Black Power in the Caribbean

Black Power in the Caribbean

Black Power in the Caribbean

Black Power in the Caribbean

Synopsis

"An altogether path-breaking collection of riveting essays."--Robert A. Hill, Editor in Chief of The Marcus Garvey & UNIA Papers

"A fascinating, original, and much-needed history of the development of Black Power on the various islands of the Caribbean. By moving the center of the analysis away from the United States, this collection raises important new questions about the rise and impact of Black Power."--Stephen Tuck, author of We Ain't What We Ought to Be

"The little-understood role of the Afro-Caribbean Left in the English-speaking islands receives a powerful dose of insight here."--Paul Buhle, author of C.L.R. James: The Artist as Revolutionary

"A scintillating addition to Black Power's vibrant historiography. While its geographic focus is relatively small, its implications for our understanding of black radical politics could not be broader. It proves beyond a doubt that Black Power was a truly transnational phenomenon."--Joe Street, author of The Culture War in the Civil Rights Movement

"Most case studies of the Black Power phenomenon which swept through the Caribbean islands in the seventies focus mainly on one or two Caribbean islands. The value and importance of Kate Quinn's book is that it marshals studies drawn from as far south as Trinidad and Tobago to others as far North as Jamaica and Bermuda. It also has the advantage of looking at cultures and languages other than English. The book is a must-read."--Selwyn Ryan, author of Eric Williams, The Myth and the Man

Black Power studies have been dominated by the North American story, but after decades of scholarly neglect, the growth of "New Black Power Studies" has revitalized the field. Central to the current agenda are a critique of the narrow domestic lens through which U.S. Black Power has been viewed and a call for greater attention to international and transnational dimensions of the movement. Black Power in the Caribbean highlights the unique origins and causes of Black Power mobilization in the Caribbean and its relationship to Black Power in the United States, ultimately situating the historical roots and modern legacies of the movement in a wider, international context.

Excerpt

Kate Quinn

February 2010 marked the fortieth anniversary of Trinidad and Tobago’s Black Power uprising. To commemorate these events, a conference, “Black Power: Reflections, Relevance and Continuity,” was held at the University of the West Indies–St. Augustine. Many of the conference participants voiced despair about how little public knowledge and information there was on this period of Caribbean history, how Black Power continued to be viewed with suspicion and even hostility, and how young people—studying on the very campus where the sparks of Trinidadian Black Power ignited—knew so little about it. the conference ended with an urgent plea for the preservation of this history as some of those who were involved in the movement grow old and pass away and their personal archives lie unused. Similar sentiments were voiced at two “Internationalising Black Power” conferences, one held at the University of London in October 2007, the other at the University of the West Indies–Mona in February 2008. These paired conferences sought to bring into comparative and international perspective events and ideologies of the Black Power era that are too often studied in isolation—a consequence, in part, of regional divisions within the academy that in many cases have separated studies of the United States from those of Africa, the Caribbean, and other diasporic locations where Black Power had resonance. By bringing together papers that engaged with Black Power across a number of geographic locations, including North America, the Caribbean, Africa, Latin America, and the United Kingdom, the conferences sought to gain a fuller understanding of the global contexts in which Black Power emerged, the transnational dimensions of the Black Power phenomenon, and the existence of and interactions between parallel and related movements outside of the United States.

At these conferences, it was evident that there were significant gaps and unevenness in the narrative of global Black Power. One such gap relates to . . .

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