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The Caribbean

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The Caribbean

The inhabited islands clustered in the Caribbean Sea are an interesting study in cultural and social identity. Colonized by european powers from the Fifteenth Century, the Caribbean islands have become mixtures of cultures from Europe, Africa, and India, as well as from the original inhabitants of the islands. As a result, describing and defining the Caribbean is a much more difficult task than it appears on the surface. The norms and ideas of identity and history that exist on one island are vastly different than those that exist on a near neighbor, despite similarities in geography and history.
To better understand the differences and similarities between Caribbean islands and the people who inhabit them, a look at the works of three individuals can be of assistance. The first, Sidney Mintz, was a knowledgeable historian and well respected authority on the Caribbean. His article, titled, “The Caribbean as a Socio-cultural Area,” is based upon his efforts to create a rigid taxonomy of the Caribbean’s past and how that past affected the present. The second author, ...

... middle of paper ... Clare is only partly white) can only fraternize with other white people. This division based on color is the main issue of the book, and one that is extremely relevant in Jamaica even today.

All of these pieces of writing try to define what makes the Caribbean, in all of its variations, the Caribbean. The mixing of different cultures and races over the past three four hundred years has created a geographical area that, despite looking similar from a general view, is actually extremely diverse and different when looked at from close-up.

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