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Caribbean Spaces

Escapes from Twilight Zones

Carole Boyce Davies

Publication Year: 2013

Drawing on both personal experience and critical theory, Carole Boyce Davies illuminates the dynamic complexity of Caribbean culture and traces its migratory patterns throughout the Americas. Both a memoir and a scholarly study, Caribbean Spaces: Escapes from Twilight Zones explores the multivalent meanings of Caribbean space and community in a cross-cultural and transdisciplinary perspective.

Published by: University of Illinois Press


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 2-7


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pp. 8-9

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pp. ix-xii

... A few of these essays have appeared in different form, updated with new content for this collection: A portion of ?Connecting Stories: My Grand-mother?s Violin,? was published as ?Secrets of My Mother?s Sweetness,? in Ca-ribbean Erotic (2010), edited by Opal Palmer Adisa and Donna Weir Soley (now with two additional sections); ?Women, Labor, and the Transnational: ...

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Introduction. Caribbean Spaces: Reflective Essays/Creative-Theoretical Circulations

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pp. 1-18

... ?Caribbean Spaces? is my way of describing plural island geogra-phies, the surrounding continental locations as well as Caribbean sociocul-tural and geopolitical locations in countries in North, South, and Central America. A Caribbean diaspora, we can now assert, has also been created in countries via various waves of migration to particular areas that became ...

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1. Between the Twilight Zone and the Underground Railroad: "Owega"

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pp. 19-32

Twilight! That space of unreality between night and day, where spirits be-gin to roam and objects that seem perfectly normal in the daylight assume strange patterns and shapes, that gap between different realities, that zone of instability between darkness and light, that time when transformation happens. Perhaps it was Rod Serling?s fault and all those episodes of Twilight ...

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2. Reimagining the Caribbean: Seeing, Reading, Thinking

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pp. 33-45

... On another of those journeys loaded with personal and epic mean-ing for me, from Grenada to Carriacou, deliberately recapturing lost personal history, I retrace the journey that Avey makes in Paule Marshall?s Praisesong for the Widow (1983). On the way, I learn from a feisty Jamaican writer that the turbulence one experiences, and to which Marshall gives epic meaning, ...

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3. Caribbean/American: The Portable Black Self in Community

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pp. 46-63

... This story really begins in 1968. Martin Luther King was killed dur-ing my freshman year in university. I stood as a quiet participant amid the outpouring of grief by fellow students, glued to television sets in the lobby of the dormitory, unable to come to terms with the meaning of this violence and reliving the perpetual and senseless destruction of black political leaders. ...

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4. Spirit Scapes: From Brazil to the Caribbean

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pp. 64-84

... On the way from S?o Paulo to Natal, the navigational symbol for the airplane on the video screen in the cabin points almost as if it were heading for Africa. I imagine that if we kept going, we could see ourselves recrossing the Atlantic as many of the dispersed Africans did, mythologizing a return journey and thereby making theirs the actual technology of flight. Many of ...

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5. Middle Passages: Movable Borders and Ocean-Air Space Mobility

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pp. 85-106

... The Middle Passage, which has attained iconic significance in Afri-can diaspora discourses, is a loaded concept. It references the transportation of numerous Africans across the Atlantic; difficult and pain-filled journeys across ocean space; dismemberment referring to the separation from their families and kin groups; the economic trade and exchange in goods in which ...

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6. Women, Labor, and the Transnational: From Work to Work

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pp. 107-128

I begin with this poem deliberately as it offers an extended cataloging of a selection of assumed daily work obligations for women but in fact offers a succinct commentary on larger ideas about the exploitation of women?s labor. It also demonstrates both a creative and an extensive manipulation of space and time. There is a second poem introduced later about agency or ...

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7. Connecting Stories: My Grandmother's Violin

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pp. 129-140

... As a little girl, I always remembered my grandmother Edith Gordon Boyce playing a violin. She also taught everyone in the family to play the piano. A love of music always permeated a home in which it was not un-usual for aunts and uncles to sit at a piano and play jazzy tunes. In his teen years, my brother was a member of a Barataria group that would entertain ...

