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Caribbean Culture and the Way it Formed

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Caribbean Culture and the Way it Formed

One of the greatest debates that exists today about the Caribbean is the condition of the socio-culture of the people. Sidney Mintz, Antonio Benitz-Rojo, and Michelle Cliff are three authors that comment on this problem in their writings. They discuss whether there is a lack of identify, unity and culture in the lives of Caribbean people. They examine a culture which was created out of the chaos of slavery, colonialism and the integration of cultures that span from Africa to India.

Exploration by the authors is taken from two different views, one by Mintz and Rojo where they are looking on the culture from outside and the other by Cliff who depicts the situation from inside. Sidney Mintz is social scientist that attempts to classify the Caribbean into its own typology in order to describe its socio-cultural structure, Antonio Benitz-Rojo is a Cuban literary critic that describes the Caribbean in terms of the chaos theory, and Michelle Cliff is a Jamaican that use the experiences of her life on the island to describe the status of the Caribbean existence.

Mintz and Rojo use the historical facts that led to the formation of what today is the Caribbean region and paint an overall picture of it that is very general and lacking personal experiences. Never is there the insertion of the experience of what it is like to live in the Caribbean. The two authors assume a great deal about the socio-cultural structure that exist based on the historical facts, facts that are clouded by the censorship of the imperialistic nations. Cliff uses the stories of the people of Jamaica to illustrate her point giving the reader a vivid picture that they can connect to, and allows them to decide what the so...

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...ple were the ones the children of Jamaica where to try and shape their lives after. In history class they were taught about the "heroism of the British, and the cowardice of the French, (Cliff 70)" during World War II.

By the British controlling the information that flowed into the society they were able to diffuse and acculturate the people that were brought to the island. This way they were able to stop any uprisings that may occur and kept the social and community structure the way they want it.

The Caribbean in a diverse area of cultural backgrounds and must be looked differently then any other region of the world. The integration of so many unique cultures makes it hard to classify the Caribbean by the standards that we do all other cultures. Just as the culture of the Caribbean is unique so should be the way in which we examine and classify the culture.
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