Raising Brooklyn: Nannies, Childcare, and Caribbeans Creating Community

Raising Brooklyn: Nannies, Childcare, and Caribbeans Creating Community

by Tamara Mose Brown, Andi Zeisler
     
 

Stroll through any public park in Brooklyn on a weekday afternoon and you will see black women with white children at every turn. Many of these women are of Caribbean descent, and they have long been a crucial component of New York's economy, providing childcare for white middle- and upper-middleclass families. Raising Brooklyn offers an in-depth look at the

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Overview

Stroll through any public park in Brooklyn on a weekday afternoon and you will see black women with white children at every turn. Many of these women are of Caribbean descent, and they have long been a crucial component of New York's economy, providing childcare for white middle- and upper-middleclass families. Raising Brooklyn offers an in-depth look at the daily lives of these childcare providers, examining the important roles they play in the families whose children they help to raise. Tamara Mose Brown spent three years immersed in these Brooklyn communities: in public parks, public libraries, and living as a fellow resident among their employers, and her intimate tour of the public spaces of gentrified Brooklyn deepens our understanding of how these women use their collective lives to combat the isolation felt during the workday as a domestic worker.

Though at first glance these childcare providers appear isolated and exploited—and this is the case for many—Mose Brown shows that their daily interactions in the social spaces they create allow their collective lives and cultural identities to flourish. Raising Brooklyn demonstrates how these daily interactions form a continuous expression of cultural preservation as a weapon against difficult working conditions, examining how this process unfolds through the use of cell phones, food sharing, and informal economic systems. Ultimately, Raising Brooklyn places the organization of domestic workers within the framework of a social justice movement, creating a dialogue between workers who don't believe their exploitative work conditions will change and an organization whose members believe change can come about through public displays of solidarity.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814791431
Publisher:
New York University Press
Publication date:
01/24/2011
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
355,134
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

Preface vii

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction: The Neighborhood 1

1 West Indians Raising New York 23

2 Public Parks and Social Spaces: Surveillance and the Creation of Communities 37

3 Indoor Public Play Spaces 71

4 A Taste of Home: How Food Creates Community 81

5 Mobility for the Nonmobile: Cell Phones, Technology, and Childcare 101

6 Where's My Money?: How Susus Bridge the Financial Gap 119

7 Organizing Resistance: The Case of Domestic Workers United 131

Conclusion 151

Appendix A Methods 159

Appendix B Demographic Information 173

Notes 181

References 193

Index 205

About the Author 212

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