Antigua Culture

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The Antigua and Barbuda islands are well renowned for their destination as one of the leading tourist resorts in the Caribbean. Tourism dominates Antigua and Barbuda’s economy accounting for more than half of the country’s GDP (CIA World Fact Book). When people vacation in this paradise they do not know the extensive history that is present on the island. Many Antiguans are involved in creating an atmosphere that conceals the painful history that existed in Antigua. In this paper I will focus on the history of Africans in Antigua, and show how these Africans developed into the Antiguans we know today.

Pre-Colonial Antigua

The history of the Caribbean Islands of Antigua and Barbuda start with the first inhabitants in 2400 B.C. The Siboney
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Concerning Antigua most enslaved Africans came from the West Coast. “The majority of Antiguan planters preferred slaves from Ghana and Dahomey. When they could not get slaves from these countries, they took shipments from Calabar, Angola, and the Bite. . . The slaves Antiguan planters loved the best were the Caramantee, Fantee, and the Poppa Negroes. (Samuel, 120).” This example provides a direct link to the ancestry of the black population currently living in Antigua today.
According to a report by Antiguan Governor in 1676, the island was able to purchase 1000 slaves annually.” (Gasper 68). This led to the African population to increase steadily, and surpass the European population. In 1736, enslaved Africans made up 85% of the population in Antigua, with approximately 24,400 of them on the island (Dash). This population distinction led to white planters being extremely abusive to enslaved Africans. Consequently, an atmosphere was created in which the white Antiguan society would try to thwart any slave revolts, by means of lashings, dismembering, hanging, burning, castrating, and other inhumane atrocities. However, the spirit of the enslaved African could not remain in bondage, no matter the severe
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