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Black Political Economy,

ome of the challenges that Caribbean black women face in the American workforce have deep historical origins. Blank (2013) argues that the historical and the modern gender and social class relationships among the British, French, and Spanish in the Caribbean islands mainly emphasized on the Afro-Caribbean people. This includes the negative gender relations during slavery and the gender roles during the periods after emancipation. According to Blank (2013), such relations and experiences have been passed into the modern American workforce. The complexities of gender and slavery in the Caribbean were influenced by the region’s multicultural diversity. Most of the region’s occupants currently descended from the enslaved Africans. Traces of beliefs and customs, coupled with European norms, and family values that were present under slavery, have all resulted in the defining of gender roles in the workplace. Such mixtures have been further strengthened by the heritage of indigenous American Indian populations and the impacts of immigrants from the Middle East and Asia. During slavery, certain roles and job responsibilities were available to either gender on plantations, whereas tasks were sex-specific. Adults of both sexes worked hard in field groups on sugar plantations, in their masters’ houses as domestic slaves and petty traders. This practice disadvantaged Caribbean women since only male slaves were allowed to hold elite, and skilled-based job positions as field commanders and artisan