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Black Power in the Caribbean

Kate Quinn

Publication Year: 2014

Black Power studies have been dominated by the North American story, but after decades of scholarly neglect, the growth of "New Black Power Studies" has revitalized the field. Central to the current agenda are a critique of the narrow domestic lens through which U.S. Black Power has been viewed and a call for greater attention to international and transnational dimensions of the movement. Black Power in the Caribbean masterfully answers this call.

This volume brings together a host of renowned scholars who offer new analyses of the Black Power demonstrations in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, as well as of the little-studied cases of Guyana, Barbados, Antigua, Bermuda, the Dutch Caribbean, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The essays in this collection highlight the unique origins and causes of Black Power mobilization in the Caribbean, its relationship to Black Power in the United States, and the local and global aspects of the movement, ultimately situating the historical roots and modern legacies of Caribbean Black Power in a wider, international context.

Published by: University Press of Florida

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-iv


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pp. v-vi

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Introduction: New Perspectives on Black Power in the Caribbean

Kate Quinn

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pp. 1-24

February 2010 marked the fortieth anniversary of Trinidad and Tobago’s Black Power uprising. To commemorate these events, a conference, “Black Power: Reflections, Relevance and Continuity,” was held at the University of the West Indies–St. Augustine.1 Many of the conference participants voiced...

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1. Black Power in Caribbean Context

Kate Quinn

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pp. 25-50

The epigraph above captures both the broader and the narrower definitions of Black Power: Black Power as the long historical struggle for black liberation rooted in slavery and the transatlantic trade and Black Power as a particular political movement whose origins are attributed to African-American activism...

Part I. Black Power in the Postindependence Anglophone Caribbean

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2. Jamaican Black Power in the 1960s

Rupert Lewis

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pp. 53-75

This chapter traces the particular manifestations of Black Power in the Jamaican context. In this analysis, the origins of Black Power can be traced to the ongoing legacies of the transatlantic trade and the plantation system, which gave birth to specific manifestations of racism and inequality as well as...

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3. The Abeng Newspaper and the Radical Politics of Postcolonial Blackness

Anothony Bogues

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pp. 76-96

The political slogan “Black Power” reverberated in North American society and found wings in the Caribbean.1 It was not the first time in the twentieth century that a radical black political idea had found motion, moving across the black world. One cannot think of twentieth-century black radicalism...

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4. The February Revolution (1970) as a Catalyst for Change in Trinidad and Tobago

Brinsley Samaroo

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pp. 97-116

The February (or Black Power) Revolution in Trinidad and Tobago can be defined as the efflorescence of a movement in which thousands of citizens revolted against the status quo and demanded substantive changes in governance. The view among those who challenged the existing system was that...

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5. Secondary Decolonization: The Black Power Moment in Barbados, c. 1970

Richard Drayton

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pp. 117-135

The problem of the “postcolony,” of the persistence of a colonial order after the acquisition of constitutional sovereignty, has been addressed implicitly or explicitly at least since Fanon explored the “pitfalls of national consciousness.”1 Caribbean novelists and poets, even before “independence” in the 1960s, asked how that burden of experience would be undone, particularly...

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6. “Sitting on a Volcano”: Black Power in Burnham’s Guyana

Kate Quinn

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pp. 136-158

The Rodney Riots in Jamaica (October 1968) and the February Revolution in Trinidad and Tobago (February–April 1970) have been seen as watershed moments in the history of the postindependence Anglophone Caribbean. Symptoms of a region-wide upsurge of popular discontent with economic...

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7. An Organic Activist: Eusi Kwayana, Guyana, and Global Pan-Africanism

Nigel Westmaas

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pp. 159-178

Significantly absent from James’s list is Eusi Kwayana (Sidney King) of Guyana.2 Despite its more far-reaching embrace of relatively unknown Pan-Africanists, Hakim Adi and Marika Sherwood’s collection, Pan-African History: Political Figures from Africa and the Diaspora since 1787 (2003), similarly fails...

Part II. Black Power in Colonial Contexts

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8. Black Power in the Political Thought of Antigua and Barbuda

Paget Henry

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pp. 181-196

In their classic 1967 volume, Black Power, Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael) and Charles Hamilton established and systematized the concept of Black Power as a challenge to white power. The latter was the power that reigned over the internal and external colonial situations around the world, in which...

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9. I & I Shot the Sheriff: Black Power and Decolonization in Bermuda, 1968–1977

Quitto Swan

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pp. 197-218

Black Power was a global, Pan-African phenomenon. Across the West Indies, the movement largely reflected youth discontent with an array of political, cultural, economic, and social contradictions that bound the region to current, former, and new colonial masters. Black Power sought to address...

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10. Youth Responses to Discriminatory Practices: The Free Beach Movement, 1970–1975

Derick Hendricks

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pp. 219-238

For several generations, the beaches of the U.S. Virgin Islands were utilized without restraint as a place for meditation, relaxation, and, through fishing the waters, survival. From the mid-1950s to the late 1960s, both visitors and residents swam in the sea and used the natural resource for other...

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11. Black Power, Popular Revolt, and Decolonization in the Dutch Caribbean

Gert Oostindie

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pp. 239-260

Two crucial moments in the history of the decolonization of the Dutch Caribbean lie at the heart of this chapter. On 30 May 1969, black rioters set fire to the city center of Willemstad, Curaçao, bearing such slogans as “Nos lo sinja nan respeta nos” (“We will teach them to respect us”). On 25...

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Conclusion: Black Power Forty Years On—An Introspection

Brian Meeks

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pp. 261-274

Looking back across these forty-something years, what is most striking about the Caribbean Black Power movement is the steepness of the curve of its rise and fall and yet the significant impact that it has had on subsequent social and political events in the region. In the narrow definition, Caribbean...

List of Contributors

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pp. 275-276


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pp. 277-281

E-ISBN-13: 9780813048611
E-ISBN-10: 0813048613
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813049090

Page Count: 288
Publication Year: 2014