Cape Verdean identity in a land of Black and White

Posted in Africa, Articles, Census/Demographics, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science on 2012-05-31 18:45Z by Steven

Cape Verdean identity in a land of Black and White

Ethnicities
Volume 12, Number 3
pages 354-379
DOI: 10.1177/1468796811419599

Gene A. Fisher, Professor Emerita of Sociology
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Suzanne Model, Professor Emerita of Sociology
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Cape Verde is an island group off the African coast with a history of slavery. Its residents having both European and African ancestors, they consider themselves a mixed-race people. Residents of the United States, however, observe the one-drop rule: anyone with a perceptible trace of African blood is defined as Black. This difference motivates us to ask: how do Cape Verdean Americans answer questions about their racial identity? Strict assimilationists predict that, as they adapt to their new home, Cape Verdeans will identify less as mixed-race than as White or Black. Others suggest that the quality of race relations at the time immigrants arrive affects their identity. We test these ideas using data from the 2000 US Census and the American Community Survey. Our multivariate analysis shows that some, but not all, forms of assimilation increase the odds of identifying as Black. The odds of identifying as White, on the other hand, have little to do with assimilation. The timing of arrival also has a significant effect on racial identity, with Black gaining popularity among recent immigrants.

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“Our Ancestors came from many Bloods”. Gendered Narrations of a Hybrid Nation

Posted in Africa, Anthropology, Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive on 2012-04-14 01:16Z by Steven

“Our Ancestors came from many Bloods”. Gendered Narrations of a Hybrid Nation

Lusotopie
Volume 12, Issue 1 (2005)
pages 217-232
DOI: 10.1163/176830805774719728

Isabel P.B. Fêo Rodrigues, Professor of Anthropology
University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth

Narratives of mixed ancestry in Cape Verde use gender as common denominator in the weaving of a Creole nation. These narratives may hide tensions, conflicts, and adversities, but they also contain elements of fusion and national cohesion. They are and have been gendered narratives, partial and selective of the elements of fusion substantiating and sustaining a Cape Verdean identity vis-à-vis the multiple symbolic and material challenges faced by this young post-colonial nation-state. In them, Cape Verde is portrayed as an exceptional African case with boundaries carved by the ocean, free from ethnic conflict, and without a pre-colonial past through which to filter present realities.

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