Belief and Philosophy Blog Educators Reading & Writing Self-help Teachers Woman Warrior Woman. Warrior. Writer.

Woman. Warrior. Writer. Sang Kil

I am excited to announce that October’s Woman Warrior is Sang Kil, a professor in “Justice” Studies at San Jose State University.  She chairs her faculty union’s Anti-Racism, Social Justice Transformation group and fights to defund/abolish campus police as well as the racism, sexism and other systemic social injustices at SJSU.

How did you come to author your life?

I have been a fighter for social justice ever since I was young and my parents attempted to teach me anti-blackness living outside of D.C. In challenging my parent’s immigrant racism, I have also learned to include intersectionality in my analysis as I identify as queer women of color with a hidden disability.  Both my writing and my activism reflect my lifelong commitment to social justice. My new book is in progress and is tentatively titled, ‘Reporting from the Whites of their Eyes: How Neoliberalism as White Supremacy Promotes Racism in the News Coverage “All Lives Matter”, Trump’s “Border Wall” and “Muslim Travel Ban.”’ 

Follow Sang Kil at


Educators Hawai'i Parenting Teachers

Hawai’i: Beyond Van Gogh

This was a fantastic interpretation of Van Gogh’s life and work. I was thoroughly impressed by how it could engage so many people and inspire reflections about life and art. The Kid and the grandparents, my sister, we all enjoyed it. I’m thinking about how art can be used to galvanize discussion and how exclusivity is never the point of expression. The human questions of belonging and origin are crucial to all of us. Decades ago, I saw an exhibit of his work at the Met. This was an entirely different experience, but distilled the essence of the WHY of his work. Imaginative. Compelling.

I hope that we can see more exhibits here in Hawai’i that are accessible to all ages, and strongly believe that the people of Hawai’i can also export the art and expression that this geographic locale prompts. This is the mission of (THROB) The Hawai’i Review of Books; I am glad to be a part of this endeavor.

We face challenges wherever we live, but I am always grateful to be living here. There is a reminder here in every gesture, that we are temporal, that nature governs our lives, that beauty and good fortune is in our very existence.



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Woman. Warrior. Writer. Deesha Philyaw

It’s time for our WOMAN WARRIOR tribute post, done in the spirit of Maxine Hong Kingston. I hope that by presenting women writers, creators, and leaders here, that we can learn, better our own lives, and change our communities.

Today’s WOMAN WARRIOR is award winning author of short story collection, THE SECRET LIVES OF CHUCH LADIES.

Please meet Deesha Philyaw 👩🏿📚

@deeshaphilyaw’s debut short story collection, The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, won the 2021 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the 2020/2021 Story Prize, and the 2020 LA Times Book Prize: The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and was a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award for Fiction. The collection focuses on Black women, sex, and the Black church, and is being adapted for television by HBOMax with Tessa Thompson executive producing. Learn more at:

✨ How did you come to author your own life? ✨

“Growing up, my dream life was a standard American dream life: Go to college, get married, have kids, have professional success. In 2005, I was a 34-year-old stay-at-home mom on the brink of divorce, trying to figure out how I would make a living as a writer. That same year, my mother, my father, and my grandmother (who helped raise me) all died. Watching my mother die of cancer at age 52 gave me a sense of urgency about my writing, as well as permission to write how and what I want, and to live how I want, unapologetically.”

➡️ Visit to learn more about this incredibly talented woman, warrior and writer.

And if you want to read and learn from–and maybe even meet–writers like this, please register for classes at

~empowering women through narrative~

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The Poetry and Song of Ishle Yi Park

I interviewed Ishle Yi Park, the first woman to become Poet Laureate of Queens for the Council of Korean Americans and for  THROB aka The Hawai’i Review of Books!

Park was a Na Hoku Nominee for Female Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year, and Song of the Year in Hawai’i.

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THROB: Let’s Start with Death

Dear Reader, I’m excited that a second letter from my column THE DOCTOR IS IN is up! The first one ‘Solo Writer’ explains my lens and philosophical outlook that guide my answers. THROB The Hawai’i Review of Books is a brand-new publication and I am honored to be a part of this effort.

If you want to ask a question about writing, literature, craft, process, teaching or creativity –contact me by filling out the form at

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Gods and Pineapples: The Original 1.5 Generation Korean Americans

Gods and Pineapples. These two ideas and objects defined my family and many others for a century. This is from a decades long project of mine and so I’ll be posting on this too…

You feel alone and isolated. You feel like you are doing what no Korean has ever done before. You feel trapped between cultures. You feel like your parents don’t understand you. You say, this is because I am a 1.5 Korean American! You don’t get it! These teenagers from 1923 might have understood what you are talking about.

My grandmother Salome Choi Han is the third from the right in the first row. These were the children of the first wave of Korean immigration from 1903-5. The then Reverend Syngmun Rhee selected the students from some of the earliest immigrant families to do a homeland heritage tour of Korea in 1923. My grandmother went and played the flute. My grandfather, Hank Han or Kee Chan Han, not depicted here, was part of the demonstration baseball team. He was a pitcher for Mid-Pac Institute. Apparently the Koreans were very surprised to see these English speaking Koreans from Hawai’i and followed them down the street and pinched them.

Always remember that there are others who might have been there too. You are the first in your family perhaps, to feel what you feel, but hey, there were other 1.5 ers also! Korean Americans have been in the US for many years. I’m really looking forward to delivering lectures and workshops for the young professionals program for the Council of Korean Americans at the end of the month.