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Archaeologies of Slavery and Freedom in the CaribbeanExploring the Spaces in Between$
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Lynsey Bates, John M. Chenoweth, and James A. Delle

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781683400035

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9781683400035.001.0001

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Double Consciousness and an African American Enclave

Double Consciousness and an African American Enclave

Being Black and American on Hispañiola

(p.307) 13 Double Consciousness and an African American Enclave
Archaeologies of Slavery and Freedom in the Caribbean

Kristen R. Fellows

University Press of Florida

Fleeing a tremendous rise in racial tensions and an American nationality increasingly defined by whiteness, a small group of free blacks fled the US for the island nation of Haiti in 1824 and settled in what is now Samaná, Dominican Republic. The descendants of the original settlers continued to self-identify as both “American” and “black” until the most recent generations. This chapter will focus on issues of communal identity within the globally connected Caribbean, with special attention paid to intersection of race and nationality. Oral historical and archival data will reveal how the American community in Samaná continuously negotiated the “double consciousness” of their African-American identity in a place influenced first by the black Republic of Haiti and later the white, Hispanic, and Catholic nationalism of the Dominican Republic; similar to many Caribbean communities the United States has also played an important role in the development, maintenance, and dissolution of this communal identity.

Keywords:   Dominican Republic, Caribbean, Haiti

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