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Dougla in the Twenty-First Century - Adding to the Mix

Dougla in the Twenty-First Century

Adding to the Mix

By Sue Ann Barratt & Aleah N. Ranjitsingh
Series: Caribbean Studies Series

Hardcover : 9781496833709, 234 pages, May 2021
Paperback : 9781496833693, 234 pages, May 2021

A sounding of a vibrant multiracial identity often unknown outside the Caribbean


Identity is often fraught for multiracial Douglas, people of both South Asian and African descent in the Caribbean. In this groundbreaking volume, Sue Ann Barratt and Aleah N. Ranjitsingh explore the particular meanings of a Dougla identity and examine Dougla maneuverability both at home and in the diaspora.

The authors scrutinize the perception of Douglaness over time, contemporary Dougla negotiations of social demands, their expansion of ethnicity as an intersectional identity, and the experiences of Douglas within the diaspora outside the Caribbean. Through an examination of how Douglas experience their claim to multiracialism and how ethnic identity may be enforced or interrupted, the authors firmly situate this analysis in ongoing debates about multiracial identity.

Based on interviews with over one hundred Douglas, Barratt and Ranjitsingh explore the multiple subjectivities Douglas express, confirm, challenge, negotiate, and add to prevailing understandings. Contemplating this, Dougla in the Twenty-First Century adds to the global discourse of multiethnic identity and how it impacts living both in the Caribbean, where it is easily recognizable, and in the diaspora, where the Dougla remains a largely unacknowledged designation. This book deliberately expands the conversation beyond the limits of biraciality and the Black/white binary and contributes nuance to current interpretations of the lives of multiracial people by introducing Douglas as they carve out their lives in the Caribbean.


"Dougla in the Twenty-First Century inquires into the ways in which Dougla identity nuances contemporary scholarship’s conventional wisdom, contending that to be Dougla is multilayered—ambiguous, decisive, or something in between. Sue Ann Barratt and Aleah N. Ranjitsingh also highlight the ways that forms of agency shape consciousness of self over time, across generations, and throughout the diaspora. "

- Aisha Khan, author of The Deepest Dye: Obeah, Hosay, and Race in the Atlantic World

"Sussing out Dougla voices through personal and group interviews, the authors draw on research participants’ lived experiences to develop a rich, nuanced portrayal of Douglas as maneuvering subjects in the Caribbean and the diaspora."

- S.L. Kwosek, CHOICE

"Dougla in the Twenty-first Century makes a valuable contribution to Caribbean studies and disrupts mixed-race studies’ relative neglect of other incarnations of mixedness, particularly in the global North with its continual focus on biraciality and Black/White binaries."

- Kavyta Kay, New West Indian Guide