Research Literature on Haitian Americans: Trends and Outlook

  • Yanick St. Jean
Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)


What does it mean to be “Haitian American”? What links a Haitian diaspora to their homeland and the broader Caribbean? How important are such links? Key research literature of the past two decades provides insights into these questions. A consistent theme running through these works is the transnational nature of Haitian American life. “Home” is kept alive through language, religion, health care practices, a collective memory of fame and infamy. Haitian American identity is complex, hybrid, neither Haitian nor American. This complexity tends to be either neglected or misrepresented, and results in tensions. Studying the complexity of the relationship between country of origin and country of resettlement will reveal their common side and facilitate the development of a paradigm for the entire Caribbean.


Haitian Americans Transnationalism Diaspora Diasporic citizenship Immigration Racial identity Caribbean 


  1. Alba, R. (1999). Immigration and the American realities of assimilation and multiculturalism. Sociological Forum, 14, 3–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allen, A., Marcelin, L. H., Schmitz, S., Hausmann, V., & Schultz, J. M. (2012). Earthquake impact on Miami Haitian Americans. Journal of Loss and Trauma, 17, 337–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Auerbach, C., Silverstein, L. B., & Zizi, M. J. (1997). The evolving structure of fatherhood among Haitian Americans. Journal of African American Men, 2, 59–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bellegarde-Smith, P. (2004). Haiti: The breached citadel. Ontario: Canadian’s Scholars’ Press Inc.Google Scholar
  5. Bellegarde-Smith, P., & Michel, C. (2006). Haitian Vodou: Spirit, myth and reality. Bloomington: University Press of Indiana.Google Scholar
  6. Bibb, A., & Casimir, G. J. (1996). Haitian families. In M. McGoldrick, J. Giordano, & J. K. Pearce (Eds.), Ethnicity and families (pp. 97–111). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  7. Buchanan, A. B., Albert, N. G., Beaulieu, D. (2010). The population with Haitian ancestry in the United States. U.S. Bureau of Census.Google Scholar
  8. Catanese, A. V. (1999). Haitians migration and Diaspora. Boulder, USA: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  9. Charles, C., Fjellman, S. M., Glick, N. B., Stepick, A., & Zephir, F. (1998). Haitian Americans. Conn: Human Relations Area Files NK07.Google Scholar
  10. Clawson, D. (2012). Latin America and the Caribbean. N.Y.: Oxford.Google Scholar
  11. Danticat, E. (2004). A very Haitian story. The New York Times, Editorial Desk, Section A: 23.Google Scholar
  12. Danticat, E. (2011a). Haiti Noir. NY: Akashic Books.Google Scholar
  13. Danticat, E. (2011b). Create dangerously. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Dawkins, M. P. (2000). Rethinking U.S. immigration policy. Black Issues. Higher Education, 17, 120.Google Scholar
  15. Désir, C. (2007). Understanding the sending context of Haitian immigrant students. Journal of Haitian Studies, 13(2), 73–93.Google Scholar
  16. Desrosiers, A. (2002). Treating patients. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 56, 508–522.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Doucet, F. (2014). Panoply: Haitian and Haitian American youth crafting identities in US schools. Trotter Review, 22(1), 7–32.Google Scholar
  18. Dubois, L. (1996). A spoonful of blood: Haitians, racism and AIDS. Science and Culture, 6, 7–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ebaugh, H. R., & Chafetz, J. S. (2000). Religion and the new immigrants: Continuities and adaptations in immigrant congregations. Latham, MD: AltaMira Press.Google Scholar
  20. Feagin, J., & Dirks, D. (2005). Who is white? College students’ assessments of key US racial and ethnic groups. Charlotte, NC: Southern Sociological Society (SSS).Google Scholar
  21. Folden, S. (2003). Health seeking behaviors of Haitian families for their school aged children. Journal of Cultural Diversity, 10, 62–68.Google Scholar
  22. Fouron, G., & Glick-Schiller, N. (2002). The generation of identity: Redefining the second generation within a transnational social field. In P. Levitt & M. C. Waters (Eds.), The changing face of home: The transnational lives of the second generation (pp. 168–208). New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  23. Glick Schiller, N., & Fouron, G. (1998). Transnational Lives and National Identities: the identity politics of Haitian immigrants. In P. Smith & L. E. Guarnizo (Eds.), Transnationalism from Below (pp. 130–161). New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers.Google Scholar
  24. Glick-Schiller, N., & Fouron, G. E. (2001). George woke up laughing: Long-distance nationalism and the search for home. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Herskovits, M. (1941). The myth of the Negro Past. Boston: Beacon.Google Scholar
  26. Hillsman, R. S., & D’Agostino, T. J. (2003). Understanding the contemporary Caribbean. Boulder, CO: Lynne Reinner.Google Scholar
