On March 3rd, 2017 from 12:30-1:30pm in Mitchell Hall 206 Africology Doctoral Student Charmane Perry will present “The Stigma Surrounding Haitianness in the Bahamas” as part of the Africology Seminar series.
In this research, she will use data to illustrate the strong and pervasive stigma surrounding Haitianness in the Bahamas. This stigma has created second-class status which is tied to notions of illegality, belonging, and that anyone of Haitian descent—even if they were born and raised in the Bahamas—is not what is referred to as a “true true” Bahamian. This stigma impacts the livelihood, life chances, and well-being of this significant proportion of the Bahamian population, and, in turn the nation of the Bahamas as a whole. This speaks more broadly to how notions of belonging and citizenship are constructed throughout the world which impacts people of African descent globally. She will argue that the stigma surrounding Haitianness impacts the lived experiences of second-generation Haitians through deferred dreams (i.e. delayed starts in life as young adults due to the lack of citizenships) and notions of a “true true” Bahamian which represents a socially constructed hierarchy in Bahamian citizenship. The stigma surrounding Haitianness often produces feelings of not belonging or feeling connected to the Bahamas among second-generation Haitians.