Methodology in Practice: Michelle Cliff’s novel Abeng and her essay "If I Could Write this in Fire" personify the historical process in the Caribbean. Cliff’s works portray the images of the political, social, cultural, and economic issues discussed by Sidney Mintz and Antonio Benitez-Rojo. Cliff’s literary works depict the contemporary social and cultural constructs of Jamaican society. In this process of interpretation and devolution of Michelle Cliff’s portraits of Jamaican society the remnants of colonialism truly become apparent. Consequently, Cliff’s desire to make sense of the current deplorable conditions of racial inequality has prompted her to ‘look back’ and as she states in her essay: To try and locate the vanishing point: where lines of perspective converge and disappear.
Historiography is the writing of history based on the analyzing of primary, secondary, orals sources and materials. The account becomes a literary narrative that must stand the test of critical examination methods and peer reviews. This research is to discover how historians interpret the accounts of Caribbean enslavement and the methods use in studying the significance of European contact with the Caribbean people during colonial times. The objective is to examine the diverse views and representations of the original documents on slave uprisings, diaries, letters, maps, court records of slave rebellion, and town records of the transactions of slaves during the 1700, and 1800 hundreds. Upon studying these reports and documents it is evident
All islands in the Caribbean share a similar colonial history which has caused creolization of languages, communities and culture. These creole language function as symbols of identity to those that are mainly of African and indigenous decent. This research paper written by Diana Ursulin Mopsus of the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, entitled, “The Attitudes Toward Caribbean Creoles of European Descended Communities in Martinique and St. Croix” has the Caribbean as its target audience. The research problem proposed is, what are the attitudes of propertied European descended people towards Caribbean creoles, in particular, toward Martinican and Crucian. This research is important to the Caribbean because in order to gain a fuller understanding of the sociolinguistic situation of the Caribbean, the attitudes toward creole of propertied descendants of early European settlers who were born and raised in Martinique and St. Croix, must be analysed.
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.
Colonialism and acculturation and their impacts on the Caribbean islands were also important issues discussed by Mintz, Benitez-Rojo, and Cliff. Although Mintz, Benitez-Rojo, and Cliff have the same intention in analyzing the Caribbean, they all use different approaches. Mintz, a social scientist, uses the social approach to describing the region, while Benitez-Rojo, a literary analyst, uses the humanistic approach as he implements the "Chaos Theory" in his breakdown of the Caribbean’s history, and Cliff uses a more personal approach. In The Caribbean as a Socio-cultural Area, Sidney W. Mintz emphasizes how it is inaccurate to describe the Caribbean as a "cultural" area due to its complicated history. Their culture can not be characterized as "unified" or "Pan-Caribbean."
Colonialism in the Caribbean Although Michelle Cliff, Antonio Benitez- Rojo, and Sidney Mintz all discuss the Caribbean in their writings they all have very distinct perspectives. In his writing, The Caribbean as a Socio-cultural Area, Sidney Mintz discusses the Caribbean from a historical standpoint in which he characterizes it as a socially united, rather than a culturally united one. Antonio Benitez- Rojo tries to explain the distinct cultures of the Caribbean with a combination of historical and personal knowledge , in his writing of The Repeating Island. While in her novel Abeng, Michelle Cliff uses an entirely different means of discussing the Caribbean because she does it through the eyes of a child. Despite having different outlooks in explaining the Caribbean they all record the theme of colonialism and their effects on people and society.
Benitez-Rojo uses the idea of “rhythms” to describe the connection and ideas of community that, to him, make up the idea of “the Caribbean.” The final author is not a historian or literary critic like the previous two, but she does offer perhaps the most revealing look at what life is like on a Caribbean island out of the three. Michelle Cliff is a writer from Jamaica and in her two works, Abeng and “If I Could Write This in Fire, I Would Write This in Fire,” she explores the de... ... middle of paper ... ...lf. (Abeng p.158) On the other hand, the black residents of the island feel that any presence of “whiteness” is a negative aspect as well. Clare’s friend Zoe asks her mother why Clare wouldn’t let her try on her new bathing suit, and Zoe’s mother responds, “de buckra people, dem is fe dem alone,” meaning that white people (although Clare is only partly white) can only fraternize with other white people.
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.
This study will focus on cultural themes in Jamaica’s colonial history which contributed to the retention of distinctively African forms of musical expression. The goal of such an approach is to learn something about the process of change itself, an indomitable fact of life which stands in contradiction to all efforts at preservation. The grandeur of such knowledge is appropriately called out by Romanian scholar Constantin Brailoiu who writes, "each time our studies have as an aim a human fact or one tied to human reality, we are bound to conclude that the understanding of any particular aspect of life is only possible if we understand life itself in its entirety." This statement represents a comment on the then emerging field of sociology as a response to what Brailoiu interprets as a "powerful wish f... ... middle of paper ... .... Nettl, Bruno. "The Concept of Preservation in Ethnomusicology" in More Than Drumming, Essays on African and Afro-Latin American Music and Musicians edited by Irene V. Jackson (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1985).
THE EVOLUTION OF CARIBBEAN SOCIAL POLICY: Reasons for the Changes and Shifts in the Social Policy Agenda From the 1940’s to the Present Period. Social Policy may be broadly defined as a system of social welfare that includes economic as well as non-economic objectives and involves some measure of progressive redistribution in command over resources1. Using Mishra’s typology of social welfare models (see Fig. 1 below), this paper describes the evolution of social policy in the English-speaking Caribbean. Drawing primarily from the experiences of Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica, four chronological periods are used to highlight the factors contributing to the major developments in social policy: 1) the Immediate Post-War Period and the Moyne Commission (1940 to 1950); 2) Transition to Self-Government (1950 to 1961); 3) Ideology and the Immediate Post-Independence Period (1962 to 1973); 4) the Oil Crisis, World Recession and Structural Adjustment (1970 to 1980’s); 5) (Conclusion) The Present Period (1990 to present)2.