The Dougla Identity in Trinidad
Marisa Gina Franco
Georgia State University, United States
Tulane University, United States
Nicholette P. E. Jones
Johanna Kristy Neil
University of the West Indies, St. Augustine
Friction between Afro and Indo-Trinidadians has historically led to the alienation of those who possess both heritages: the Douglas. Yet, more recently, research has revealed that Douglas have become more positively regarded within Trinidad. Given the changing status of the Douglas, the purpose of the current study is to determine the degree to which Douglas feel that they belong, amidst both Afro and Indo-Trinidadian communities, and the contemporary meaning that Douglas make of their racial identity. Ten interviews were conducted with five male and five female Trinidadian Douglas exploring their racial identity, their experiences of stigma and privilege, and their experiences within Afro and Indo-Trinidadian communities. Interviews were transcribed and analysed using Consensual Qualitative Research. Findings revealed that Douglas possess an immutable, non-fluid Dougla identity, that they generally feel privileged within Trinidad, and report acceptance amongst Afro and Indo-Trinidadians while still experiencing some racial discrimination from Indo-Trinidadians. This research sheds light on Douglas’ racial experiences, including how they relate to Afro and Indo Trinidadians. Future research should examine Afro and Indo-Trinidadians’ perceptions of Douglas.