The silences in our dance

Laura Serrant

in Women and alcohol

Published by Policy Press

Published in print June 2015 | ISBN: 9781447318880
Published online January 2016 | e-ISBN: 9781447318903 | DOI:
The silences in our dance

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Alcohol plays a distinctive social role in the family and community life of Black Caribbean women. For Caribbean communities in particular it is often central in the great socio-cultural rites of passage such as births, marriages and deaths. It graces our religious ceremonies, encases ‘mother-love’ through the eponymous Christmas cake and lubricates our parties. Moreover, alcohol also embodies some of our regional, geographical and economic identities through longstanding associations in the Caribbean with rum trading, plantation and slavery. For Black Caribbean women however, the associations with strong liquor and the reflective visions of sexuality, risk and strength provide a subversive text to our relationships with ‘Miss-Strong’ (alcohol). Evidence exploring the intersections between Black Caribbean women, alcohol use and misuse is scarce. Instead the research available reports on either the lack of evidence (Andreuccetti et al (2012), higher risk of alcohol misuse (Becares et al,2009) or impact on Comorbidities (Taylor et al, 2012) from the relatively safe and sterile gaze of health care and professionalism. This chapter seeks to utilise an insider perspective and explore Black Caribbean woman’s complex relationship with ‘Miss-strong’ from a Black Caribbean feminist perspective. It uses The Silences Framework (Serrant-Green 2011) to explain, explore and interrogate the complexities of our ‘dance’ with this strange friend and challenges us to hear the Silences that scream from with it.

Keywords: Black Caribbean women; complexities alcohol use; insider perspectives

Chapter.  7351 words. 

Subjects: Mental and Behavioural Health

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