Out of place: race and colour in Jamaican hotels, 1962-2020

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As hotels are a microcosm of society, they offer a useful case study to explore social inequalities, including racial divisions. This article examines the experiences of African-Jamaican hotel workers and guests from independence in 1962 till the present in order to demonstrate Jamaica’s complex and changing race and color relations. It will argue that hotel workers and guests at times challenged the island’s race and color relations but more often upheld them as a result of their socialization into a long-standing ethos of ‘black is nuh good’. It will also show that through their responses to claims about racial discrimination in hotels, a variety of stakeholders, including tourist organizations, failed to challenge the island’s color hierarchy which placed whites on top, light-skinned Jamaicans in the middle, and dark-skinned Jamaicans at the bottom.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254–287
Number of pages34
JournalNew West Indian Guide
Early online date12 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • race
  • jamaica
  • discrimination
  • tourism
  • post-colonial

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