By Sarah England
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Extra info for Afro-Central Americans in New York City: Garifuna Tales of Transnational Movements in Racialized Space
1 This orientation is attributed both to the social structure and economic activities inherited from the Island Carib and the exigencies of the colonial economy and later exile. Even before the arrival of Europeans or Africans to the Caribbean, Carib men traveled throughout the Caribbean to engage in trading, raiding, and warfare. The long absences of men were facilitated by a social organization that created villages centered on women’s networks and labor. This was achieved through the practice of matrilocal postmarital residence; grooms went to live in the villages of their wives.
I explain how it is a combination of these macrostructral forces and Garifuna cultural orientations that has led to specific patterns of migration that differentiate them in some important ways from other Central Americans. The next two chapters describe in detail the ways that the transnational community operates on a daily basis, underscoring the complexities of kinship and class in the construction of unity and diversity within the community. Chapter 3 focuses specifically on kinship, households, and community networks.
Evidently the complexity of Garifuna society and political activism was more than an issue of “hybrid” racial/ethnic identities and culture. It also involved the “bifocality” (Rouse 1992) of living in two localities with class structures articulated in distinct ways with race, ethnicity, and gender. Clearly, in order to understand the socioeconomic and cultural context out of which Garifuna political consciousness and activism arises, I would have to gain an in-depth understanding of the community as a whole and its articulation with the class structures, racial/ethnic ideologies, and nation-states of both Honduras and the United States.
Afro-Central Americans in New York City: Garifuna Tales of Transnational Movements in Racialized Space by Sarah England