Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Front Matter

Digitization of this item is currently in progress.
Caribbean Quarterly
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099208/00086
 Material Information
Title: Caribbean Quarterly
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: University of the West Indies
Publisher: Extra Mural Dept. of the University College of the West Indies
Place of Publication: Mona, Jamaica
Genre: serial   ( sobekcm )
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 843029
sobekcm - UF00099208_00086
System ID: UF00099208:00086

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Table of Contents
        Page i
    Front Matter
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
Full Text

S. '.III),

lI. Io -"


('Lihan Antislavery Narrative in a Postcolonial Light: Ansell-no Sudrez y
Romero's Francisco
-he FOLIndat'on and StRICtUl-C 0H IC11111 Ind FMIlik Life I dLICItIOII III The
Caribhemi An Initlati\ e ot"Hic Ackanced Tralnino and Research In
Fertilltv Manaocillent. I Init
[I( ) T(i I I V,, YN 11: R
The (Adftll_Il Importance of[Ana Manley's Art
('LlItUl-11 f'I'CSCI'\',It]Oll MId 1,11WILKWIC ReCkIlMitl0n:
The St. IAICKIII P,11-Ido\
"The best pool-Illan's COLIIltl-'-'
Thonlas Thlsttc\ood ill eighteenth CCIItLII-N kthMICd



(Copyright reserved and reproduction without permission strictly forbidden)

Rex Nettleford
Cuban Antislavery Narrative in a Postcolonial Light: Anselmo Suarez y Romero's 1
Claudette Williams
The Foundation and Structure of Health and Family Life Education in The 26
Caribbean An Initiative of The Advanced Training and Research in Fertility
Management Unit
Phyllis Macpherson-Russell, Joan Meade, Hugh Wynter
The Cultural Importance of Edna Manley's Art 49
Earl McKenzie
Cultural Preservation and Language Reclamation: The St. Lucian Paradox 57
Hazel Simmons-McDonald
"The best poorman's country"? Thomas Thistlewood in eighteenth century Jamaica 74
James Robertson
Books Received 91
Notes on Contributors 95

Information for Contributors



Editorial Committee
Professor, the Hon. R.M. Nettleford, O.M. Vice Chancellor Emeritus, Editor
Sir Roy Augier, Professor Emeritus, History, Mona.
Professor H. Beckles, Pro Vice Chancellor and Principal, UWI, Cave Hill.
Professor L. Carrington, PVC, Non Campus Countries and Distance Education
Professor B. Chevannes, Research Fellow, Mona School of Business, UWI, Mona Profes-
sor Elsa Leo Rhynie, PVC and Principal, UWI, Mona.
Professor Wayne Hunte, PVC Research, UWI, St. Augustine
Professor B.Lalla, Dept of Liberal Arts, Faculty of Arts and Education, UWI,St.Augustine
Professor the Hon. E. Morrison, PVC, Graduate Studies and Research, UWI, Mona
Dr. H Simmons-McDonald, Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Education, UWI, Cave Hill
Linda Speth, General Manager, UWI Press
Dr. B. Tewarie, PVC and Principal, UWI, St. Augustine
Dr. V.Salter, CSI, Managing Editor,
All correspondence and contributions should be addressed to: The Editor, Caribbean
Quarterly, Cultural Studies Initiative, Office of Vice Chancellor Emeritus, University of
the West Indies, PO Box 130, Mona, Kingston 7, Jamaica
Tel. No. 876-970-3261, Tel Fax 876-977-6105
Email: veronica.salter@uwimona.edu.jm, or cq@uwimona.edu.jm
Manuscripts: We invite readers to submit manuscripts or recommend subjects which they
would like to see discussed in Caribbean Quarterly. Articles and book reviews of
relevance to the Caribbean will be gratefully received. Authors should refer to the
guidelines on this web page. Articles submitted are not returned. Contributors are asked
not to send international postal coupons for this purpose.
Exchanges: Exchanges are conducted by the Gifts and Exchanges Section, Library,
University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston 7, Jamaica
Back Issues and Microfilm Information for back volumes supplied on request.
Caribbean Quarterly is available on microfilm from Xerox University Microfilms and in
book form from Kraus-Thompson Reprint Ltd.
Abstract and Index 1949-2004 Author Keyword and Subject Index available as a hard
copy. The journal is abstracted by AES and indexed by HAPI


