Haitians in New York City: Transnationalism and Hometown by Francois Pierre-Louis

By Francois Pierre-Louis

Pierre-Louis deals a brand new viewpoint at the suggestions Haitian immigrants used to evolve to lifestyles within the usa and to guard themselves from the cruel discrimination they confronted as a minority. suffering to assimilate whereas carrying on with to keep up ties to their fatherland, they remodeled themselves from 3rd global exiles into transnational voters.
For the workers and political refugees who left Haiti within the final half-century, classification had constantly been extra vital than epidermis colour as a barometer of social status. to deal with the racial and cultural tensions they encountered, they confirmed buildings that allowed them to stay a twin existence and to maintain an ethnic identification precise from that of African american citizens. The teams they formed—“hometown associations”—emphasized their entrepreneurial spirit, cultural and linguistic historical past, and Haiti’s excellent previous because the first black republic. whilst the institutions provided them sensible education, technical information, and networking opportunities.
While the immigrants created a political id in ny urban, in addition they discovered to entry public assets and compete effectively with different ethnic and minority teams for popularity. in reality, Pierre-Louis exhibits, the fatherland institutions inspired their wish to perform long island urban politics, a discovering that turns a lot of the present literature on transnational politics on its head. The publication additionally offers a heritage of Haitian migration into the USA, the Haitian government’s contribution to that diaspora within the Nineteen Sixties, and the background of such Haitian American neighborhoods because the West aspect of long island and the East Flatbush zone in Brooklyn. 
 

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Extra resources for Haitians in New York City: Transnationalism and Hometown Associations

Sample text

Although the hometown associations encompass all kinds of immigrants in their membership, they still remain one segment in the overall composition of the Haitian immigrant community in New York City. The activities that they engage in, and how they relate to nonmembers in the community, are important to analyze and understand. Long before the creation of the hometown organizations, the Haitian community itself had some distinctive characteristics that set it apart from other immigrant groups in the city.

Certain features are unique to Haitian hometown associations because of the ideological differences between the left and the right, the need for the Haitian community to establish itself in the city, and the attempt of the exile immigrants to define the character of the community. Although neither the left nor the conservative groups succeeded in overthrowing the Duvalier regime, they did leave a political legacy in the community that consisted of activism, participation, and a fierce attachment to Haiti and its politics.

They criticized the Reagan administration for granting political asylum to Cuban boat people while incarcerating their Haitian counterparts. The refugee crisis became a galvanizing issue for the activist organizations. S. S. policy toward the Haitian community (Haïti Libération, December 1980). The refugee crisis provided the Haitian leaders with the opportunity to broaden their support in mainstream America. Community centers and activist organizations such as HAUP, the Charlemagne Peralte Center, and the Committee against Repression in Haiti developed a series of networking relationships with prominent Americans from labor and civic movements to seek support for the Haitian refugees who were fleeing the Duvalier regime.

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