Neither Here Nor There-Indo Caribbean Diaspora in the United States

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The United States, in spite of its racial challenges, continues to challenge us in Guyana to address issues of race and race relations through frank and honest lens, and to work assiduously to achieve our motto of One People, One Nation, One Destiny, as they work to create “a more perfect union.”

Unfortunately, in Guyana opportunities for each group to speak their truth and expose areas they feel marginalised and violated continue to be denied in the corridors of power, educational institutions, civil society organisations and sections of the media. It needs to be said that whilst these are denied to Guyanese at home, Guyanese abroad are allowed expressions and opportunities for involvement and equitable participation in American society, the American Dream. And should any feel violated there are institutional structures including the laws and court system to pursue recourse. There is no equivalent in Guyana, in shape, form, thinking or willingness by the government and legislature who are the lawmakers and enforcers of these human rights values.

It is also not uncommon in Guyana to hear one race decries, insults and denies the other but in the same time and moment adamantly reject similar treatment to him/her at home or abroad. There is so much racial meanness and immaturity in Guyana, if everyone could do a little bit for his/her country (or birthplace) and hold him/herself to the standard of treating others as they would like to be treated, great things can come out of Guyana.

The City University of New York (CUNY), through the voices of Indo-Caribbean activists in New York City, explores the identity of East Indians who journeyed to the Caribbean and Guyana and then America, which began with indentured servitude. The presentation examines issues of self-identity and multiculturalism through the voice of participants sharing their stories and struggles with racial politics.

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