Caribbean Quarterly, Volume 52, Number 4 contains five essays offering a fair
representation of the Caribbean region. They range from topics on health and history, to
literature, the Fine Arts, and linguistics. The sources of the essays originate from Cuba and
the Anglophone Caribbean.
Claudette Williams' Cuban AntiSlavery Narrative in a Post-colonial light:
Anselmo Suarez y Romero's Francesco, uses the insights offered by post colonial theory,
and demonstrates the subversive effect of various unobtrusive signs in the novel. Williams
demonstrates that its subtle and frequently indirect expressions of antislavery sentiment are
to be found by heeding the inner voices of the characters, fathoming their deeper selves, and
taking account of the ambiguities and contradictions of their relationships.
The second article The Foundation and Structure of Health and Family Life
Education in the Caribbean An Initiative of the Advanced Training and Research in
Fertility Management Unit, by Phyllis MacPherson Russell, Hugh Wynter and Joan
Meade provides much needed documentation of pioneering work in the region carried out
by the Unit under the auspices of the School of Continuing Studies, UWI. The document
highlights the successes, and the lessons learnt, as well as the blocks to progress.
Caribbean Quarterly welcomes Earl McKenzie's forage into the realm of Fine
Art in The Cultural Importance of Edna Manley's Art. The author uses a Langerian
philosophical model for the examination of ten selected sculptures of Edna Manley, all of
which provided insights into the Jamaican socio-cultural context at the time of their
creation. According to Langer, "The primary function of art is to objectify feeling so we can
contemplate and understand it"
.Hazel Simmons-McDonald, in turn, examines the importance of retaining and
preserving our regional identity. Cultural Preservations and Language Reclamation:
The St. Lucian Paradox, explores factors that contribute to this paradox in the St. Lucian
socio-cultural context, and it analyses the sociolinguistic and cultural tensions that perpetu-
ate "linguo-cultural" contradictions in the society, where the language spoken is often at
variance with the 'official' tongue. It also suggests a framework that would bring about the
syncretisation of diverse policy-making entities as well as strategies for achieving cultural
preservation and the reclamation of Kw6ybl.
James Robertson's essay "The Best Poorman's country"? Thomas Thistle-
wood in eighteenth century Jamaica, was based on review of several books written on
Thistlewood and the dehumanizing of the African slave population as well as on other
factors that enabled the success of poor-white immigrants in the Caribbean.
The reviews of two books of poetry by Caribbean writers round off the contents
of this issue.

Cuban Antislavery Narrative in a Postcolonial Light:
Anselmo Suarez y Romero's Francisco


Unlike the two iconic Cuban antislavery narratives, Cirilo Villaverde's Cecilia
Valdds and Gertrudis G6mez de Avellaneda's Sab, which have excited much critical
interest, Anselmo SuArez y Romero's Francisco is sometimes treated as a nondescript novel
of dubious literary stock and suspect antislavery pedigree. Nevertheless, this work occupies
a special place in the gallery of these narratives. It was one of the first responses to the
request from Richard Madden, the abolitionist Commissioner of the British Mixed Court,
for literary compositions by young writers illustrating the Cuban view of slavery. As one
of the first full-length literary pieces on the antislavery theme, it began a cycle that was to
last for half a century. SuArez, who was born in Havana in 1818, started writing the novel in
1838, and completed it in 1839 at the age of 21. His youth qualified him for special
mentoring by the more experienced members of the tertulia or writers' club organized
under the auspices of Domingo Del Monte, a patron of the literary arts. Francisco is, in
addition, the antislavery hovel whose genealogy has been most fully documented. The
novel was composed cooperatively, being in part the product of ongoing exchanges be-
tween the author and members of the Del Monte tertulia, who contributed to its production
by their commendations and criticisms. Whether to shed light or to cast their shadow on
subsequent interpretations of the novel, the letters between members of the writers' circle
during the course of its composition have been included as indispensable extensions of the
text in its various editions.
The edited version of the manuscript, which was included in the antislavery album
delivered to Madden, has not been published and seems to have been lost. If the author is
to be believed, the unedited version was the one that finally appeared in print in New York
some 36 years later in 1880, after the abolition of slavery in Cuba. Neither version was
subject, therefore, to the constraints of official censorship; the edited one was destined for
Madden, not for public consumption in Cuba, while the original was published under a
more liberal political regime. In offering his preferred reading of the work, SuArez's
apologetic posture on its style is counterbalanced by his unabashed defence of its compel-
ling moral message: "I usually laugh at the many clumsy words and phrases and the host of
redundancies and tedious repetitions; but when I think of Francisco and Dorotea, victims of
a horrible institution, I believe that even the most severe literary judge would h've to
silence his criticism to join me in weeping for those two wretched slaves" (41). In a similar
fashion, different commentators on the novel have used canonical criteria to make light of
its literary value and have helped to divert attention from its discursive dimension.2
Using the insights offered by contemporary literary theories this essay proposes a
reading of the unedited version that will broaden and deepen our understanding of the novel

