- The Netherlands, a Carribean island: an autoethnographic account
- Volume | Issue number
- 4 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Almost every critical essay penned about West Indians in Western Europe describe them as residing in places where rampant ethnic discrimination and racism, institutional and every day, are part and parcel of their life. Understandable and truthful as this may be, I argue in this essay that we need to develop a language that does not unwittingly reinforce the ethno-racial divide between Aboriginal Dutch (the so-called natives) and Dutch Antilleans. Employing an autoethnographic account—autobiography enriched by ethnographically based sociological analysis—I present an alternative picture where the agency of Dutch Antilleans in their quest to transform the Netherlands into a hospitable multiculture is highlighted. The richness of life that they are helping bring about, which crosscuts and continuously unravels the racialized Manichean representation of the Netherlands, needs to complement the existing writings on the secondarization of the Caribbean Diaspora in the West.
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