Penn State

A. Jacqueline Toribio - Professor of Linguistics, Penn State University Park

Book Title: Why the Cocks Fight: Dominicans, Haitians, and the Struggle for Hispaniola

Author: Michelle Wucker

Book Description:

I was born and raised on the Dominican side of Hispaniola within 10 kilometers of the Haitian border. As a child, I observed the disparity between Dominicans and our Haitian neighbors, but I was ignorant of its causes and unaware of its pernicious effects on Haitians and Dominicans alike. With her rigorous research and engaging style, Michelle Wucker has offered me novel vistas on the uneasy alliance between the nations of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. In this book, she has encapsulated the profoundly disturbing histories of these two nations and provided me with a framework in which to understand much of my own personal history. This book, then, bears directly on my past and on my current professional development as well. It has inspired a new direction in my research in linguistics, which strives to further the understanding of the situation of Haitians and Dominicans in national and diasporic settings through the lens of sociolinguistics and the sociology of language. Wucker's book has led me to reevaluate my belief system and I recommend it constantly to my family and friends in the hope that it will lead them to reevaluate theirs.


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