Good Neighbors, Good Revolutionaries, 1940–1958

Jana K. Lipman

in Guantanamo

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2008 | ISBN: 9780520255395
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520942370 | DOI:
Good Neighbors, Good Revolutionaries, 1940–1958

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A seventy-eight-year-old woman, Rosa Johnson of West Indian descent worked as a domestic servant for a U.S. naval officer's family in the 1950s. She traveled to Guantánamo to find work on the base when she was in her mid-thirties. Forty years after, she still resented how her former employers had taken advantage of her. Rosa hated that her “mistress” refused to respect her time or her day off even more than the low pay. Rosa's arrangement illustrates the complex interplay of gender, race, and nationality in North American-Guantánamo encounters. In the 1940s and 1950s, the ongoing exchange of men and women across the frontera intertwined Guantánamo and GTMO's social hierarchies with mixed, and often hesitant, results. The U.S. Navy however had to take Guantánamo social norms and communities into consideration, even if dismissively, because they shared a common geography.

Keywords: Rosa Johnson; nationality; frontera; GTMO; geography

Chapter.  17702 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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