At a Conference of the Caribbean Artists Movement (CAM) held at the University of Kent in 1969, C. L. R. James spoke with typical energy of his experience of growing up in Trinidad. I didn’t get literature from the mango-tree, or bathing on the shore and getting the sun of the colonial countries
approach to development with some long-standing laissez-faire principles. Two wider political issues made Colonial Office attempts to persuade the Caribbean colonies to follow its preferred routes to industrialisation difficult, however. The increasing political autonomy of governments in the Caribbean region meant that Britain could not merely instruct its West Indian possessions to follow its edicts. In addition, it became clear that in the post-war world, the US hoped to shape development across the Caribbean along lines that it found conducive to its own interests
This book produces a major rethinking of the history of development after 1940 through an exploration of Britain’s ambitions for industrialisation in its Caribbean colonies. Industrial development is a neglected topic in histories of the British Colonial Empire, and we know very little of plans for Britain’s Caribbean colonies in general in the late colonial period, despite the role played by riots in the region in prompting an increase in development spending. This account shows the importance of knowledge and expertise in the promotion of a model of Caribbean development that is best described as liberal rather than state-centred and authoritarian. It explores how the post-war period saw an attempt by the Colonial Office to revive Caribbean economies by transforming cane sugar from a low-value foodstuff into a lucrative starting compound for making fuels, plastics and medical products. In addition, it shows that as Caribbean territories moved towards independence and America sought to shape the future of the region, scientific and economic advice became a key strategy for the maintenance of British control of the West Indian colonies. Britain needed to counter attempts by American-backed experts to promote a very different approach to industrial development after 1945 informed by the priorities of US foreign policy.
Caribbean migration to Britain brought many new things—new music, new foods, new styles. It brought new ways of thinking too. This book explores the intellectual ideas that the West Indians brought with them to Britain. It shows that, for more than a century, West Indians living in Britain developed a dazzling intellectual critique of the codes of Imperial Britain. Chapters discuss the influence of, amongst others, C. L. R. James, Una Marson, George Lamming, Jean Rhys, Claude McKay and V. S. Naipaul. The contributors draw from many different disciplines to bring alive the thought and personalities of the figures they discuss, providing a picture of intellectual developments in Britain from which we can still learn much. The introduction argues that the recovery of this Caribbean past, on the home territory of Britain itself, reveals much about the prospects of multiracial Britain.
On 27 November 1953 Henry Swanzy, the producer of the BBC’s literary radio programme, Caribbean Voices , wrote from his Oxford Street office in London to the programme’s West Indian contact, Gladys Lindo, in Kingston, Jamaica. His letter sought advice on editorial comments which he intended to make in a future programme
returning only once for a visit to her birthplace, should she be considered a West Indian writer at all? After all, three of her first four novels, and many of her short stories, are placed in Europe, and have heroines with no apparent knowledge of the Caribbean. Yet her situation has in fact some striking similarities to that of her fellow colonial, Beckett, also born a member of an affluent, ethnically
later, a crowd attacked Government House in Bridgetown, Barbados. Four days of unrest followed across the sugar estates of the island, including attacks on shops and lorries and instances of arson, and the Royal Navy were called again. The next year, police fired on a group of protestors at a sugar estate in Frome, Jamaica, leading to a period of violence in the colony. This time the British government responded by appointing a Royal Commission, headed by Lord Moyne, to investigate the conditions that had provoked Caribbean populations to protest on such a scale
colonial and anticolonial politics. Its meanings in any particular historical situation derived from the overall balance of forces between colony and metropolis. By the time independence was in sight ‘West Indian’ had principally come to signify the aspiration of the anglophone peoples of the Caribbean for a future free from colonial rule, in which the deepest instincts of the formerly-colonised would find
) where there were no original indigenes, 2 they changed irrevocably the social vocabulary of the metropole. The role of culture as a means of subverting the dominant order is, arguably, at its most refined in the Caribbean. 3 The long centuries of slavery provided a fitting apprenticeship where the ground rules of alternative, creolised, cultural forms and social practices were laid
volume. The figure who came closest to formulating our defining hypothesis was C. L. R. James. 3 James believed that it was through the encounter with the formerly colonial peoples of the Caribbean that native white Britons were first able to see themselves in their true historical light: what previously had happened elsewhere was now happening here . There were many occasions when he hinted at this. It is