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Race, nation and beauty contests, 1929–70
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The Caribbean Post's treatment of West Indian femininity reflected the growing significance of the beauty contest in the British Caribbean. Phyllis Woolford, 'Miss British Caribbean' of 1948 was pictured on the cover of the Post, epitomising modern Caribbean womanhood. This book examines the links between beauty and politics in the Anglophone Caribbean, providing a cultural history of Caribbean beauty competitions. It discusses the earliest Caribbean beauty competition, 'Miss Jamaica', launched in 1929 on the cusp of Jamaican cultural blossoming, and explores the emerging radical feminist voices amidst the cultural revolution. The 'Miss Trinidad' beauty competition, started in 1946, doubled as the search for an annual 'Carnival Queen', and represented the power of the moneyed white elite against an emergent black political force. The image that emerges of Barbados's 'Carnival Queen' contest is of a decidedly bourgeois contest, in which the 'creme de la creme' of Marcus Jordan's account were the most esteemed 'young ladies' of middle-class society. It examines the institutionalisation of the 'Ten Types' model and provides examples of copycat competitions elsewhere in the Caribbean. The 'Ten Types - Miss Ebony' contest was championed as a lesson in Jamaican racial democracy for other, less advanced, West Indian audiences. The book highlights the radical vantage point of exiled Trinidadian-born communist-feminist Claudia Jones who launched a Caribbean beauty competition in London. The burgeoning black beauty culture of London was imagined, through the West Indian Gazette as a pragmatic means of acquiring the respectable appearance that was 'race-pride' work.

Race and the art of Agostino Brunias
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Agostino Brunias's paintings have often been understood as straightforward documents of visual ethnography that functioned as field guides for reading race. This book offers the first comprehensive study of Agostino Brunias's intriguing pictures of colonial West Indians of colour made for colonial officials and plantocratic elites during the late-eighteenth century. It talks about the so called 'Red' and 'Black' Caribs, dark-skinned Africans and Afro-Creoles, and mixed-race women and men. The book explores the role of the artist's paintings in reifying notions of race in the British colonial Caribbean and considers how the images both reflected and refracted common ideas about race. Although some historians argue that the conclusion of the First Carib War actually amounted to a stalemate, Brunias clearly documents it as a moment of surrender, with Joseph Chatoyer considering the terms of his people's submission. Young's Account of the Black Charaibs mobilised subtle and not-so-subtle allusions to the rebellion in Haiti to construct a narrative of the Carib Wars. The book analyses the imaging of Africans and Afro-Creoles in British colonial art. The painting named Mulatresses and Negro Woman Bathing, Brunias replaces his more quotidian trade scenes and negro dancing frolics with a bathing tableau set against a sylvan Eden. In Linen Market, Dominica, one arresting figure captivates the viewer more than any other. Brunias may have painted for the plantocractic class, constructing pretty pictures of Caribbean life that reflected the vision of the islands upon which white, colonialist identities depended.

Open Access (free)
Frontier patterns old and new
Philip Nanton

State marginalization and the region as hinterland The anglophone Caribbean region has two distinct faces. One face, the one shown to the outside world, suggests ‘everything cool’, ease and even contentment. Democratic traditions (for the most part) are upheld, the sun shines, the rules of cricket are obeyed, tourist services are friendly and order is maintained. The

in Frontiers of the Caribbean
Louis James

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

in West Indian intellectuals in Britain
The Communist racial agenda for the American hemisphere, 1931–35
Sandra Pujals

Up until 1931, the race issue had not been a significant element in the Communist agenda for the Spanish-speaking territories of the Caribbean Basin. For the most part, the region’s radical intellectual community was predominantly white, and non-black, indigenous populations were the most preponderant racial minority in the territory. The establishment of the Caribbean Bureau of the Comintern in New York in 1931, however, forced a reassessment of the subject, as the Communist Party of the United States

in The Red and the Black
Georgina Sinclair

In his capacity as a roaming police advisor, Arthur Mavrogordato inspected the St Lucia Police in 1948. An experienced colonial policeman, Mavrogordato had headed up the Palestine Police from 1923 until 1931. He was no stranger to the police forces of the Caribbean. He had paid an earlier visit to St Lucia in 1937 as an official police advisor in a mould similar to Dowbiggin’s. At that

in At the end of the line
Interdisciplinary perspectives

Ireland, slavery and the Caribbean draws together essays and arguments from a diverse group of contributors who seek to explore the many and varied ways in which Ireland and the Caribbean share an interlocking Atlantic history. This shared history is not always a comfortable one. Despite being victims of the first English empire, Irish people enslaved others throughout this period, and can be found at the cutting edge of extractive colonialism. They profited, exploited, traded, and trafficked with the very worst of European opportunists. Irish merchants and enslavers operated in the grey zone between empires. They could be found trading within the Danish, French and Dutch empires, as well as within the British empire, with which they were more properly connected. Irish people also shared an experience of colonialism themselves, and this opens a series of interesting avenues and rich ironies for the contributors to untangle and interrogate. The Caribbean had an outsized impact on Ireland itself, as many of the chapters argue. Irish estates were modelled or named for Caribbean precursors, just as the colonial engineering of the Irish landscapes affected those in Jamaica, Trinidad and elsewhere. The relationship was reciprocal and complex. This collection builds on the sterling work of the Legacies of British Slave-Ownership Project at University College London, as well as the pioneering scholarship of Nini Rodgers. It brings together literary scholars, architectural historians, historians of colonialism, and art historians. The result is a novel exploration of the deep and complex relationship between two island archipelagos in a period of peak colonialism.

Sabine Clarke

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

in Science at the end of empire
Daniel Owen Spence

Part I The Caribbean

in Colonial naval culture and British imperialism, 1922–67
Douglas J. Hamilton

The expansion of Scottish involvement in politics in the Caribbean mirrored the Scots’ increasingly prominent position in the imperial polity in London. Significantly, as the number of Scots acquiring political influence with the national government increased, so too did the opportunities for political advancement in the islands. Moreover, as well as providing access to

in Scotland, the Caribbean and the Atlantic world 1750–1820