An essay by Robert A Bernard Jr.
Dominicans are native to Dominican Republic located in the eastern part of the island known as Hispaniola, which is share with the country of Haiti. The island of Hispaniola is located in the center of the Caribbean, between the islands of Cuba and Puerto Rico.
This paper will provide a glimpse of the Dominican history as it pertains to their migration to the United States. This paper will explore some aspects of the Dominican Migration. In addition, it will offer an insight of the Dominican migration from its beginning, providing some of the types of discriminations that Dominican immigrants had experienced during the period.
Since I was born in the Dominican Republic, I hope to bring some insight to the document that will give it more accuracy been that in part comes from the personal experience of a Dominican immigrant.
The first wave of the Dominican Migration happened after the second military occupation of the United Stated of the Island of Dominican Republic in April 29 1965 (Operation Power Pack). Prior to this time the possibilities of leaving the island were very limited and required special permissions, making migration highly selective and restricted during this period.
After the 1965 United States invasion of the island, relations between the two countries where not in good terms; so only after relations changed between the two countries is when migration became unrestricted. Even though there has been a much-selected few who migrated to the United States in previous years, the 1960’s marks the beginning of the Main Dominican migration to the United States. After the opening of the Dominican economy in 1961 and its consequential high unemployment and political unrest, migration became an escape valve for the Dominican population.
Nearly 600,000 Dominicans settle in the New York area where they make up a seventh percent of the population. In neighborhoods such as Washington Height, one can conduct themselves in every part of their life as if they were in Dominican Republic.
Let put this in perspective! In the nineteen sixties, the United States was not so united. This is the sad period in the United State’s history when the civil right movement met resistance throughout the south. The nation’s attention during this period is turn away to the urban violence in the north and the west. Blacks responded by raising expectations advocating black power. In the middle of all this chaos, the migration of Dominicans begins.
Imagine been a Dominican arriving in the United States in the nineteen sixties and try to incorporate into society. Dominicans, even though of different skin tones, are mainly slightly darker skin and some Dominicans are completely darker skin. So this accounted for two things that worked against a Dominican in the sixties, been dark skin and a Hispanic.
One major stereotype that a Dominican faces is that everyone assumes that all Dominicans are black or dark skin. Thanks to this fact, Dominicans suffer from Double Jeopardy since some Dominicans appear as blacks and Hispanics because of their skin color. Due to this fact, Dominicans became members of two minority groups at the same time.
Dominicans are notorious for opening their own stores called bodegas or colmados. The activity of becoming a small business owner has helped the Dominican community to become more employment and financially independent where well-paid jobs are difficult to find, and a way to survive is in short supply.
According to the US Census conducted in the year 2000, the average annual income of a Dominican woman in the New York area was $11,371, while a Dominican man earns $15,139.
I have migrated to the United States during the biggest Dominican migration, in the nineteen eighties. According to the US census conducted in the year 2000, 65.9% of Dominicans arrived to the US prior to 1989 in contrast to the 37.5% who entered the US between 1990 and 2000.
I have been here from 1986 and have grown up with most of the American values. However, since I grew up here but also both of my Dominican parents raised me, then it is due to this that I am able to maintain my Dominican culture. I identify equally with the United States mainstream culture as well as my Dominican culture.
List of Works Cited
1.- Fort Bragg (Official Military Website). (2002, October 21). Operation Power Pack. Retrieved March 6, 2010, from Fort Bragg (Official Military Website): http://www.bragg.army.mil/history/HistoryPage/powerpack/PowerPack.htm
2.- Schaefer, R. T. (2006). Racial and Ethnic Groups, Tenth Edition. Prentice-Hall.
3.- The United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (UN-INSTRAW). (n.d.). Dominican Migration to USA. Retrieved March 6, 2010, from The United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (UN-INSTRAW): http://www.un-instraw.org/index.php?option=com_content&lang=en&id=338&task=view&Itemid=449