Kagedbird’s Blog

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I have Spanish in me

Soca Star Ian “Bunji Garlin” Alvarez refers to himself as the Black Spaniard

Being in Trinidad for the last week has reminded me of how funny I found the Trinidadian definition of race. A man could be as black as charcoal but because of the fact that his hair is curly he is quick to point out that – “I have spanish in me.”

I have always thought that Trinidad is the country with the most mixed, Indian and Spanish negros anywhere in the world. Why does race play such a significant role in Trinidad? Why is it that people distance themselves from the Negro race as much as possible? There are many factors which influence this such as the past enslavement of negros and the importation of East Indians as indentured labourers. The thing it boils down to most is the so called “good hair.”

I think too that Trinidad is such an insulated society that Trinidadians are not exposed to the outside world’s view on race. In the eyes of a European person, 95% of Trinidadians would be considered as Asian or Black. This has actually resulted in a culture shock for many duglas(who have migrated to the United States) who are accustomed to using racist words against Afro-Trinidadians when these same words are hurled at them.

So my dear Trinidadian friends, do not place so much emphasis on race but instead look at what you have in common. Your ability to adjust to any situation; your survival spirit; your sporting achievements; the great human resources which exist there and your oil and gas resources. I am sure that if emphasis is placed on building your nation and not dividing it into various racial backgrounds then who you are as a people would be more important than what heritage you are as individuals.

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February 19, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

6 Comments »

  1. In Guyana the Indians say “blAck man” and the Negros say “coolie ppl”. My mother is black and my father is Amerindian and portuguese and the things. that upsets me the most is
    1. when a Indian person….( Let’s say that it’s the parent of my indian bf )will see me an say ” o you are pretty … Do u have indian background?” and when I say noo they try to convince me that I am as if my life depends on it.
    2. I dislike the fact that when I have to full a form from a public place they would actually have an option….. Afro, indian, Chinese , Portuguese and OTHER???? What the**** do they mean by other?

    Comment by Raptus | February 19, 2010 | Reply

  2. It gives them hope that you might be Indian because inside of that mixed girl there must be some good Indian blood to counter the bad Black blood.I have had similar experiences with my “Spanish” friends in Trinidad. Sometimes I hear them saying negative things about Afro-Trinidadians and I have to step in and tell them :- “hey! don’t you see me here? I am black too.” They would then look at me and say that I have curly hair so I am mixed(dugla). I guess the fact that I am a black person who happened to be born with curly hair makes me somehow better than a black person born with a different hair texture. It goes back to my original argument in that they are looking at me in a physical sense and assume that because I have certain features that automatically I must have Indian in me even though there is absolutely no Indian blood in me. At the end of the day does it really matter?
    Guyana and Trinidad could be the Malaysia and Singapore of the West Indies if the people would only understand that unity as nations would take them further than unity within races.

    Comment by kagedbird | February 19, 2010 | Reply

  3. Jesus … Look at my bad grammar.

    Comment by Raptus | February 21, 2010 | Reply

  4. You better hope that Silver Dragon doesn’t see it.

    Comment by kagedbird | February 22, 2010 | Reply

  5. Ha! Better late than never.

    Comment by Silver Dragon | April 9, 2010 | Reply

  6. lmao…

    Comment by Raptus | May 11, 2010 | Reply


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