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slave ship background image with title overlay: Middle Passages: Gendered Diasporas
Sexual Migrations from Haiti and the Dominican Republic in Ana-Maurine Lara's Erzulie's Skirt
Then Now

historical map of haiti

Source: L'Ouverture Project

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Project Summary:

This project examines the histories of the Middle Passage and its influences on present-day situations of women of African descent, specifically in Ana-Maurine Lara’s novel Erzulie’s Skirt. This novel explores the lived experiences of women who migrate from and to the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. It shows the realities of their oppression as well as resistance from victimization in human trafficking and sex working.

By presenting our research in the method of literary analysis, we aim to find a way to understand “the challenges of living that we all encounter and the interconnectedness of lives.”

The map is created to illustrate the stories of the main characters who are lovers, Micaela and Miriam in the novel, including place marks and outlined routes of their journey.

We also feature a video of the author Ana-Maurine Lara reading one of the most moving scenes in her narrative, to give our audience a sense of the narrative and our project.



Waves in the Ocean by Viv Logoan

Viv Logan, "Waves in the Ocean," Acrylic on canvas, 2004.

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Related Media References
Ana-Maurine Lara

Ana-Maurine Lara, author of Erzulie's Skirt, is an Afro-Dominican American poet and fiction writer. In related media, Lara is shown reading an excerpt from her novel.


Bracks, Lean’tin L. Writings on Black Women of the Diaspora:History, Language, and Identity. New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1998.

Dayan, Joan. "Erzulie: A Women's History of Haiti." Research in African Literatures 25: 2 (1994): 5-30.

Kempadoo, Kamala and Jo Doezema, eds. Global Sex Workers: Rights, Resistance, and Redefinition. New York: Routledge, 1998.

Lara, Ana-Maurine. Erzulie ’s Skirt. Washington D.C.: Redbone Press, 2006.

Project Authors: Danielle Charlestin and Nina Fei Yang