Orginal Publication Date
Ethnic Studies Review
The evolution of identity is on-going, yet to articulate identity is the self analysis of a people's understanding of who they are at a particular time. Perhaps in more stable societies, identity has not been a preoccupation, not the "stuff" of literature and other types of art. However, for us, in the western hemisphere, where indigenous populations have been brutally decimated and room made for more brutality in the uprootment, transportation and relocation of peoples from different parts of the globe, we find it a crucial to pause and understand who we are as we connect with each other. In the Caribbean, the articulations of identity are also placed within the geographic structure of an archipelago of islands. Physically each island is surrounded by the mighty Atlantic, yet each is one step away the other. Historically and psychologically, the Caribbean populations are also one step away from their ancestral cultures, from the colonial cultures, and from the dominant culture of North America. A "swinging bridge" is an apt metaphor to explore the Caribbean history and reality of flux yet rooted-ness, of connectedness yet separation.
Copyright ©ESR, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 2008