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Fri, 09.02.1938

Liliʻuokalani, Black Hawaiian Queen born

Liliʻuokalani

*Liliʻuokalani was born on this date in 1838.  She was a Black Hawaiian writer and queen.  

Born as Lydia Liliʻu Loloku Walania Kamakaʻeha to High Chief Kamanawa II and his wife, her father was the great-grandson of one of the five Kona chiefs in Hawaii.  Additionally, there is the existence of a Jukun-Kona tribe in Nigeria and Cameroon some of their people had migrated to other parts of the world.  

As a young royal, Liliʻuokalani was educated in a special Royal School by white-American missionaries.  While in school, she gained an interest in literature and music and would become a composer and writer. At the age of 24, after 2 years of engagement and after successful completion of her education, she married American statesman John Owen Dominis.  Princess Liliʻuokalani became queen in 1891 after the death of her older brother King Kalākaua.  His death occurred during a visit to the U.S. after food poisoning.  She additionally took up the position as she was acting as regent for the second time.  

After becoming queen, her husband became Prince Consort.  As queen, she created opportunities, amending several laws that were controversial.  She founded the Liliuokalani’s Savings Bank for women, helped in the establishment of a money lending group for working women, established orphanages and founded the Liliʻuokalani Educational Society to train Black girls from poor homes in various trades. She also created a fund to pay for fees of various intelligent Black women.  On January 17, 1893, in the midst of queen her work, Liliʻuokalani was overthrown by a group of white-American and European businessmen, with the support of U.S. Minister John Stevens and a contingent of U.S. Marines.  

She was moving to restore 100% power to the monarchy of Hawaii after it was reduced by the U.S. government through the Bayonet Constitution.  Hoping that sanity and peace will remain, the queen surrendered after writing a letter that read:  I, LILIUOKALANI, by the Grace of God and under the Constitution of The Hawaiian Kingdom, Queen, do hereby solemnly protest against any and all acts done against myself and the Constitutional Government of the Hawaiian Kingdom by certain persons claiming to have established a Provisional Government of and for this Kingdom.  Now to avoid any collision of armed forces, and perhaps the loss of life, I do under this protest and impelled by said force yield my authority until such time as the Government of the United States shall upon the facts being presented to it undo the action of its representative and reinstate me in the authority which I claim as the Constitutional Sovereign of the Hawaiian Islands. 

Queen Liliuokalani was of the belief that the then president of the U.S. would reinstate her as queen, however, President Grover Cleveland deceived her by promising her a reinstatement after she granted amnesty to all those who had been involved in the coup. In 1894, the U.S. made Hawaii a republic and gave it a president, marking the end of the monarchical rule.  The queen was later arrested in 1895 after accusations of staging a rebellion.

She was kept under house arrest in her own home where she abdicated her throne for the release of several innocent people who had been arrested because of her.  The queen tried to regain the monarchy of Hawaii, and, after several failed attempts, lived a private but heavily monitored life until she died of a stroke on November 11, 1917. 

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