Name of AAPI FigureLili’uokalani
What is the person’s Asian heritage or ethnicity?Hawaiian
Area of InfluencePolitician, activist, composer.
Date of birth or time period09-02-1838
How did this individual make a contribution to their field or to society/culture at large?Lili’uokalani became queen when her brother, the king, Kalākaua died. Liliʻuokalani became the first and last queen of the Hawaiian Kingdom. The Americans that came to Hawaii, threatened Kalākaua to sign the Bayonet Constitution, which took away power from the Hawaiians and transferred the power to them. As queen, Lili’uokalani refused to follow through with the Constitution. She proposed a new Constitution so the Hawaiians could get their power back. She did everything she could, to regain Hawaii’s power. She wanted the citizens of Hawaii to be able to live a better life. Liliʻuokalani also brought merriment to many people’s ears. She composed many songs that uplifted many people. The most famous of her works, “Aloha ‘Oe” is still listened to today.
Why did you choose this person? What about their story speaks to you?As I was looking through a list of AAPI people, I was intrigued of the brief summary on Liliʻuokalani they gave. They mentioned how Liliʻuokalaniwas the first queen and last sovereign of Hawaii. I had not known much about the history of Hawaii, and Liliʻuokalani being the last reign of Hawaii interested me. I love how, Liliʻuokalaniwould do anything for her people, so they could get their power back from those who stole it. She worked hard to make life better for all Hawaiians. She would always put her kingdom first. At 20 years old she went door to door, to gather money for the first hospital of Hawaii. Even before she became queen, she was still helping Hawaii.
How does this person inspire you?Even after getting pushed down many times, Liliʻuokalani did everything she could to recover Hawaii’s power. On January 4th 1985, Liliʻuokalani was put on house arrest for treason, however it was never proven, Liliʻuokalani did anything wrong. After eight months Liliʻuokalani was finally freed. She spent the rest of her life dedicating her life to get the rights of the Hawaiian people back. The Americans took away most of Liliʻuokalani’s power. However they did not take away her ability to advocate for Hawaiian’s rights. It amazes me how Liliʻuokalani was able to do many things to support her people, even after her title was taken away.
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Submitted byPragati Joshi
City, StateWeymouth, Massachusetts