The terms I use to label race and ethnicity of groups and individuals are in-
credibly complex given their specific meanings across historical moments
and geographical spaces. The following is a list of some of the main identity
terms I use throughout the book and a short explanation of how I use them:
black: I use “black” as a global category for naming peoples and cul-
tures of African ancestry, recognizing that different nations and cul-
tural groups utilize a diversity of terms to name their race.
criollo: Descendants of the Spanish colonial caste whose ancestry is
white European.
dominicanidad: I employ the term as a theoretical category that refers
to both the people who embrace the label “Dominican” whether or
not they are considered Dominican citizens by the state (such as dias-
poric Dominicans and ethnic Haitians) and the history, cultures, and
institutions associated with them. I opt to keep the Spanish- language
spelling to avoid confusion with capitalized Dominicanidad, which
refers to hegemonic and official institutions of state control.
Dominicanyork: Working- class Dominican migrants and their descen-
dants who live in United States urban Dominican enclaves.
ethnic Haitian: A person of Haitian ancestry born in the Dominican
Latina/o: A term that describes people of Latin American descent liv-
ing in the United States.
mulato: Refers to a mixed- race Dominican of light, medium, or dark
brown skin. In the nineteenth century mulato was a category of privi-
lege. I opted to keep the Spanish terminology because of its sociohis-
torical specificity.
rayano: A person from the geographical area of the Haitian- Dominican
borderland also known as the Línea Fronteriza.
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