By Sarah England
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Additional info for Afro-Central Americans in New York City: Garifuna Tales of Transnational Movements in Racialized Space
The Garifuna also occupy a border zone in the racial/ethnic landscape of New York City. Arriving as a part of the wave of Latin American and Caribbean immigrants whose numbers increased after the abolition of country quotas in 1965, Garifuna pioneers to New York City predated the massive wave of Central American ladino migration by three decades. Consequently, though the Garifuna represent a small percentage of the population in Honduras, they make up a majority of the population of Hondurans in New York City (in contrast to Los Angeles and New Orleans, where Honduran ladinos outnumber Garifuna).
And yet in the end, this also proved to be an invaluable experience because it provided the opportunity to spend more time talking with women about childrearing, differences between Limón and New York, relationships with husbands, and relationships with children. In addition, I was actually living out the limitations that are placed on women in the realm of political activism when they have children. While being a gringa was still an axis of difference, being a mother was something I could now more fully share.
As I talked to those transmigrants who returned for the elections, for Christmas, for Easter Holy Week, and for other village events, I became fascinated by the bifocal lens that being a transmigrant appeared to entail. Here were men and women who were returning to Limón as successful “hijos del pueblo” (children of the village), having built nice houses, bought cars, and gained much respect in the community through their participation in the hometown associations that had brought potable water and other amenities to Limón.
Afro-Central Americans in New York City: Garifuna Tales of Transnational Movements in Racialized Space by Sarah England