by focusing on the subversive effect of various unobtrusive signs included by the author.
Postcolonial readings of colonial discourse, Mikhail Bakhtin's theory of the novel, as well
as the methods of deconstruction and psychoanalysis are interpretive tools that will be
engaged to explore certain unmined areas of this novel. These theoretical tools will help to
tease out its multiple threads and, hopefully, help to correct some of the existing mispercep-
tions of aspects of Sudrez's composition.
At the centre of the novel is the cliched Romantic fable of the ill-fated love
between Francisco and Dorotea, two favoured house slaves, which is thwarted by their
widowed mistress, Dolores MendizAbal and her son, Ricardo. Dofla Dolores not only
refuses their pleas for permission to marry, but eventually forbids their relationship. The
slaves continue their affair in secret, and this leads to Dorotea's pregnancy, a crime which
earns them expulsion from serving in the house. Francisco is stripped of his position as
family coachman and sentenced to receive the most severe punishment while working on
the sugar estate, and Dorotea is demoted from being a handmaid to become a hired
laundress. Although Dofla Dolores has a change of heart subsequently, and agrees for the
two slaves to marry, Ricardo, whose sexual advances Dorotea has rejected repeatedly,
contrives to prevent their union by falsely accusing Francisco of a host of misdeeds to
justify his continued torture. In a desperate bid to save Francisco's life, Dorotea finally
capitulates to Ricardo. His heart broken by the news, Francisco commits suicide, and
Dorotea dies shortly after.
In the critical dialogue on antislavery narrative, the ideological significance of
Francisco has sparked some controversy. Nineteenth-century Cuban readers of the manu-
script were unanimous in their conviction of its subversive implications. The view ex-
pressed by Aurelio Mitjans in 1890 is typical: "Though he may have lacked the skill of a
narrator, he knew how to copy an interesting picture from reality, how to present it with
patriotic intent, how to point out a cancer that needed a bold remedy, how to move noble
hearts with pathetic scenes and inspire in them the desire for a new social order" (27). The
novel has continued to benefit from a generally favourable reception by Cuban scholars
who have taken its objective to be the total abolition of slavery. Critics outside of Cuba, on
the other hand, have been somewhat less approving in their interpretations. North American
scholars, in particular, judging it by Black Nationalist standards, have branded it as funda-
mentally conservative, mainly because its slave actors have been deemed to be compliant
and lacking in courage. Noted pioneer of Afro-Hispanic literary studies, Richard Jackson,
among others, is wary in his approach to this and other antislavery works belonging to the
same period, even while recognizing the authors' desire to present themselves in a progres-
sive and humanitarian light. He cites Ivan Schulman's claim that in their depiction of the
slave, these works were not allowed to go beyond the "official criteria" of Del Monte's
reformist group, and that they had to play down the threatening image of slave rebellion and
play up the image of slave submission in order to evoke sympathy from the enlightened
Cubans who would have been offended by a rebellious protagonist (29). In promoting this
idea of the novel's conservatism, much has been made of Del Monte's recommendation that
Suarez eliminate its subversive aspects. But the letter in which Gonzalez del Valle clarified

the intention behind Del Monte's comment suggests that it was directed less to ideological
content and more to tone and expression:
Domingo indicated that you should suppress the subversive element, not be-
cause... he thinks it harmful, but because in his view the novelist should not put diatribes in
the mouths of his characters, and especially if they are unrealistic; the message or political
principle that is dominates your work, should emanate from it naturally, without being
signalled or announced at every turn. If your novel is to serve the purpose of mending our
ways, it must be true, it must be Cuban and so full of indisputable fact that the mere sight of
the picture will cause one to abhor it (32).
Despite the influences and constraints that might have been faced by the author of
Francisco, there is no conclusive evidence that a strict orthodoxy was enforced within the
Del Monte circle. Moreover, though written at Madden's bidding for use in his international
campaign against the slave trade, SuArez was also drawn to the subject for personal reasons.
One of his letters to Del Monte reveals the "selfish altruism" behind Suarez's antislavery
stance:3 "Always a lover of all people, I would like no weeping, no sigh of pain to be ever
heard around me;.... My wish, sir, is for mutual love, kindness, peace, laughter, not bitter
tears" (33-4). Self-promotion is also a significant motive in the production process: "I
decided to write a novel to give vent to the feelings in my heart and to show that if there are
whites in Cuba who are the bitterest enemies of the African race, there is no shortage of
those who weep tears of blood over their tragedy" (33). Slavery, for Suarez, was both a
social and a moral problem and writing the novel served as a form of personal catharsis. The
young writer was confident and unapologetic about his aim of promoting moral reform in
Cuban society
As far as the aim of the work is concerned, there can be no doubt that it is to
improve the wretched lot of the Negroes, by making whites blush with shame. For this is
what will cause them to repent and mend their ways. If only such a grandiose objective
could be achieved! How happy I would be! (Francisco 1974, 216-217).
His statement of his objectives in these straightforward terms should not, however,
blind the reader to the complexity and ambivalence of his depiction of slavery and the slave.
Opinions on the novel's significance have varied, depending on the commenta-
tor's location and the evaluative criteria used to assess it, but the historical validity of the
perspective of the sugar plantation that it offers has rarely been called into question.
Francisco is the human story of early nineteenth-century Cuban slavery, depicting the
dynamics of both the house- and field-slave experiences. It provides a close-up and
wide-ranging view of life on a sugar estate. The work regime and conditions, personnel and
relationships all form part of this picture. SuArez dramatizes the extreme abuse that the
system permitted because of the slave owner's control over the body of the slave, both male
and female. An almost monotonous litany of descriptions of the physical brutality inflicted
on the slave comprises the work's second and third chapters. More specifically, and as will
be discussed in greater detail later, this novel foregrounds a major aspect of the gender
politics of slavery: the emasculation of the male slave occasioned by the master's desire for

