The Effect of Slavery on the Identity of Cuba The Caribbean is a diverse region with a unique history. The progress and advancement of each island complied with the European country in control of it at the time. The Caribbean was conquered and colonized soon after Columbus’ discovery in 1492. A similar aspect of the heterogeneous region has been its plantations. The plantations were an important aspect of the cultural history of the Caribbean.
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 scholarly journals, books and articles examine the account of Caribbean slave uprisings and the influences of colonialism in the Caribbean. These sources give access to how Caribbean scholars approach cultures with no written records. The present source such as the Internet reviews Colonial laws, the “plantocratic” interpretation of marriage, separation, and the sales of slaves in the Caribbean. At present, the methodology focuses on the methods historians used to, commonly answer questions and examine the diverse views and representations of the original events. The data collected, gives the reader a comprehension of how historians study the past, the questions often asked, the methods used to examine evidence and draw conclusions.
What is the Caribbean? Many ask themselves, What is the Caribbean? What makes up the Caribbean? and How has each island created their identity due to their history? Sidney Mintz in the article, "The Caribbean as a Social-cultural Area" approaches a more social interpretation, Antonio Benítez-Rojo in the article "From the plantation to the Plantation" approaches a more humanistic interpretation while Michelle Cliff in her novel Abeng and her article "If I could write this in fire" takes on a more personal view.
The opinions of Sidney Mintz, Michelle Cliff and Antonio Benitez-Rojo are made clear in their works and are discussed below in relation to two main issues; race and the plantations. The Issue of Race Perhaps out of personal experience and perhaps out of direct experience with people of the Caribbean, Michelle Cliff makes, by far, the biggest deal out of the race issue and the role that it played (and still plays) in Jamaica. Benitez-Rojo and Mintz certainly mention race as a factor in determining social status as well, but they do not base their articles on this. Cliff dedicates both Abeng and her article to this issue. It seems to have touched her in a way that the other issues have not.
This methodology of studying history is indeed a retracting and unmasking process in which society and culture convey the history of a particular country or region as the Caribbean. In order to fully grasp the intricacies and complexities of Caribbean one must scrutinize and in a sense deconstruct the social and cultural fibers of the Caribbean. The remnants of colonialism in the Caribbean have created a history manifested in the imagery of society and culture. History in the Caribbean can be unveiled in skin tones and rumbas. The history of the Caribbean lives in architecture as well as behind church doors.
His own History. He separates himself unknowingly, for he is a black colonized person living within certain parameters that tend to cloud his judgement. This is the legacy left to us by the institution of slavery in the Caribbean. Bibilography Benitez-Rojo, Antonio: "The Repeating Island" Duke University Press Knight, Franklin W., : "The Caribbean The Genesis of a Fragmented Nationalism" Oxford University Press Cliff, Michelle: "Abeng" Plume Books Beckles and Shepherd: "Caribbean Slave Society ad Economy" The New Press, New York
Cuban Race Relations I. Introduction- Retracing a History of Racial Scorn in Cuban Society: The study of race relations in contemporary Cuba indelibly requires an understanding of the dynamic history of race relations in this ethnically pervasive island of the Caribbean. Cuban society, due to its historical antecedents of European colonialism and American imperialism, has traditionally experienced anguished and even tumultuous race relations. Racial disharmony has plagued Cuban society ever since the advent of the Colonial institution of the plantation system. Thus, in order to acquire some understanding of Cuba’s dynamic race relations one must study and investigate the evolution of racial tensions and the quintessential impact that the revolution of 1959 had on Cuba’s social structure. II.
Oxford University Press, New York, N.Y. 1990. Benitez-Rojo, Antonio. The Repeating Island, Duke University, Durham & London, 1992. Mintz, Sidney W. The Caribbean as a Socio-Cultural Area, Peoples and Cultures of the Caribbean, Garden City, New Jersey, 1971.