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Special Issue Dedicated to Dr. Roy Simon Bryce-La Porte

WADABAGEI: A Journal of the Caribbean and its Global Diasporas  Vol. 15 : 1-2

30th Anniversary of Caribbean Research Center
Medgar Evers College, CUNY



Wadabagei, the premier journal of the Caribbean and its Global Diasporas, in memory of the world renowned Caribbeanist, Diasporic and immigration scholar, announces a special volume dedicated to the memory of Dr. Roy Simon Bryce La Porte. The volume is due to be released in October, 2014.Articles engage some theoretical or practical aspects of Caribbean immigration and transnationalism.  Wadabagei is a multidisciplinary journal that publishes work on the Caribbean and the Caribbean Diasporas from diverse perspectives in the humanities and social sciences.

Foreword by J A George Irish, Editor-in-Chief:

Wadabagei is proud to dedicate this special commemorative issue to the academic legacy of our colleague and friend, Roy Simon Bryce-Laporte, a founding member of the Editorial Board for fifteen years. In recognition of his distinguished career as a pioneer in the field of Caribbean immigration studies and African American studies, the Caribbean Research Center organized a symposium on the history and future of Caribbean migration in honor of Professor Bryce-Laporte at Medgar Evers College on November 17, 2001.

This issue, thirteen years later, brings together scholars who have worked closely with Roy, or who have studied under his tutelage, or have been impacted by his scholarship in their respective careers. Wendell Bell’s profound and touching Introduction is a noble tribute to a man of distinction and scholarly integrity with whom he shared precious experiences in the early struggles for the recognition and development of African American Studies not just at Yale, but nationwide.

Aubrey Bonnett of SUNY Old Westbury and Constance Sutton of NYU, great friends of Roy, look at two major aspects of the Caribbean socio-cultural reality of recent times – the evolution of a post colonial political culture in the Caribbean from the dramatic and sensitive years of nascent nationhood and black consciousness of the sixties to the present on one hand and, on the other, a “mapping of circum-Caribbean linkages and their role in the growth of new forms of a  trans-Caribbean racialized, gendered, and diasporic historical consciousness.”

Jualynne E. Dodson of Michigan State University addresses Roy’s unwavering scholarly interest in women, power and the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Samana, Dominican Republic, her encounter with Bryce during her early years as a graduate student and budding scholar, and his nagging inspiration to her  eventual pursuit of that aspect of Caribbean migration.

Kamille A. Gentles-Peart of the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) focuses attention on women, but not in the Caribbean region; rather, she deals with the provocative question of West Indian women, difference and cultural citizenship in the U.S.

Ishtar Govia of UWI and University of Michigan connections, explores an even more contemporary issue of return migration and health issues, defining a methodological approach to social concerns of this nature that, as yet, may still have limited documentation, but major social import in terms of migration dynamics and inequities.

Together, these authors raise questions that Bryce-Laporte himself would have loved to take up in his heyday. They are a fitting tribute to a valiant warrior who blazed a pioneer’s trail and left us an enduring legacy of social awareness, commitment and exemplary scholarship.


Dr. Roy Simon Bryce-La Porte was born and raised in Panama, where he attended the University of Panama. He also studied at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, the University of Puerto Rico, and UCLA, where he completed his Ph.D. in sociology. He taught at Hunter College-CUNY and Yale, where he founded on of the first departments of African-American studies. After Yale, Bryce-Laporte taught at a variety of institutions including College of Staten Island-CUNY, Syracuse University, Catholic University of America, Howard University, University of Pennsylvania, and Colorado College. He was the founding director of Smithsonian Institution’s Research Institute on Immigration and Ethnic Studies. In 1989, Bryce-Laporte joined the faculty at Colgate University as John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, and director of its Africana and Latin American studies program. He specialized in a variety of courses on migrations and diaspora studies, such as International Migration, U.S. Immigration and Immigrants; Black Communities in Contemporary America; Total Institutions: the World of the Confined; and The Black Diaspora.