the female slave. For it is his specific status as the black man who symbolically defeats the
white man in the contest for the mulatto woman's favours, that causes Francisco to be
singled out for vengeful treatment. His experience speaks mainly to these specific circum-
stances and must be taken into account in any assessment of his role.
Suarez's concern for the lot of the slaves had its roots as much in his sentimental
disposition as in his ideological principles. Francisco's individual experience of slave work
as punitive is placed against the general background of this work as productive. The
novelist provides detailed descriptions of the whole spectrum of tasks and occupations
involved in the process of sugar production. His view is grounded in a quasi-Marxist
awareness of the alienated nature of slave labour as the mainstay of economic activity in
Cuba. Sudrez conveyed his moral distress over this aspect of slavery in a letter to Del Monte
dated March 1839, in which he reported on his stay at the Surinam estate: "All alone on the
sugar estate, seeing, day and night, only huge, monotonous, unsightly factories, the yard,
the cane fields, and then to make the picture even more depressing, seeing nothing but those
wretched men working for others without cease" (23). In his autobiographical reflections
the author also cites his principled refusal of the fruits of unpaid slave labour as evidence of
the consistency of his beliefs:
With my salary not only was I able to support myself
and to forget about the property owned jointly with my
mother and brothers, but I also had the unspeakable
satisfaction of giving her everything I was able to save.
In that way I was able, as far as was possible in a
country corrupted by slavery, to avoid living off the
fruits produced by the unpaid labour of others (15, my
Revisionist studies of slavery are wont to decry any representation that might
compromise the unequivocal denunciation demanded by the system. That slavery in the
master's house was less harsh or more tolerable than slavery on the master's sugar planta-
tion, is one such proposition that has been firmly repudiated. Sudrez, in like fashion, shows
the difference between the slave experience in the two locations as one of shade rather than
of substance. Despite the innuendo that life in Havana was better for the house slave, in the
author's view house and sugar estate alike are sites of slave oppression, with the illustrious
slave mistress' manipulation of the mind and trifling with the emotions of the house slaves
being only more sophisticated than the crudely sadistic physical torture used to control the
field slaves by her mayoral, the lowlier white overseer and the contramayoral, the black
slave driver. In the house the control functions at a less perceptible cultural level and
includes the education of the slave, the imposition of "white" attire and the granting of
certain social and economic privileges. Various travel writers who visited Havana during
the nineteenth century remarked on the lack of distinction between the house-slave children
and the children of their masters, especially given the prevalence of slave women who
served as wet nurses for white babies. SuArez evokes this relationship which was shared by
the young Dorotea and Ricardo but only to deconstruct it with the unfolding of the grown

