In 1965, the United States invaded the Dominican Republic for the third time. The invasion spurred waves of emigration and brought a million and a half Dominicans and their uniquely complex ideas about ethnic cultural identity to the United States. Often, those ideas clashed with American cultural notions and caused a great deal of unrecognized emotional trauma for Dominican immigrants. This clash was particularly problematic for those who arrived in the early 1960s before "identity" was a fashionable topic of discussion. Although scholarship is now saturated with the issue of ethnic cultural identity, there is a shortage of material about Dominican Americans' specific experiences. This book examines one Dominican American's developing self-knowledge about what it means to have left the Dominican Republic as a child during a time of war and to have arrived and grown up in an often hostile American society. It describes and analyzes the cycle of loss, yearning, recognition, and understanding, as framed by key cultural events and experiences that mark the process of negotiating and constructing a "Dominican American" identity in the diaspora.
Acknowledgments Chapter 1: Pensees/Rationale Chapter 2: Loss/Eulogy Chapter 3: Yearning/Reminiscences and Nostalgia Chapter 4: Recognition/On Reading Dominican-American Literature Chapter 5: Understanding/My Mother and Grandmother's Feminism Chapter 6: Conclusion/Reclamation Works Cited Index