Haitian seasonal migration to Cuba is central to narratives about race, national development, and US imperialism in the early twentieth-century Caribbean. Filling a major gap in the literature, this innovative study reconstructs Haitian guestworkers' lived experiences as they moved among the rural and urban areas of Haiti, and the sugar plantations, coffee farms, and cities of eastern Cuba. It offers an unprecedented glimpse into the daily workings of empire, labor, and political economy in Haiti and Cuba. Migrants' efforts to improve their living and working conditions and practice their religions shaped migration policies, economic realities, ideas of race, and Caribbean spirituality in Haiti and Cuba as each experienced US imperialism.
Matthew Casey is Nina Bell Suggs Professor of History at the University of Southern Mississippi.
1. Making the Haitian-Cuban border and creating temporary migrants; 2. Leaving US occupied Haiti; 3. Living and working in Cuban sugar plantations; 4. Picking coffee and building families in Eastern Cuba; 5. Creating religious communities, serving spirits and decrying sorcery; 6. Mobilizing politically and debating race and empire in Cuban cities; 7. Returning to Haiti and the aftermath of US occupation.