Ricardo's near-incestuous desire for his foster sister. Similarly, Francisco's torment at the
hands of Ricardo, his childhood playmate, shatters the myth of a less virulent practice of
slavery in the Spanish colonies.
While the record of the correspondence between the author of Francisco and other
members of the Del Monte group has generated a discourse on the novel's ideological
significance, the discourse of the novel itself has received only modest attention. Comments
from the group reveal, however, that concern centred not only on the work's moral and
political imperatives, but also on its expressive methods. In fact, favourable judgments of
the novelist's vision and of the validity of the work's content are normally accompanied by
dismissive references to its style. Sudrez himself, though confident about his work's moral
essence, was far less sanguine about its literary calibre. His repeated and earnest soliciting
of advice from his more experienced fellow writers, as well as his deprecating comments
about his writing style, suggest that he felt a lack of the technical means to give his ideas
appropriate literary expression.
Sudrez's wish to impress his reader with the horror of plantation slavery stands out
immediately in his orchestration of the action in the opening pages to create maximum
shock effecteHe plunges the reader unceremoniously into the surreal nightmare of the sugar
plantation where young bloodthirsty slave master and sadistic overseer hold sway. Mikhail
Bakhtin's ineory of the novel as constituted by dialogues between different and sometimes
competing voices is useful for decoding the process by which Suarez communicates his
antislavery message. In this opening episode the author converts the narrative into drama by
allowing the narrator to remain behind the scenes while the action unfolds through an
extended dialogue between Ricardo and Antonio. In this strategically placed and unre-
strained exchange, the author has distilled essential tenets of proslavery ideology and the
cruder arguments used to both defend the system and rationalize brutal treatment of the
The voice of Antonio has a mainly expository purpose. His gleeful description of
the sadistic violence inflicted on Francisco brings out, in a striking and economical fashion,
both the psychopathology of slave oppression and the horror of plantation slavery as lived
experience. His voice is complemented by the voice of Ricardo, who supplies the "philo-
sophical" justification for the slave abuse: "You cannot be kind to Negroes it spoils them
completely and the masters are to blame; skin them alive, treat them cruelly with kicks and
blows, like mules and dogs and they will serve you well" (45-6). His version of the
relationship between slave owner and slave as one of kindness versus ingratitude, and his
characterization of Francisco as recalcitrant, are classic modes of proslavery rhetoric.
Francisco is first presented to the reader in absentia, as the topic of the conversation
between Ricardo and Don Antonio. This strategy is used conventionally where the absent
character plays a heroic role. The energy that the overseer expends on brutalizing the slave
leads the reader to expect to find in Francisco a rebel who has to be tamed, and not the
innocuous character we meet a few pages later. Rather than build a heroic image of the
black protagonist, this narrative convention serves to demonize the two white men.

The third voice in this chapter is that of the narrator. As in other antislavery
narratives, the reader is induced to regard him as inseparable from the author. His interven-
tion marks a shift from the dramatic mode used in the first seven pages and he takes control
of the story pretending to be the voice of objectivity: "We know that Ricardo's mother,
angry with Francisco for having tarnished the honour of a highly favoured slave, sent him
to the sugar estate with instructions for her son and the overseer to punish him without
mercy. Let us go back a bit to see if the sentence was justified" (49). With this introductory
statement the author-narrator pledges implicitly to recount, without prejudice, the circum-
stances surrounding Francisco's "crime." In the recounting, which occupies the bulk of the
chapter, he constructs images of the three remaining primary characters, Dofla Dolores,
Francisco and Dorotea. Of the three it is the slave mistress and the peculiarity of her
standpoint that most engage the author-narrator who soon abandons the pretence of objec-
tivity and assumes the role ofjudge. Ricardo is allowed free rein to build up a humanitarian
image of his mother, a view which is immediately undermined when the author-narrator
intervenes directly to challenge the validity of his judgement. He puts her benevolence into
correct perspective when he reveals the crypto-racism which it serves to mask:
It is true that this Creole lady was noted for her be-
nevolence and affability but the same views held
by Ricardo about the origin and the nature of Negroes,
that is, that they are descended from animals, stirred in
her heart.... Her feelings of charity towards the slaves
were almost the same as the feeling that compassionate
people have for irrational creatures. (51).
With such narrative manoeuvres the novelist not only dismantles the view coming
from the two villainous characters, but also ensures that the only view to which his reader
will acquiesce is the one that favours the slaves. Thus, although three different voices have
entered the novel, only one the author-narrator's has been allowed, in Bakhtinian terms,
to "flourish."(263).
Much of the existing discussion of Sudrez's depiction of the slave has centred on
the titular protagonist. The commentary on the controversy to which the character gave rise
in the Del Monte tertulia, can be complemented by an appraisal of the strategies used in his
portrayal. On the surface, he is a pathetic picture of passivity, bordering on caricature. His
self-denying loyalty to his mistress appears incredible. He lacks the courage to pursue his
freedom but strives instead for a meagre happiness within servitude through a love relation-
ship with Dorotea. His role is to elicit pity not admiration. His thoughts are typically
lamentations and his characteristic actions and reactions are expressions of grief. William
Luis has compared his portrayal as a submissive slave to the self-portrait in Juan Francisco
Manzano's slave autobiography, which SuArez had read and edited (39). With his inno-
cence, natural good manners and intelligence, Sudrez's protagonist also shows some affili-
ation to the idealized stereotype of the noble savage, a figure which had been standardized
for the depiction of the Negro in Europe, and most notably in the metropolitan French
literary tradition. His portrayal caused disquiet in Del Monte who viewed his meekness and

