Caribbean women

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Women of Chinese descent in Trinidad occupy a space that is simultaneously visible and invisible. Despite national and regional acknowledgment of this minority group’s significant cultural and economic influence, female voices are notably absent within the academic literature and early migration history of this unique culture. The mixed-Chinese claim varying degrees of Chinese heritage and also co-exist with recent migrants in the fourth wave of Chinese migration to Trinidad. What does it mean to be simultaneously visible and invisible? What purposes are served by existing in the space in-between?

CHINEE GIRL focuses on fifteen female subjects occupying various social circles. Through their stories, a contemporary portrait of the Caribbean Chinese identity emerges, questioning how one defines ethnicity and identity in a Caribbean space.

Check out this trailer for Chinee Girl, a 2011 documentary about Chinese-Trinidadian women by Natalie Wei.  Canada-born and of Trinidadian descent, Natalie Wei is a freelance artist, photographer and emerging filmmaker. A graduate of Ryerson University in Canada, she is engaged in an MPhil degree in Cultural Studies at the University of the West Indies. (source.)

CODE RED is a feminist collective of Caribbean women and men.  Find us on facebook, follow us on twitter and subscribe to our wordpress blog.

There is a Haitian saying that might upset the aesthetic sensibilities of some women. ‘Nou lèd, nou la,’ it says. 'We are ugly, but we are here.’ Like the modesty that is common in rural Haitian culture, this saying makes a deeper claim for poor Haitian women than maintaining beauty, be it skin-deep or otherwise. For women like my grandmother, what is worth celebrating is the fact that we are here, that against all odds, we exist.
—  Edwidge Danticat, “We Are Ugly, but We Are Here,” Women Writing Resistance: Essays on Latin America and the Caribbean 

“If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.”

Happy Birthday Audre Lorde (February 18, 1934 – November 17, 1992)!  Celebrating trailblazing Caribbean women!

image and story source: Repeating Islands (awesome Caribbean blog!)

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#WeLove BRIANNA McCARTHY

#diasporictales: Attraverso le tecniche di pittura, collage, disegno e illustrazione, l'artista trinidadiana Brianna McCarthy da vita ai suoi lavori.

La sua arte si fa carico delle complessità e dinamicità nella raffigurazione delle donne afro-caraibiche e le sue opere sovvertono gli stereotipi con cui vengono rappresentati i corpi delle donne nere.

I lavori di Brianna McCarthy fanno parte di collezioni permanenti in musei caraibici, americani e britannici.

On Kanazawa, Black Women & Being “Fine” & “Well-Made” by Nuñez Daughter

In 1779, on the island Haiti when it was still Saint-Domingue, the Attorney General of Cap Français (Le Cap) passed a statute prohibiting certain modes of dress well known among the free women of color on the island. The statute was part of a series of laws appearing through out the 1760s and into the 1780s, all meant to legislate the dress, behavior, sexual appeal, and general attractiveness of women of African descent.

This turned out to be an uphill battle. For example, when the Superior Council of Le Cap passed a law forbidding women of color from wearing shoes, “they then appeared in sandals, with diamonds on the toes of their feet.” 

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Lorraine Toussaint (born April 4, 1960) is a Trinidadian-born American actress, best known for her role as Rene Jackson in Lifetime drama series Any Day Now (1998-2002). Toussaint also received critical acclaim and Independent Spirit Award nomination for her performance in the 2012 film Middle of Nowhere. In 2014 she plays the role of Yvonne “Vee” Parker in the Netflix comedy-drama series, Orange Is the New Black (via wikipedia)

Dating a Caribbean woman 101:

Your woman will be loyal; She’ll be your lover, best friend ,and your biggest support system, but Caribbean women DONT take pappishow (crap) lightly. Say what you want but best believe we’ll speak our mind!  

There are women like me, back home
With tiger’s blood and lava flowing through their veins.
Warrior women
Hunters and nurturers that can catch a hog, butcher the meat, bring home the bacon & cook it.
With a baby hanging off one hip
And a man hanging on to the other.
“Dem nah seet deh, mi haffi strong baak fi carry pickney… Plus mi village”
They don’t see her strength.
She come down from di river baring fish an ah basket fulla aloe…
To nurture & nurse the wounds of an entire village.
But she is not strong enough to heal herself
And her belly,
only full with love.
—  “Mahmeh” -By Jacoria Little / dopedupphoenix
Being Haitian

Out of all the West Indian countries Haiti is always looked down upon and slandered. They do not talk about Haiti the way they talk about Jamaica, Trinidad, or Bahamas etc. every other island is always associated with beauty & riches; while Haiti is associated with everything negative like Voodoo, poverty, & corruption. Every single island has their form voodoo yet no one talks about that, Jamaica can be pretty damn rough, I mean each island has their own problems..You can’t be beautiful & be Haitian bc apparently were ugly, & poor. Growing up I used to get bullied for being Haitian. I mean we’re constantly shit on but Lemme clear it up though, Haitian People ARE NOT symbols of poverty. We’re Fucking human beings. Hard working people. There is so much beauty, culture, & riches on that island. From the food, music, to the beaches…Haiti was the First & ONLY BLACK NATION to gain its independence from colonial oppression; Haiti Led a REVOLUTION That made the U.S & France hate on them. They’ve been through years of oppression, continuous hatred, devastating disasters & still hold true to their very words of “UNION FAIT LA FORCE”, But we’re the poorest country ?! Nah we been runnin shit Haitian, Black & Muthafuckin Proud of it ✊🏾

American University Alumna Develops Advice Blog for Recent College Grads and Young Professionals

After graduating from the American University with a Master’s degree in Public Communication at the age of 22, I quickly realized that ‘life after college’ was not as glitzy and glamorous as I’d so desperately hoped. Upon initiating this conversation, with many of my friends, I’d discovered that they, too, had come to this sudden realization. Nevertheless, despite the obstacles we face as millennials entering the professional world, our level of ambition, determination and willingness to make sacrifices, I believe, is bound to propel us forward. In fact, it was these specific qualities, which I noticed in myself and my similarly aged peers, that prompted me to create my first personal blog, “My Freshman Year of Life,” intended to capture the early stages of the journeys of today’s “Young Professionals.

Although I know that I’m not alone in my journey, I hope that I can inspire and be inspired by the individuals that I will introduce you to.

 When I’m not helping others, killing the streets with my fashion sense,  or having conversations about my future, find me updating my blog.

“Worry looks around, fear looks back, guilt looks down, faith looks up and I look forward” –  Unknown

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