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West Indian, Afro-, African-Caribbean identity and politics

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  • West Indian, Afro-, African-Caribbean identity and politics

    The latest(last) label for Caribbean people - African-Caribbean. Anybody know what non-blacks in the Caribbean besides the latinos and hispanics are labelled? Like an Indian born in the Caribbean is what? What about a European born there?

    Personally, I refuse to take on another label and can be proud of it. I was born British West Indian an identity supported by many with pride in the money and the airline by that desciption. Then slowly West Indian again backed by cricket team victory's and the captain. Followed by independance finally to my nationality. In foreign - Caribbean people.

    In the clinton era was the first I became aware of the term Afro-Caribbean along with Afro-Latino. With so many choices, how people choose when dem muss?

    [ QUOTE ]

    In Black-Hispanic Debate, West Indians Side With Hispanics
    News Feature, Louis E.V. Nevaer,
    Pacific News Service, Dec 04, 2003



    Editor's Note: Black immigrants from the Caribbean often define themselves first by culture or nationality, then by race, complicating and splintering old "black-white" notions of racial identity in America.



    BROOKLYN, New York City--Blacks with roots in the West Indies are pulling away from an "African American" identity. They're being helped by neighborhoods -- including black neighborhoods -- that see them as hard workers because they are new immigrants, not because they are black.

    "I see myself as somewhere in-between," says U.S.-born Pat White, 43, a law office administrator whose parents came from the Caribbean. "I don't see myself as 'African American,' even though when people see me, they see a black woman. I'm Jamaican, and an American who is 'black,' but I feel uncomfortable with the 'African American' label."

    The ascendance of a "West Indian" identity -- which consists of a dozen Caribbean identities -- that is supplanting a monolithic "African American" identity is further splintering what it means to be "black" in America.

    The rise in numbers of Hispanics in the United States, and the way Hispanics identify themselves -- by culture, not race -- has contributed to the forging of a new identity outside that of "African American." Census figures say Hispanics now outnumber blacks in the United States. "If you can be black and Dominican and black and Puerto Rican," says Brian Oakes, who owns an ethnic jewelry shop in Brooklyn's Park Slope, "why can't you be a black West Indian who does not have to be labeled 'African American?'"

    Hispanics' fluid relationship to race -- black Latinos may call themselves "Cuban" or "Mexican" or "Hispanic" before "black" -- is not lost on the leaders of the African American community. "African Americans and the African American leadership community are about to enter an identity crisis, the extent of which we've not begun to imagine," Henry Louis Gates Jr., chairman of the African American Studies Department at Harvard University told colleagues who had gathered in Harlem to analyze the state of black studies, but who were shaken by the new census figures. "For 200 years, the terms 'race' or 'minority' connoted black-white race relations in America. All of a sudden, these same terms connote black, white, Hispanic."

    Some African Americans have criticized other blacks who defined themselves as "Hispanic" first and foremost, such as the late Cuban signer Celia Cruz or baseball great Sammy Sosa. "I totally reject the right of any black to label himself anything other than black," says Harlem AIDS activist Andrew Wilson, 32, who calls himself African American.

    It is a view that may be giving way as increasing numbers of blacks follow the Hispanic example and redefine their identities in terms of culture and ethnicity, not race. "Hispanic" is not a racial, but ethnic and cultural designation.

    "It's about attitude," says Milton White, 41, a television executive. "I identify with a West Indian identity because it speaks of an 'immigrant' mentality, and it's not about making claims on society or demanding entitlements. I don't walk around as if someone owed me 50 acres and a mule, but that doesn't mean I'm not subjected to the racism of American life."

    Milton Vickerman, author of "Crosscurrents: West Indian Immigrants and Race" documents the complex relationship between race and ethnic identity among New York Jamaicans. "West Indians come from societies where blacks are the majority, so they have a different life experience, one in which they are not a minority but part of society's majority," says Vickerman. "And 'race' is downplayed."

    "We have immigrant mentality," says Milton White.

    African immigrants to North America, like West Indian immigrants to New York, "struggle to assert specific ethnic identities against state and societally driven attempts to impose a rigid 'black' identity" on their community," Vickerman argues. In New York, some blacks with roots in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic are doing the same as West Indians, identifying first with the Hispanic designation, even refusing to be lumped into the "African American" designation.

    "What I love about Hispanics," says Pat White, "is that their communities are about culture and values, not race. It is about their nationality, their language, their history."

    This lesson is not lost on successful African Americans who are reaching out to West Indians and black Latinos. Katherine Newman, an anthropologist studying the working poor, recently told Salon.com that in the heavily black Harlem neighborhood of New York, African Americans were more likely to be rejected when they sought jobs -- including from black employers -- than were black Latinos, often immigrants, from outside the neighborhood. "This wasn't a racial divide, but a preference," said Newman. "Employers have a favorable impression of immigrant labor. Even though they themselves are black, they often have a jaundiced view of the urban, or African American labor force."

    Newman said managers told her what they looked for were recent immigrants "who grew up in really poor countries" who would think of a local job as equivalent to "a king's ransom compared to what they might find in Haiti or the Dominican Republic."

    PNS contributor Louis E.V. Nevaer is an economist and author of the forthcoming book, "NAFTA's Second Decade: Assessing Opportunities in the Mexican and Canadian Markets."


    [/ QUOTE ]
    let it burn, let it burn, let it burn

  • #2
    Re: West Indian, Afro-, African-Caribbean identity and politics

    have u ever read Nettleford's book with a title along this line...black coloured book with silver lettering..i can visualise the book and bits an pieces of the title...i have it here somewhere....
    u so fake, even China denied mekking u

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: West Indian, Afro-, African-Caribbean identity and politics

      read one of his books in a british library quite a few years a back - no recall nothing.
      Stuart Hall also deals with the topic but is more indigestible.
      let it burn, let it burn, let it burn

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: West Indian, Afro-, African-Caribbean identity and politics

        east indians from the caribbean are called indo-caribbean

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: West Indian, Afro-, African-Caribbean identity and politics

          [ QUOTE ]
          have u ever read Nettleford's book with a title along this line...black coloured book with silver lettering..i can visualise the book and bits an pieces of the title...i have it here somewhere....

          [/ QUOTE ]


          Is it this one?




          "Rex Nettleford's book Mirror Mirror - Identity Race and Protest written way back in the 1970 is still the most important and accurate commentary on the ambivalence and complexity that surround black ethnic identity in Jamaica and should be read by all those black-conscious persons who are inclined to confuse theory with social reality"


          source
          http://www.jamaicans.com/bm~pix/a4064~s200x200.gif
          in Memory of Marcia “Ackeegirl” Davidson

          Comment

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