tolerance with some impatience. In his response Sudrez, in his turn, defended his strategy,
establishing that his construction of the image was by design and not born of naTvete or
ignorance: "Which [slave] languishing under the terrible and painful yoke of slavery could
be as meek, as pacific, as angelic and holy in his habits as he? Francisco is a phenomenon,
a very special exception" (33). He reveals further that self-projection figured prominently
in the creation of his protagonist, for he developed the image out of his Christian belief in
the spiritually ennobling power of adversity and as a reflection of his own longsuffering
Since my personality is prone to tolerate patiently the misfortunes of this
Valley of Tears, I endowed Francisco with that Christian resignation and
meekness, flowers which bloom by sheer miracle in the midst of the
filthy mudholes into which slavery places men (34).

In Sudrez's Christian cosmology, stoicism and meekness in the face of a suffering-
filled world conferred greater moral prestige than rebellion. Francisco's character is my-
thologized by analogy with Christian martyrdom: "that sad tinge on his face that enthrals
and enchants; that tinge used to represent martyrs for the faith" (54, my emphasis). This last
comment highlights his primary status as an ideological construct, rather than a literary
facsimile of a real slave. He is the creature of Suarez's Christian ideals, used to strengthen
his indictment of the architects of slave oppression. Although his role as slave is inseparable
from his role as a Christian martyr, martyrdom was by no means a condition exclusive to
Francisco. Indeed the temperament of the protagonist of his first novel, Carlota Valdds is in
many ways Francisco's female equivalent. In the Latin American religious tradition too,
many Catholic believers prefer to identify with the suffering Christ of Good Friday than
with the message of hope in the risen Christ of Easter. One needs only to recall the staging
of elaborate rituals re-enacting the Passion of Christ to be reminded of this glorification of
Christian suffering in Latin American societies. This then was the emphatic way chosen by
Suarez to both reflect the condition of the slave and reconstitute his image through the use
of a metaphor filled with powerful cultural meaning. Although Francisco lacks the strength
of a rebel, he endures incredible physical torture. His endurance recalls the fortitude which
allowed the Africans and their culture to survive the passage over the Atlantic and through
the hell of slavery. Francisco dies only when his spirit dies, when Dorotea's capitulation to
Ricardo's desires leads him to despair, a reminder in itself that the most devastating and
durable consequence of Caribbean slavery has been mental and psychological.
Although gender suggests itself as an important aspect of Sudrez's version of the
slave experience, critical interest in the protagonist has obscured the role of his lover
Dorotea. She is, in some ways, Francisco's female counterpart compliant and virtuous.
Despite not being named in its title, she plays a decisive role in the novel's action. Francisco
is marked by his voicelessness "oir y callar" (114). The following is his typical response:
"Francisco did not reply to these words but eyes filled with tears, he turned to the wall,...
and then a flood of tears rolled down his cheeks" (72), and he only dares to verbalize his
discontent in secret to the old slave confidant, Taita Pedro.4 Dorotea, on the contrary,
endowed with a more robust spirit and a firmer will than her pusillanimous lover, is

articulate and confrontational in her rejection of Ricardo's advances. In one of the novel's
most powerful rhetorical interludes, like the true heroine, she respectfully but bravely
defends her virtue against Ricardo's designs: "I am your slave, master; I am a poor mulatto
girl, and your lordship is white and you are my master. Your lordship can order me to be
put in the stocks and to be whipped... but your lordship can never take away my honour"
(145-6). Francisco's fatalistic self-pity is a counterpoise to Dorotea's bold self-assertion:
"Dorotea was not daunted by that, for though weak and timid by nature, like all women, she
could summon up heroic courage when she had to bear the weight of adversity, and like all
women do when a pure and noble passion bums in their hearts." (134). This investment of
strength in Dorotea prefigures the revaluation of the Caribbean slave woman's historical
and literary role that has formed part of the research agenda of countless feminist and other
scholars since the 1970s.
Based on his belief that a precedent change in the consciousness of their enslavers
would bring about a change in the condition of the slaves, Suarez set out to generate an
alternative to the dominant strains of proslavery discourse. In the nineteenth century, fixing
the ethnic and sexual identity of people of African origin was an almost universal white
Creole obsession, born of the Negrophobic desire to separate the non-white Other from the
white Self. Sudrez refuses the customary negative aesthetic value ascribed to Negroid racial
features: "his jet-black skin shone in exceedingly vivid contrast to his eyes and teeth of the
purest white Francisco's beauty had a double impact, that is: his features revealed the
nobility and generosity of his soul" (53). When his innate intelligence and proud bearing are
added to this portrait, the construction of his image translates into a calculated contestation
of the equally calculated racist portrait of black slaves painted by Ricardo in the novel's
opening chapter: "They are descended from monkeys, let us not doubt it, look at their
blubber lips, their flat noses and foreheads, their kinky hair, their laziness, stupidity,
immorality, bestiality, ingratitude" (46).
Dorotea's identity is constructed using a similar strategy. Many writers of the
period promoted a sexual perspective in the discourse on race through the fetishization of
the mulatto woman's body. Not fortuitously, Suarez avoids the essentialist cliche of the
sensual mulata in his portrayal of Dorotea, suggesting his adherence to the demands of
Romanticism and to the ascetic approach to sexuality in Christian doctrine. Viewed by
Francisco with Romantic eyes, Dorotea is sexualized only in Ricardo's libidinous gaze: "I
am dying for that body of yours, so tasty, so sweet, so delicious" (147). This difference is
a compelling reminder that the non-white woman as erotic body was primarily a construct
of the white imagination.
In creating an alternative discourse for the definition of his slave characters, the
novelist accentuates in them the traits that define human beings as his way of retreating
further from the racialized mythology of slavery. The author stresses their humanity almost
to the point of redundancy. He misses no opportunity to put human faces on the two slave
lovers: "There is a time in life when a man, especially an unhappy one, needs a woman to
engage him with her charms and caresses; a time when he needs to love" (55); "This
conversation between two people who adored each other" (140). Dorotea is cast in the

