“Negros” of the periphery of Barcelona: young Dominicans’ stigma and resistance

…blacks always worked like ‘niggers’; blacks are the ones who work hardest, because they want to live like whites do…” Simón, 16 years old, living in L’Hospitalet (BCN) from age 9

Kids in a park in L'Hospi

Los Kitasellos is the name of one of the youth groups in the outskirts of Barcelona with which anthropologist Luca Giliberti (University of Lleida – FPU-ME researcher) is doing his fieldwork. Freeing themselves from the mark (“quitarse el sello”) of being different, means for many young Dominicans in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat resisting against the stigma with which they are labelled, even by the institutions – in political campaigns, constant police raids, newspapers always in search of Hispanic gangs – and convert this discrimination in an emblem of black identity. In these texts, written in preparation of his doctoral thesis, Luca presents some results of the ethnography he carried out between 2010 and 2011, in high schools and public spaces of the neighborhoods of La Torrassa, La Florida and Pubilla Casas. Young Dominicans were always white in their own country, as opposed to the black subaltern and stigmatized Haitians; in Spain they find themselves cast as subaterns and exposed to a racism and discrimination non unlike that experienced in the same neighborhoods by Mursian and Andalusian immigrants throughoutthe 20th century. For these young people, the stigma heavily increases the possibility of school failure and the experience of exclusion, often ending up as a self-fulfilling prophecy.