This guide will introduce you to some of the best library and web resources on the Caribbean. If you have suggestions for how to improve this guide please contactRebecca Hankins. Please feel free to leave your comments and additions. Enjoy!
Books of Interest
Sea of Lentils by Antonio Benitez-Rojo
Re-creates Spain's history in the Caribbean by describing King Philip II of Spain's reign, the beginning of the African slave trade, the founding of St. Augustine, and Columbus's second expedition to the new world.
Mixed Company: three early Jamaican plays edited by Yvonne Brewster
The plays in this collection each look back at Jamaica's pre-independence days, and each has a distinguished place in the history of Jamaican theatre. Each of these previously unpublished plays is accompanied by an introduction from their trailblazing authors. Includes:Maskarade by Sylvia Wynter,Bedward by Louis Marriott andThe Creatures by Cecily Waite Smith.
Discourse on Colonialism by Aime Cesaire
"Césaire's essay stands as an important document in the development ofthird world consciousness--a process in which [he] played a prominentrole." --Library Journal This classic work, first published in France in 1955, profoundly influenced the generation of scholars and activists at the forefront of liberation struggles inAfrica, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Nearly twenty years later, when published for the first time in English, Discourse on Colonialism inspired a new generation engaged in the Civil Rights, Black Power, and anti-war movements and has sold more than 75,000 copies to date.
The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon
A distinguished psychiatrist from Martinique who took part in the Algerian Nationalist Movement, Frantz Fanon was one of the most important theorists of revolutionary struggle, colonialism, and racial difference in history. The Wretched of the Earth is a brilliant analysis of the psychology of the colonized and their path to liberation. masses by the elites on the one hand, and intertribal and interfaith animosities on the other. The Wretched of the Earth has had a major impact on civil rights, anti-colonialism, and black consciousness.
The Black Atlantic by Paul Gilroy
Afrocentrism. Eurocentrism. Caribbean Studies. British Studies. To the forces of cultural nationalism hunkered down in their camps, this bold hook sounds a liberating call. There is,Paul Gilroy tells us, a culture that is not specifically African, American, Caribbean, or British, but all of these at once, a black Atlantic culture whose themes and techniques transcend ethnicity and nationality to produce something new and, until now, unremarked. Challenging the practices and assumptions of cultural studies, The Black Atlantic also complicates and enriches our understanding of modernism.
Reversing Sail by Michael A. Gomez and Martin Klein
The experiences of Africans in the Old World--the Mediterranean and Islamic worlds, is followed by their movement into the New, where their plight in lands claimed by Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, French and English colonial powers is analyzed from enslavement through the Cold War. Particular attention is paid to the everyday lives of the working classes and their cultural development. Their exploits, challenges, and struggles are covered over a broad time frame that links as well as differentiates past and present circumstances.
In Creole Indigeneity, Shona N. Jackson investigates how their descendants, collectively called Creoles, have remade themselves as Guyana's new natives, displacing indigenous peoples in the Caribbean through an extension of colonial attitudes and policies. Through government documents, interviews, and political speeches, she reveals how Creoles, though unable to usurp the place of aboriginals as First Peoples in the New World, nonetheless managed to introduce a new, more socially viable definition of belonging, through labor. Her work establishes a new and productive way of understanding the relationship between national power and identity in colonial, postcolonial, and anticolonial contexts.
A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid
This expansive essay shows us -- in a delighfully Swiftian mode -- what we have not yet seen of Antigua, the small island in the British West Indies where Kincaid grew up.
Radical Narratives of the Black Atlantic by Alan J. Rice
*Broad-based survey of trans-Atlantic black culture* Newest book in the popular Black Atlantic series Radical Narratives of the Black Atlantic is a multi-faceted and interdisciplinary take on trans-Atlantic black culture. Alan Rice engages fully with Paul Gilroy's paradigm of the Black Atlantic through examination of a broad array of cultural genres including music, dance, folklore and oral literature, fine art, material culture, film and literature. Overall, the book argues for the crucial importance of Black Atlantic cultures in the formation of our modern world. Moreover, it argues that looking at Black culture and history through a national lens is distorting and reductive.
Making the Black Atlantic: Britain and the African Diaspora by James Walvin
The British role in the shaping and direction of the African diaspora was central both in execution and in terms of numbers. The British carried more Africans across the Atlantic than any other nation, and British colonial settlements in the Caribbean and North America absorbed vast numbers of Africans. The crops produced by those slaves helped to lay the foundations for Western material well-being, and their associated cultural habits shaped key areas of Western sociability that survive to this day.
The Hills of Hebron by Sylvia Wynter
Written in the late 1950s on the cusp of Jamaica's independence from Britain, The Hills of Hebron tells the story of a group of formerly enslaved Jamaicans as they attempt to create a new life and assert themselves against the colonial power. Based on the early twentieth century Bedwardism movement (a revivalist group led by Alexander Bedward), The Hills of Hebron, was one of the first attempts to present the lives of black Jamaicans not as colonial subjects, but as independent human beings. " "
Plays by the Nobel-laureate, brought together for the first time In the history plays that compriseThe Haitian Trilogy--Henri Christophe, Drums and Colours andThe Haytian Earth--Derek Walcott, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature, uses verse to tell the story of his native West Indies as a four-hundred-year cycle of war, conquest and rebellion.