Dyaspora is the story of a Haitian girl named Jo-Jo. It tells about her adjustment to living in America. It describes the different aspects of her family’s lifestyle as opposed to her new lifestyle.
I think that the controlling idea behind this story is that adjusting to life in America can be difficult. This is shown by many key points in this story, but I have chosen to expand on four of them.
The first point that I noticed that would make it difficult for her is that Jo-Jo’s parents and grandparents like to stick to the traditions of their homeland, Haiti. Her mother always liked to make them traditional Haitian meals every night. Her mother would always make her wear the same laced-edged socks and gold loops to school every day. This would make it extremely difficult to adjust because her mother is not giving her any chances to experience the American lifestyle.
Another significant point I noticed is that she is never invited to go to any of the white girls’ birthday parties. This makes it difficult for her to make new friends with all the white girls. This means that she only has a few Haitian-American friends. Without making all of those new friends, she will have a difficult time getting into the culture outside of her own.
The third point I really noticed is that her parents just don’t understand the concept of racism. This is hard for them to understand because racism didn’t exist back when they were in Haiti. It was nowhere near as evident as it is in Boston, where most communities are based on race.
The fourth and final point that I noticed is that Jo-Jo tends to keep her school friends separate from her personal friends. I believe that this would prohibit her from making very many true and strong friendships later in the future.
I think that this story overall told that it is difficult to change cultures. That it is hard to leave the culture that you are accustomed to behind and accept the new culture that you have joined.