Towards Matricentric Feminism in the Caribbean: Inroads and Opportunities

Talia Esnard

Abstract


Although feminist and nonfeminist scholars have attempted to debunk the stereotypical representations and framings of matrifocality in the Caribbean, many gaps remain. This article argues that even though much of the scholarship on the Afro-Caribbean family has not centred on the specific realities and struggles of Black mothers, there have been substantive attempts on the part of Caribbean feminists and other non-feminist scholars to trouble the inherent biases within early explorations and theorization of matrifocality in the Caribbean. Where the consensus has been on the persistent disparagement of the Afro-Caribbean family, these scholars have collectively carved out important starting points for the development of a scholarship on and for Black mothers in the Caribbean. However, moving the scholarship on Black mothers forwards requires more critical epistemological and ontological frameworks. The hope is for the advancement of maternal scholarship that captures both the oppressive and neocolonial representations of the Black mother and explores the relative weight and effects of existing structures and relations of power on their lives across time, contexts, and social backgrounds. Such line of questioning opens the door for new perspectives, complexities, and politics around Black motherhood within the context of the Caribbean.

Full Text:

PDF


We are grateful to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) for its ongoing support of the Journal of the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement.