How Samoans Resisted Coconut Colonialism

In the Early 20th Century, the Fruit’s Farmers Sowed the Seeds of Today’s Global Labor Struggle

Coconuts are everywhere. If you walk into a grocery store pretty much anywhere in the United States, you’ll find a cornucopia of coconut products: coconut water, coconut oil, coconut macaroons, and, of course, husked coconuts themselves.

Most consumers spend little time thinking about where the coconuts in this “coco craze” come from. But according to a Samoan proverb, “The coconut is sweet, but it was husked with the teeth.”

For the Samoan farmers and workers of the early coconut industry, these sweet treats were a site of struggle against colonial rule and …

Who Are the Anglo-Indians?

Our Small, Enduring Community—Invisible in Most Colonial Histories—Straddles Two Worlds

“I thought they died out,” a woman remarked flippantly to my friend just the other day. She, like many Indians, has long believed that Anglo-Indians ceased to exist when the …

Novelist Laila Lalami

I Pledge My Allegiance to People

Laila Lalami is a Moroccan-born novelist. She is the author of Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, Secret Son, The Moor’s Account, and most recently, The Other Americans. She teaches creative writing at the …

UCLA’s Kal Raustiala

We’re Boxing Up Creativity

Kal Raustiala writes and teaches in the areas of international law and international relations. Since 2007 he has served as director of the UCLA Ronald W. Burkle Center for International …

Decolonization Tells the Story of Today

The Ongoing Political, Economic, and Intellectual Processes Reverberate in the 21st Century

The other day, the novelist and essayist Pankaj Mishra decided to change the navigation voice on his Google Maps settings from English (Great Britain) to English (India). A friend joked …

Decolonization Is Women’s Work

March 8, 1950—International Women’s Day—Marked the Embrace of a Feminist Battle Against Imperialism

It was 1950, and the world was in flames: In Vietnam, Iran, Madagascar, Algeria, West Africa, South Africa, Tunisia, Malaya, Burma, and Cuba, wars of counterinsurgency were being waged against …