Immigration and the Political Economy of Home: West Indian by Rachel Buff

By Rachel Buff

Rachel Buff's leading edge research of gala's in American groups launches a great inquiry into the character of citizenship, race, and social strength. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in addition to archival examine, Buff compares American Indian powwows in Minneapolis with the West Indian American Day Carnival in manhattan. She demonstrates the historic, theoretical, and cultural hyperlinks among teams who're hardly ever considered jointly and in so doing illuminates our figuring out of the which means of domestic and citizenship within the post-World conflict II interval. The ebook additionally follows the background of federal Indian and immigration coverage during this interval, tracing the ways in which migrant and immigrant identities are created through either nationwide barriers and transnational cultural memory.

In addition to delivering interesting discussions of those full of life and colourful gala's, Buff exhibits that their value is not only as a kind of functionality or leisure, but additionally as an important websites for making and remaking meanings approximately team historical past and survival. Cultural performances for either teams comprise a background of resistance to colonial oppression, yet in addition they swap and creatively reply to the reports of migration and the forces of the worldwide mass-culture industry.

Accessible and interesting, Immigration and the Political financial system of domestic addresses an important modern matters. Powwow tradition and carnival tradition come to be important, dynamic websites which are important not just to the formation of yankee Indian and West Indian identities, but in addition to the certainty sleek the US itself: the background of its establishment of citizenship, its postwar towns, and the character of metropolitan culture.

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Extra info for Immigration and the Political Economy of Home: West Indian Brooklyn and American Indian Minneapolis, 1945-1992 (American Crossroads)

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66 “Playing Indian” is an old Caribbean Carnival tradition, dating back to the appearance of 02 Buff 21-44 v1 11/15/00 13:59 Page 37 Playing for Keeps 37 Indian laborers at Carnival during the 1840s. Latin American Indians, probably from the Orinoco Delta of Venezuela, traded in Trinidad up until they were barred during the 1920s. 69 These two strands of historical memory inform the prevalence of “Indians” at Carnival, from the nineteenth century to the present. Wild Indians were among the most popular Carnival bands throughout Trinidadian history.

Cohen explains these changes by emphasizing the role of Carnival in immigrant identity formation. ”73 In Brooklyn, contemporary Carnival practices deploy different structures of meaning than the same practices would elsewhere. 74 At the same time, the meanings of costumes and music are always in dialogue with the Caribbean as well as with other metropolitan festivals, inventing local practices both traditional and specific to New York. The name of the mas’ camp and front office for the West Indian–American Day Carnival Association in 1992, “The Culture of Black Creation,” has a different meaning in Brooklyn than it would have had in Port of Spain or London.

Throughout their long histories in this hemisphere, Carnival and powwow have responded to three central themes in Caribbean and Indian social experience: migration, colonial administration, and, in the twentieth century, the astounding reach and celerity of mass culture. These three things are, of course, linked: the forced migration of Africans in the Middle Passage resulted in their invention and re-membering of a culture that was subject to vicious repression first by slaveholders, later by the postemancipation hierarchies of Caribbean colonies.

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