mould of the generic woman, as mother and nurturer (134) a rare image of the mulata and,
one that displaces her conventional association with non-reproductive sex. Suarez's por-
trait of the two slaves in these terms stands, once more, in diametric opposition to their
initial representation by Ricardo: "I say and will say again a thousand times over, anyone
who is kind to those Negroes will be ruined, because they are not human" (48). In
attributing humanity to the slaves, Suarez has thus made what amounts to an antislavery
statement by demonstrating the idea of the slave's identity as constructed rather than given.
If one of the effects of proslavery discourse was to normalize the view of the slaves as
non-human, Suarez responded in his novel by naturalizing their humanity. Another com-
monly held opinion in nineteenth-century Cuba was that the slaves were intrinsically
immoral. In the opposing view, this immorality was construed as a consequence of slavery
which brutalized body and soul. Sudrez proposes an alternative to both beliefs. He reverses
the "rigid hierarchy of difference" (Ashcroft et al., 46) by investing in the "savage" slaves
the moral values that white civilization had ascribed to itself, and this despite the abuse to
which the slaves are subjected. Not fortuitously, Francisco is shown to possess the capacity
to use violence against his mistress (58). His non-violence is taken to be a matter of
conscious choice rather than a reflex response and becomes the measure of his moral
Sudrez's depiction of his two main slave characters may be interpreted in the light
of the thinking about human agency and the assumptions about subjectivity which are
fundamental issues in postcolonial meditations on colonial discourse. These concepts
provide valuable media for the appraisal of the antislavery authors' presentation of the
slaves. For their analyses of colonial discourse, leading postcolonial theorists have adopted
the poststructuralist view that "since human subjectivity is 'constructed' the corollary is
that any action must also to some extent be the consequence of those things." (Ashcroft et
al., 8). These scholars postulate that "colonial discourse constructs a particular kind of
subject with which the subject itself can and often does concur because of its powerless-
ness" (Ashcroft et al. 225). Judged from a Marxist theoretical perspective, since New World
slavery and its supporting ideology had created a false view of their identity, the slaves
were not agents endowed with the ability to "freely and autonomously initiate action"
(Ashcroft et al. 221). Accordingly, both the action and inaction of the two slaves in
Suarez's novel may be seen to be determined by the ways in which their identity has been
constructed, and also by the politics of slave society. Their sense of their powerlessness is
the natural corollary of their sense of the slave owner's irresistible power. Their response
and relationship to the white world are shown to be specific to the house slave experience,
the condition out of which their subjectivity has been formed. What Suarez seems to be
highlighting is the alienating consequence of this experience. Doubly exiled, from their
origins and from their local community, their capacity for radical rebellion is no doubt
hampered by their location in the bosom of the slave owner's world, removed from "the
social construction and political organization of resistance" (Ashcroft et al. 225). Other
practitioners of postcolonial criticism, among them Frantz Fanon, believe that since the
process of subject construction can be recognized it can also be contested. (Ashcroft et al.
225). This latter perspective was not completely alien to Sudrez's way of thinking, as

