Two white ethnic minorities, Jews and Frenchies, are rather unusual in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. The Jews arrived during the period of slavery and participated in the economic colonialism of islands, retaining a prominent position in the Virgin Islands. The Frenchies in St. Thomas arrived from St. Barths after slavery. These white minorities have expanded connections between friends and families as well as in their departed homeland and the Virgin Islands. Their strong religious beliefs and in-group solidarity allowed them to remain in the sociological and economic comfort zones of St. Thomas. In modern times, they have branched out from their insular zones and merged their mores and folkways and their peasant and professional ways, on their gradual terms, with those of other ethnic Virgin Islanders, bringing themselves closer to Virgin Islands society as evidenced by their younger generation.
Jews and Frenchies: The White Ethnic Minority in the US Virgin Islands
lomarsh roopnarine is a professor of Latin American and Caribbean studies at Jackson State University. He has published three books and more than three dozen essays on Caribbean migration and identity. His most recent book, The Indian Caribbean: Migration and Identity in the Diaspora (2018), was the 2018 recipient of the Caribbean Studies Association Gordon K. and Sybil Lewis Book Award.
Lomarsh Roopnarine; Jews and Frenchies: The White Ethnic Minority in the US Virgin Islands. Small Axe 1 July 2021; 25 (2 (65)): 69–82. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-9384226
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