Black Ink Press has published another book by a local author about Palm Island’s troubled history. Mrs Dulcie Polowea Isaro (nee Thaiday) has written the story of the events of June 1957, when a group of men and women went on strike to protest injustices, and their families were banished as a result.
The Day Palm Island Fought Back was as part of Palm Island’s Strike Commemoration at the PCYC on Monday morning, June 4. Dulcie’s well-told story will appeal to young readers, as she vividly remembers what it was like to be a fifteen-year-old caught up in the drama of the time. Even then she was aware it would change her family’s life. But Dulcie isaro said “This Strike story belongs to the whole island, it is not just my family’s story. The younger generation needs to know what happened.”
Black Ink Press believes it is an important story to be shared with all Australians, especially young readers. “Along with Kathy Gibson’s book, Fantome Island, this is a resource for history studies,” publisher Ms Jeanie Adams said.
After showing the manuscript to Black Ink in about 2000, Dulcie did wonder if the book The Day Palm Island Fought Back would ever be published. And after waiting a few years for others, she did the illustrations herself. Meanwhile Dulcie’s play has been performed, and Black Ink are making the playscript of the same name available, in booklet format a special price for schools who buy the book, so students will have a chance to enter into the story through drama.
As a daughter of Willie Thaiday, Dulcie was introduced to the potential power of the written word in 1981 when her father’s Under the Act was published by NQ Black Publishing. It was the first publication by both a black writer and black publisher.
Black Ink Press has plans to republish that book later this year, with the family’s blessing, because it is an important document for students and tells a harsh truth from a personal perspective. They are looking for a good copy of the book. Meanwhile Dulcie Isaro is still writing as she thinks about other aspects of her unusual life story. She is available for media interviews and school visits phone 0439 773 024. Jeanie Adams Black Ink Press 0427 795 010.