Stigma and Culture: Global Migrations and the Crisis of Identity in Black America
As Gilroy points out, the black Atlantic is a site of not just roots and cultures but also routes and convergences. We must add that an element of those convergences is oppositional identity-making among populations of African descent from diverse geographical origins. “Stigma and Culture” explores the re-articulation of ethnic boundaries and cultural diacritica by which African and Caribbean immigrants to the United States, as well as Louisiana Creoles of color and Native American populations of partly African descent, endeavor to distinguish themselves from a supposedly more prototypical black American, with the intent to establish their worthiness of the American dream. Such self-construction in contrast to the stigmatized African American is taken as a case study of the role of stigma in the genesis of cultural identities generally in a time of global migrations.
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