This essay uses Kamau Brathwaite’s conceptualizations of the “inner plantation” and “neglected Maroons” in his field-making 1975 essay “Caribbean Man in Space and Time” to meditate on the multiple meanings of home within Garifuna political subjectivity. St. Vincent holds epistemological status as the Garifuna homeland associated with ancestral marronage. The author looks at how public performances of Garifuna Settlement Day in Central America and the United States (New York City is home to the largest Garifuna communities outside Central America’s Caribbean coasts) open an alternative—ancestral—terrain within the interior geographies of Indigenous Blackness. By framing ethnographic vignettes of Garifuna ancestral memory throughout the diaspora as an embodied archive of knowledge production, this essay demonstrates how Brathwaite’s mapping of an intellectual genealogy creates space for reimagining the geographies of marronage, resistance, and survival within the interior landscapes of Caribbean expressive culture and life.
Black Caribs / Garifuna: Maroon Geographies of Indigenous Blackness
Paul Joseph López is an assistant professor in the Department of Africana Studies at Smith College. He was awarded the 2021–22 Miriam Jiménez Román Fellowship at the Latinx Project in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, New York University. He is currently working on his first book manuscript, “Indigenous Blackness in the Américas: The Queer Politics of Self-Making Garifuna New York,” a transdisciplinary ethnography on how gender and sexuality shape the ways transgenerational Garifuna New Yorkers of Central American descent negotiate, perform, and articulate their multiple subjectivities as Black, Indigenous, and Afro-Latinx.
Paul Joseph López Oro; Black Caribs / Garifuna: Maroon Geographies of Indigenous Blackness. Small Axe 1 November 2021; 25 (3 (66)): 134–146. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-9583488
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