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pp. 141-144

Portrait of Boyce extended family (standing, left to right): Albert, Mary, Edward, Olive, and George. Grandmother Edith Gordon Boyce is seated, and brother Joseph Boyce as a boy is Photograph of author and unknown childhood friend taken on the same day as grandmother ...

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Voice Lesson

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pp. 145-146

Maroon (or women wearing the teeth of white soldiers around their (Imagine dangling from an orange tree blindfolded?stockings from Marooned (or the one dollar to your name, the eviction notice taped to Maroon. (Remember yourself six years old, talking sassy in your Maroon (or Zora?s lips mouthing ?just watch me,? her felt hat tilted to ...

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8. "Changing Locations": Literary Pathways of Caribbean Migration

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pp. 147-157

... Capturing the dynamics of migration via song, poem, play, film, or novel has been consistently a theme in the Caribbean experience and is perhaps one of its central aesthetic features. Just as movement is a central component of the blues aesthetic in the African American cultural field, I propose that we similarly read the assumption of space in the Caribbean as ...

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9. "Haiti, I Can See Your Halo!": Living on Fault Lines

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pp. 158-169

... Modifying the words of her song ?Halo? for the ?Hope for Haiti? telethon, popular singer Beyonc?, in a formation that seemed to exceed her own self-awareness, mouthed the words, ?You?re everything I need and more / it?s written all over your face! / Haiti I can see your Halo.? Indeed, the cata-strophic experiences and the entire Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for ...

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pp. 170-172

Using a veranda as a seamstress workspace, in Haiti. Courtesy of Noelle Theard.LeRoy Clarke painting (from series Eye Hayti . . . Cries . . . Everywhere), ?Forged in de Iron Street scene in Haitian village showing opposition of big house and small house. Courtesy of LeRoy Clarke painting (from series Eye Hayti . . . Cries . . . Everywhere), ?Eye Thunder Say ...

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10. Caribbean GPS: Compasses of Racialization

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pp. 173-201

There is always a moment of quiet pause when I encounter Caribbeans who casually declare that there was or is no racism in the Caribbean. Some indi-cate that the United States is where they first encountered racism. Others, in even more extreme articulations, say that Caribbean people do not experience racism in the United States in the same way as do African Americans. From ...

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11. Circulations: Caribbean Political Activism

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pp. 202-215

... The work of a generation of Caribbean critical thinkers and activists provides us with an amazing body of material for understanding how they navigated international locations while always thinking about the Carib-bean and related experiences in global context. In many discussions of issues related to the ?black radical tradition,? the question of what generated or ...

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12. My Father Died a Second Time

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pp. 216-219

... Word that my father had died a second time came to me one sunny morning in Miami about a week after I had returned from a semester-long stay in Trinidad. This time, it was from a sister who gave me particulars about the funeral. Since I had just returned from Trinidad, I contemplated whether I could make a second trip to the Caribbean. After all, I had spent ...

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13. Postscript: Escape Routes

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pp. 220-226

I cross back and forth between Ithaca, Binghamton, or Elmira in different seasons. Along the way from Ithaca to Binghamton, there is a city called Caroline. I smile each time I pass there and wondered how it would have been to have such an address as Caroline, New York. Sometimes it is a riot-ous fall-colored landscape that dazzles the senses. Sometimes it is a somber ...


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pp. 227-240


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pp. 241-250

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About the Author, Production Notes

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pp. 251-252

Carole Boyce Davies is professor of Africana studies and English at Cornell University. Her many works include Left of Karl Marx: The Political Life of Black Communist Claudia Jones and Black Women, Writing and Identity: Migrations of the Subject. She is the editor of the three-volume...

E-ISBN-13: 9780252095863
Print-ISBN-13: 9780252038020

Page Count: 256
Publication Year: 2013