This article focuses on Haitian immigrants and how they have attempted to interpret their migration experience and ascribed racial and ethnic status in the U.S. It is argued that the legal and economic positions of Haitian immigrants have not only impacted their perceptions and understanding of their living conditions in this country, but they have also compelled them to reassess their self-definition as a distinct group of individuals with their own history, culture, nationality, and racial identity. Like many other Caribbean immigrants, Haitians "suffer double invisibility... as immigrants and black immigrants or double visibility as blacks in the eyes of whites and as foreigners in the eyes of native-born blacks." But, what is the cultural meaning of migration for Haitians? What consequences, both positive and negative, has migration had on Haitian values and belief systems? And, what are the implications for ethnic relations in this country? No account of Haitian life in the U.S. would be complete in the absence of a historical analysis of Haitian migration experiences, and the social and political conditions that have dictated their departure from their homeland in search of the "promised land."


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