Surviving the Americas
Garifuna Persistence from Nicaragua to New York City
- Published: February 2021
The Garifuna are a Central American, Afro-Indigenous people descended from shipwrecked West Africans and local Indigenous groups on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent. For over two centuries, the Garifuna have experienced oppression, exile, and continued diaspora that has stretched their communities to Honduras, Belize, and beyond. However, little has been written about the experiences of the Garifuna in Nicaragua, a community of about 5,000 who live primarily on the Caribbean coast of the country.
In Surviving the Americas, Serena Cosgrove, José Idiáquez, Leonard Joseph Bent, and Andrew Gorvetzian shed light on what it means to be Garifuna today, particularly in Nicaragua. Their research includes over nine months of fieldwork in Garifuna communities in the Pearl Lagoon on the southern Caribbean coast of Nicaragua and in New York City. The resulting ethnography illustrates the unique social issues of the Nicaraguan Garifuna and how their culture, traditions, and reverence for their ancestors continues to persist.
Surviving the Americas is a vivid and intimate account of the Nicaraguan Garifuna. The activist commitments and collaborative nature of the work as well as its decolonial lens provide keen~Jennifer Goett, Associate Professor of Comparative Cultures and Politics, Michigan State University
insights into the persistence of this under-acknowledged Afro-Indigenous community in the Garifuna and African Diasporas.
Beautifully written… contextualized, and nice integration of academic sources and Garifuna voices.~Sarah England, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Soka University of America
Ethnographically rich! Surviving the Americas intervenes to decolonize Garifuna ethnography by attending to critical discussions of indigeneity, intersectionality, and resilience.~Keri Vacanti Brondo, Professor of Anthropology, University of Memphis