Sample Term Paper

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The culture and history of Caribbean have some very interesting and rich backgrounds and there is always room to explore the inner workings of a richly diverse culture. The books are David Howard’s “Coloring the Nation: race and ethnicity in the Dominican Republic.” “The Dominican People: A Documentary History” by Ernesto Sagas and Orlando Inoa. The last  book is Arciniegas’ “Caribbean: Sea of the New World.” All three books deal with the history of Caribbean but from very different perspectives. Howard’s book is an exploration of the colonization and the existence of various cultures in the Republic and its influences on people’s thinking and way of life. Ernesto Saga’s book is a collection of primary documents that show the history as it occurred from first-hand documents. Arciniegas was a Spanish historian and his book is a colorful portrayal of the history of the Caribbean countries. This is a comparative analysis of the three books.

Coloring the Nation addresses the intricacy of race and ethnic relations in the Dominican Republic, a country with a multiracial society that shares many similarities with other Caribbean societies that innate the miscegenation produced by colonization and the following immigration. Based on a wide-ranging analysis, using semi-informal interviews and a literature review of roughly every source on race relations in the Dominican Republic, David Howard’s work illustrates the different interpretations of race and ethnicity in this society as well as the role of prejudice and discrimination in each day’s life. Howard conducted his interviews in the capital city of Santo Domingo and in rural settlements in the centrally located region of Cotui.

He tackles the problematic social definition of race, showing the historical possibility of the race definition. Rejecting a static view of the race concepts, he endeavors to grasp the dynamic notions of race in this society. The book reveals how the recognition of a black-white continuum has formed ambivalence toward black identity in the republic. As it happens, Dominicans dissociate themselves from blackness and place themselves on a variety that goes from white to “dark Indian.” This system of classification has perhaps prevented the formation of antiracist pressure groups in this country, allowing at the same time many dark-skinned individuals to presume such high positions as the office of the presidency, asserts Howard; indeed, this country “has had more blacks and mulattoes presidents than any other Hispanic country in the Western Hemisphere” (p. 39).


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