  27. Itzigsohn, J. (2000). Immigration and the boundaries of citizenship: The Institutions of Immigrants’ Political Transnationalism. International Migration Review, 34, 1126–1154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kretsedemas, P. (2003). Immigrant households and hardships after welfare reform: A case study of the Miami-Dade Haitian Community. International Journal of Social Welfare, 122, 314–325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Laguerre, M. (1998). Diasporic citizenship: Haitian Americans in transnational America. New York: St. Martin’s.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Leonard, K., Stepick, A., Vasquez, M., & Holdaway, J. (2005). Immigrant faiths. Latham, MD: AltaMira Press.Google Scholar
  31. Levitt, P. & Waters, M. C. (Eds.) (2002). The Changing Face of Home. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  32. McAlister, E. M. (1998). The Madonna of 115th street revisited: Vodou and Haitian Catholicism in the age of transnationalism. In S. Warner & J. G. Wittner (Eds.), Gathering in Diaspora (pp. 123–160). Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
  33. McIntyre, E., Rosebery, A., & Gonzalez, N. (Eds.). (2001). Classroom diversity. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  34. Mooney, M. A. (2013). Religion as a context of reception: The case of Haitian immigrants in Miami, Montreal and Paris. International Migration, 51(3), 99–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Nicholls, D. (1996). From Dessalines to Duvalier. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  36. Orezzolli, Max. C.E. (2000). Health beliefs and health care options of disparate black communities in the United States. Dissertation Abstracts International, 61(6), 2476-A, December.Google Scholar
  37. Pamphile, Léon Dénius. (2001). Haitians and African Americans. Gainesville: University of Florida Press.Google Scholar
  38. Pedraza, S. (1999). Assimilation or Diasporic Citizenship? Contemporary Sociology, 28, 377–381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Pierce, W. J., & Eslime, E. (1997). Understanding and working with Haitian immigrant families. In P. M. Brown & J. Shalett (Eds.), Cross-cultural practice with couples and families (pp. 49–65). New York: Haworth Press.Google Scholar
  40. Portes, A., Dore-Cabral, C., & Landold, P. (1997). The urban Caribbean. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Santana, M.-A., & Dancy, B. L. (2000). The stigma of being named AIDS carriers on Haitian-American women. Health Care for Women International, 21, 161–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Schefner, J. (1998). The urban Caribbean: Transitions in the new global economy. Social Forces, 76, 1564–1566.Google Scholar
  43. Scher, P. W. (2010). Introduction: The Caribbean perspective. In P.W. Scher (ed.) Perspectives on the Caribbean. U.S.A.: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  44. Schwartz, B. (1992). Introduction. In L. A. Coser (Ed.), On collective memory (pp. 1–34). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  45. Shaw, E. (2008). Fictive Kin and Helping Behavior. Sociation Today, 6(2), 1–31.Google Scholar
  46. Shaw-Taylor, Y., & Tuch, S. A. (2007). The other African Americans. Lanham, USA: Rowman and Littlefield.Google Scholar
  47. Simon, J. (1998). Refugees in a carceral age: The rebirth of immigration prisons in the United States. Public Culture, 10, 577–607.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. St. Jean, Y. (1984). Case analysis of Haitians with AIDS. Unpublished Master’s Thesis. University of Texas at El Paso.Google Scholar
  49. St. Jean, Y. (1996). American attitudes towards Haitians: AIDS as Stigma. In D. Sciulli (Ed.), Normative social action (pp. 153–164). Greenwich, T: JAI Press.Google Scholar
  50. Stepick, A., & Swartz, D. F. (1998). Pride against prejudice: Haitians in the United States. Boston: Allyn Bacon.Google Scholar
  51. Turner, R. B. (2006). The Haiti-New Orleans Vodou Connection: Zora Neale Hurston as initiate-observer. In C. Michel & P. Bellegarde-Smith (Eds.), Vodou in Haitian life and culture (pp. 117–134). New York: Palgrave MacMillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Ulysse, G. A. (2015). Why Haiti needs new narratives. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press.Google Scholar
  53. William-Myers, A. J. (1996). Slavery, rebellion, and revolution in the Americas: A historiographical scenario on the theses of Genovese and others. Journal of Black Studies, 26, 381–400.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Zacaïr, P. (2010). Haiti and the Haitian Diaspora in the Wider Caribbean. Gainesville: University of Florida Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Zéphir, F. (1996). Haitian immigrants in Black America. Westport, CT: Bergin and Garvey.Google Scholar
  56. Zéphir, F. (2004). The Haitian Americans. Westport, CT: Greenwood.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyNorthwest Arkansas Community CollegeBentonvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations