Introducing: The Defiant DouglaFriday, March 27, 2015
For those of you who have stumbled acoss this blog by accident, or those who are checking this out with a purpose: Welcome.
I am Jenell, the self-proclaimed Defiant Dougla.
No, not a doula - I don't provide support to mothers, pre- or post-partum.
A dougla - a person from the West Indies (my family is from Guyana) who is of Black and Indian racial heritage. Now, dougla is often used as a derogatory term, stemming from a history of racism between Black and Indian
- South African and Indian people were brought as slaves to the West Indies.
- Over time, African and Indian people inter-married, resulting in mixed-race children.
- These children were labelled as douglas, in part due to racism, but also to set this identity apart from the monoracial (single-race) African and Indian people.
- This inter-racial mixing continues to this day.
At this point you may be asking, why call yourself a "Defiant Dougla" Jenell? What's so great about claiming a term that stems from racism and hatred between groups?
My answer is simple: This is a part of who I am. And, as I plan to discuss in the future, I want to challenge the racism attached to this label and identity. This blog is intended to be a place for me to talk about what it means to be a "dougla", or simply a mixed-race female in North America. I want this to be a space to open up and discuss the experience of embodying the diaspora, and provide a space for education for others. Finally, I want to turn this into a safe space where we can interact and have discussions!
So, here's a bit about me to start the conversation. I was born in Canada to my Indo-Guyanese mother and Afro-Guyanese father in the early 1990s. In addition to being a "dougla", I am also:
- An older sister (I have a younger brother)
- A social worker by training
- A graduate student - studying to receive my Masters in Social Work
- A lover of all things DIY
- Tired of mixed-race identities being misunderstood in Canada, especially the identities of mixed-race people from countries in South America and the Caribbean ;)
I will try to post at least once a week, more where possible. I look forward to embarking on this journey with all of you!! Share your identites with me in the comment section below! I'd love to get to know you all :)
Until next time,
The Defiant Dougla