The formal book launch of Ferne Louanne Regis’ new book The Trinidad Dougla: Identity, Ethnicity and Lexical Choice took place earlier this week at the National Academy of the Performing Arts in San Fernando, Trinidad.
This book describes and analyses specific lexical items in use by Douglas, who reside in mixed-race communities, as well as communities stereotypically marked Indic and Afric by Trinidadians, to determine the extent to which Douglas project a distinct identity, a subsumed identity linked to an ancestral ethnic group or a shifting identity based on accommodative strategies employed during interaction within their social networks.
Speaking to Trinidad and Tobago’s Newsday, the author explained that her decision to write a book on a significant segment of Trinidad’s mixed population was based on the 2011 census, which showed that Douglas accounted for 7.7 percent of the 22.8 percent mixed population.
“This percentage surpasses that of all other minority ethnic groups which account collectively for 1.4 percent of the Trinidad and Tobago population yet the existing scholarship on the group is cursory and spattered.” The Trinidad Dougla fills this gap in the scholarship, providing a necessary analysis as the Dougla population continues to grow and “add new dimensions in an already pluralised and stratified social order.”
According to Dr Brinsley Samaroo of the University of the West Indies, “The Trinidad Dougla opens up a whole new area of research on an increasingly important sector of the national community [and] provides a useful opening to what one hopes will be a wider debate about the national space which is being increasingly occupied by Douglas. This will be good for those who live in the shadow of their joint ancestry as well as for the health of the nation as a whole.”
To find out more, to read a sample extract and to purchase a copy, please click here. The book is also available via Amazon and other online retailers, as well as locally at the Market, the Normandie, St Ann’s.