Weaving Our Stories: Return To Belonging – An Anthology

Weaving Our Stories: A Return to Belongingedited and introduced by Luanna Peterson, is a book sewn seamlessly of art and heart.  Every story stands bravely alone but is a part of the gripping whole.  These are survivor stories, and they aren’t easy to tell.  But that’s the point, isn’t it?  The message will come home to you, as it did so beautifully to me. — Debra Lape, author of Looking for Lizzie – The True Story of an Ohio Madam, Her Sporting Life and Hidden Legacy and Factory Girl in the Rubber City – The Journal of Mary Cable.


Weaving Our Stories is a Hawaii-rooted abolitionist program that utilizes storytelling as a vehicle for liberation. Our mission revolves around teaching storytelling as an act of resistance, dismantling harmful existing narratives, and nurturing our ability to weave counter-narratives that acknowledge and celebrate the inherent beauty and brilliance within our storytellers. Through our stories, we advocate for justice and liberation.

This anthology follows the trail of esteemed works such as “This Bridge Called My Back: Writings of Radical Women of Color” and “Na Wahine Koa: Hawaiian Women for Sovereignty and Demilitarization.” This anthology includes poetry, essays, visual art, and narratives penned by authors and artists who identify as Black, Indigenous, and people of color from Hawaii and beyond. While our contributors span a diverse spectrum of experiences and identities, they all share a common commitment to individual and collective well-being. Our contributors astutely showcase how their expressions of resistance and liberation, whether through visual art or written text, align with one or more of the central themes of Weaving Our Stories: resistance through cultural memory, accountability, resisting false binaries, and countering hegemony.

In tandem with the community collection of stories that revolve around resistance, this anthology also highlights the remarkable achievements of our six accomplished Black youth organizers. These young individuals dedicated a year to the Weaving Our Stories Youth Series during the pandemic, delving into the power and relevance of storytelling in our journey of resistance and liberation. Each of the six youth activists provides an overview of their Community Impact Design Projects.

These culminating endeavors addressed community issues by proposing interventions that harness our resistance themes and our three Pillars of Liberation—namely, institutions, structures/methodology, and people.

This anthology offers celebrations of our triumphs, our joys, and our unwavering resilience. Simultaneously, they advocate for our ongoing resistance, insisting on justice and a sincere confrontation with the often-overlooked lived experiences that deserve acknowledgment.

ISBN Print: 978-1-990263-90-3
Publication Date: January 2024
Page Count: 178
Binding Type: Soft Cover
Trim Size: 6in x 9in
Language: English
Colour: Full colour

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[caption id="attachment_21670" align="alignleft" width="298"] Luanna and her daughter, Malaika[/caption] In collaboration with Pūlama Long, Luanna co-founded Weaving Our Stories, a Hawai'i-rooted abolitionist program. Luanna harnesses storytelling as a vital tool for liberation and social change. Her commitment extends to her…

    Preface by Dr Akiemi Glenn,

    Prologue by Luanna Peterson xi

    Introduction 1

    Our Stories of Resistance

    Chapter 1: Cultural Memory 14

    Remembering Our Future by Pumehana Cabral 17

    Grandma’s Kitchen by Gabriel Verduzco 19

    Brown Girl by Gabriel Verduzco 20

    Blood Memories: Of Sun, Soil, and Threaded Rivers by Navjeet Kaur 22

    We came to the water. An Ode to Juneteenth by Jade Rhodes 27

    The Games We Play by Val Guevarra 28

    Art Therapy and Connection in Isolation by Nikki Depriest 33

    My Soul by Noah Humphrey 39

    Remembrance of Bussed Down Seats by Noah Humphrey 39

    This House by Lauren Ballesteros-Watanabe 41

    You Are The Magic by Mariana Aq’ab’al Moscoso 44

    The Sand Remembers by Karima Daoudi 45

    Chapter 2: Accountability 48

    Erasure by Joshlyn Noga 51

    Ahuihala by Pūlama Long 53

    My Own Wallowing Words by Noah Humphrey 54

    The Word Rest Is In Resistance by Amy Benson 56

    Don’t Call Me Daddy by Alejandra Alexander 61

    Commitments of Kuleana by Kealohilani Minami 64

    Apologies by Jess Heard 67

    The Mirage by Jess Heard 68

    Chapter 3: Countering Hegemony 70

    Aloha ‘Āina by M. Malia Connor 73

    Untitled… by M. Malia Connor 74

    Baby’s/Myeni’s Eulogy by Noah Humphrey 75

    America by Allison Jacobs 77

    Seeding Solidarity by Cassandra Chee 78

    A Single Braid of Rice by Ahmad Selim Aboagye Xallen 79

    Mi Enemigo by Gabrielle Verduzco 81

    Hånom yo’åmte; Manggagaige a’ham guini; I Kåten Kulo’

    By Gillian Dueñas 82

    How To Play The Game And Win by Luanna Peterson 85

    Proud To Be An American by Breena Thompson 88

    Chapter 4: Resisting False Binaries 89

    A Poem for The Woman I Used To Be by Share Roman 92

    Color of our S(k)in by Ku‘uleianuhea Awo-Chun 95

    Woke supremacy: “Good people” racism by Lesley G. Harvey 98

    Static Dynamic by Deysha Childs 103

    Dystopia by Jess Heard 104

    A Filipina Hood Feminist Perspective: Youth Culture and The Politics of Feeling Good in Working-Class Kalihi by Demiliza Sagaral Saramosing 105

    Black of the Earth in the Black of My Birth

    by Ahmad Selim Aboagye Xallen 113

    My soul by Ahmad Selim Aboagye Xallen 114

    Community Impact Design Projects 116

    Hibiscus Hour By Ahmad Selim Aboagye Xallen 119

    Six Guideposts for a Decolonial Classroom Philosophy

    by Aurora Jeffrey 121

    Healing Through Scrapbooking by Breena Thompson 125

    Healing Through Planting by Deysha Childs 128

    Cultivating Black Joy by Lyric B. 132

    Holistic Healing: A Repetition of Simpleness by Noah Humphrey 136

    Acknowledgments 139

    Meet Our Community Storytellers 141

    An Unyielding Truth: A Manifesto for Global Liberation.

    by Luanna Peterson 159

    Works Cited 164

    Book Format

    Print Book, PDF

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