A West Indian is a native or inhabitant of the West Indies (the Antilles and the Lucayan Archipelago). For more than 100 years the words West Indian specifically described natives of the West Indies, but by 1661 Europeans had begun to use it also to describe the descendants of European colonists who stayed in the West Indies. Then by mid-20th century the West Indian "had become black". The OED now defines it as referring to any permanent citizen of the West Indies nations. Some West Indian people reserve this term for citizens or natives of the British West Indies only, to the exclusion of not just the Hispanophones, but also French and Dutch West Indians.
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Further reading edit
- Olwig, K. F. (1999). "The burden of heritage: Claiming a place for a West Indian culture". American Ethnologist. 26 (2): 370–388. doi:10.1525/ae.1922.214.171.1240.
- Richards, B. N. (2013). "Ethnic identity on display: West Indian youth and the creation of ethnic boundaries in high school". Ethnic and Racial Studies. 37: 1–10. doi:10.1080/01419870.2012.748212.
- Robinson-Walcott, K. (2003). "Claiming an Identity We Thought They Despised: Contemporary White West Indian Writers and Their Negotiation of Race". Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism. 7 (2): 93–110. doi:10.1353/smx.2003.0023.