the community through collaborative projects.

Community Programs

• Exhibits in public venues (Honolulu City Halls, universities & schools
• Cultural Literacy Baskets for elementary schools
• Hawaiian Africana Youth Enrichment Program (HAYEP) in school social studies classrooms
• Lecture & Film Series

We continue to look for ways to share the early Africana settlers’ history and the early years of Barack Obama life to empower youth K12. Our school curriculum is designed to engage students, in particular those who are not performing at grade level.  Additionally, it support pathways for low-income youth to succeed.

We are collaborating with community partners:Hawaii Judiciary History Center, Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum, National Park Services/Arizona Mounument, local museums, and cultural centers to prepare students in school for leadership roles in the community.  This effort will rescue our children from dropping out of school and prevent them from entering into the prison system and recidivism.

“Let our striving lead to one nation, one world, one humanity, indivisible, with aloha, justice, and peace for all!”                                                                                                     
 Hawaii Civil Rights Commissioner Rev. Abraham Akaka 1964
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The History of African Americans in Hawaii Part 1

The History of African Americans in Hawaii Part 1

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