The New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids has published a new issue. NWIG Vol. 95 (1&2) is now available online, gratis.
The first article by Benjamin Narváez is entitled “Re-envisioning Caribbean Costa Rica: Chinese-West Indian Interaction in Limón during the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries.” Narváez analyzes the intricate relationship between the large West Indian immigrant community and the smaller Chinese population group. In hopes of maintaining their culture and in response to the prejudice they faced, both groups formed their own tightknit transnational subcommunities. Nevertheless, they also interacted with each other. These interactions ranged from tension and conflict on the one hand, to routine, peaceful interaction and even collaboration on the other. In particular, class differences and the marginalization these groups experienced combined to produce this complex relationship. Tension and conflict often emerged due to both sides hoping to move up the social ladder and because of the economic power that many Chinese held as shopkeepers and lenders. Nevertheless, as groups experiencing social marginalization and living in proximity to each other, they could develop neutral or positive social and economic relationships.
This is followed by Omar Ramadan-Santiago’s “Constructing Spiritual Blackness: Rastafari in Puerto Rico.” He discusses how members of the Rastafari community in Puerto Rico claim that they identify with Blackness and Africanness in a manner different from other Black-identifying Puerto Ricans. Their identification process presents a spiritual and global construction of Blackness that does not fit within the typical narratives often used to discuss Black identity in Puerto Rico. Ramadan-Santiago argues that their performance of a spiritually Black identity creates a different understanding of Blackness in Puerto Rico, one that is not nation-based but rather worldwide. This construction of Blackness and Black identity allows the author’s interlocutors to create an imagined community of Blackness and African descent that extends past Puerto Rico’s borders toward the greater Caribbean region and African continent.
In addition, this issue includes a review article by Jean Stubbs discussing four recent books on Cuba, a 33-page Bookshelf by Richard Price and Sally Price on publications that are not fully reviewed in the journal, plus 50 full book reviews.
(All past issues of the NWIG, dating back to 1919, are also available; see https://brill.com/view/journals/nwig/nwig-overview.xml)