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The Platform: the radical legacy of the Polynesian Panthers

March 3rd, 2022

Protest march featuring sign saying 'Save my freedom'

In this talk, Melani Anae, Associate Professor in Pacific Studies at the University of Auckland discusses aspects of her recent book, The Platform: the radical legacy of the Polynesian Panthers. In the book she writes, ‘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.’

The book is both deeply personal and highly political and recalls the radical activism of Auckland’s Polynesian Panthers. In solidarity with the US Black Panther Party, the Polynesian Panthers were 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.

These monthly Public History Talks are a collaboration between the National Library of New Zealand and Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Recorded live at the National Library of New Zealand, 6 August 2021.

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