Saturday, November 24, 2007
793,162 0.3% of the US population
Pacific Islander Americans are residents of the United States with original ancestry from the Pacific Islands. They represent the smallest racial group counted in the United States census of 2000. They numbered 874,000 people or 0.3 percent of the United States population. They are most concentrated in Hawaii, Alaska and to a lesser extent the West Coast, specifically California.
Pacific Islander Americans have media portrayal mostly as professional wrestlers, but are also portrayed as regular people too. The Rock, with a Samoan mother and a Black Canadian father, has been the most notable Pacific Islander American professional wrestler, branching out into movies like the The Scorpion King. Other Pacific Islander American professional wrestlers include Samoa Joe and Solofa Fatu. Lilo Pelekai and Nani Pelekai are Native Hawaiian Americans in the Disney show called "Lilo & Stitch". Pacific Islander Americans portrayed two major supporting characters on the CBS television series Hawaii Five-O—Native Hawaiian Zulu as Kono Kalakaua and Samoan American Al Harrington as Det. Ben Kokua. Also, Hawaiian-American Jason Momoa plays Ronon Dex on the popular science-fiction TV show Stargate Atlantis.
Vili Fualaau is a Samoan-American boy who made headlines with his controversial relationship with Mary Kay Letourneau.
The most famous stage character is Bloody Mary (South Pacific) of the South Pacific musical and movie. She is a souvenir trader to US Sailors stationed in the Pacific Theater of WWII. Though originally cast as Juanita Hall, an African American, she is often also cast as an Asian or Pacific Islander American in newer local productions.
Pacific Islander Americans are well represented in American football: Peter Tuipulotu, Reno Mahe, Vai Sikahema, Nuu Faaola, Jesse Sapolu, Troy Polamalu, Maake Kemoeatu, Mosi Tatupu and his son Lofa, Manu Tuiasosopo and his sons Marques and Zach, and Junior Seau are professional football players.
Many Pacific Islander Americans also play the most popular sport of their homeland, rugby, and have a strong influence in US rugby, with many going on to represent the USA, including Salesi Sika, David Niu, Vahafolau Esikia, Fifita Mounga, Olo Fifita, Thretton Palamo, Albert Tuipolotu, and Vaea Anitoni.
Pacific Islanders are also represented in sumo wrestling. Akebono Taro is a famous sumo-wrestling Yokozuna of Native Hawaiian ancestry.
Diving great Greg Louganis, although often identified with his adoptive Greek-American heritage, is of Samoan and Swedish ancestry.
Polynesian Americans are Americans of Polynesian descent.
Large subcategories of Polynesian Americans include Native Hawaiians and Samoan Americans. In addition there are smaller communities of Tongan Americans.
A Samoan American is an American who is of ethnic Samoan descent and may be from either the independent nation Samoa or the American territory of American Samoa. Many Samoans live in Los Angeles, Carson, Long Beach, San Jose, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Independence (Missouri), Houston, Seattle and in the state of Hawaii. Since the end of World War II, persons born in American Samoa are United States nationals, but not United States citizens. (This is the only circumstance under which an individual would be one and not the other.) For this reason, Samoans can move to Hawaii or the mainland United States and obtain citizenship comparatively easily.
Samoan American is a subcategory of Polynesian American.
Posted by iamyrfans at 9:31 AM