demonstrated by the various nuancing strategies he uses to enrich the texture of his slave
Suarez's use of classical Spanish as the main vehicle for the narration highlights
the dilemma of the colonial writer wanting to capture the specificity of the local reality but
needing to appropriate the dominant imperial language to make it intelligible to an outside
reader. However, signs of an emergent linguistic nationalism appear in the incorporation of
the forms of the Cuban vernacular to give the work a distinctly Creole Spanish impress and
to differentiate the colony from the imperial centre. The speech of the white overseer with
its many cubanismos was lauded by members of the Del Monte circle, who understood its
anti-colonial import. On the other hand, except for the few phrases of heavily accented
Spanish standing in for the peculiarities of slave speech, which the author inserts into the
second chapter, the unique voice of the slave is an eloquent absence. It reflects the limits of
the Euro-Caribbean imagination in this early attempt to represent the Afro-Caribbean
person, a deficiency to which the author tacitly confesses when he refers on one occasion to
the slaves' language as "A lingo after their fashion, but unintelligible" (77). In his study of
the metaphorical portrayals of the Negro in the Western literary tradition, Lemuel Johnson
notes the use of a similar "unintelligible" language in the burlesque misrepresentationss of
the Negro in early peninsular Spanish writing: "The Negro's phonetic and syntactic distor-
tion through interference from his origins was used for linguistic caricature. Lexically
meaningless Negroid percussions, jitAnforas, became indispensable adjuncts in one-dimen-
sional representations of the Negro" (69). The consciousness underlying the reference to the
slaves' language in Suarez's novel, implies no such mockery, for by qualifying "lingo" with
"after their fashion" the author shows understanding of the communicative power of slave
speech within the slave community. Moreover, by separating "but unintelligible" orthog-
raphically from "after their fashion" he acknowledges tacitly the exclusion of the white
Creole writer from the world of the slaves. Sudrez's attempt to present an authentic picture
of slave life was hampered by his inability to give the slaves a unique language to think and
to express themselves appropriately. That he lacked the ability to allow them to speak with
their own voice does not, as we shall see, detract from his demonstration of their person-
hood. Moreover, the absence of a slave voice mirrors the power politics of colonial Cuban
society and the liberal white Creole makeup of the antislavery lobby group to which Suarez
Suarez sought nonetheless to compensate for this failure of language imagina-
tively, through acts of ventriloquy. Focus on the protagonist's mental state was one
characterization strategy recommended by GonzAlez del Valle: "I would like you... to use
the opportunity to reveal Francisco's sad and moving thoughts, his state of mind, his true
character" (29-30). R. Anthony Castagnaro is also one of the few early commentators on the
novel to acknowledge SuArez's attention to this aspect of his composition. This critic
devotes part of his sweeping survey of the early Spanish American novel to Cuban
antislavery narrative, where he observes that "the characters, though of standard romantic
stock, possess much more psychological substance than can be found in most Spanish
American novels of the first half of the century" (160). However, he cites as one of the few
literary flaws of Suarez's work "the rudimentary character delineation of Francisco" (160-

161). Careful examination of this aspect reveals that though not fully developed, the
protagonist's portrait delivers somewhat more than this comment implies. His kinship with
the noble savage notwithstanding, Francisco does not conform completely to the simplistic
pattern of the stereotype; his meek persona does not constitute his total personality. Firstly,
the author discloses the roots of his compliant attitude. Taken from the slave barracks at the
age of ten, the malleable Francisco assumed easily the role of the compliant slave in the
sugar planter's house. But even this exposure of the roots of his temperament does not take
full account of his image, for as he turns the focus from the outer universe of the slave's life,
to the inner universe of the slave's mind, Sudrez reveals not only his despairing thoughts (as
Del Valle recommended) but also the hidden symptoms of psychological resistance and
self-assertion that temper the slave's manifest docility.
Fivel-D6moret reads complicity in the silence of Sudrez's slave characters: "The
reader is struck by the comparative absence of rebellion or dissatisfaction with their status
in the privacy of the slaves' thoughts or intimate conversations"(3). However, in postcolo-
nial analyses of the literary and other accounts of subaltern groups, important subversive
meanings have been found to reside in such silence. Francisco's voicelessness, Suarez is
careful to indicate, is not a reflection of total conformity. The author senses, in the depths of
the slave's soul, the muffled noise of discontent that sabotages the surface appearance of
accommodation. Francisco's sad countenance speaks less to his weakness and more to his
sense of the misrepresentation of his identity under slavery, and to his enduring desire for
the dignity of freedom: "He was plagued by one pain constantly: his condition of being a
slave, a pain that his mistress' special treatment could not ease" (53). Moreover, in a rare
show of mettle, the slave expresses unequivocally his dissatisfaction with his preferred-
slave status in this insightful confession to the old slave watchman Taita Pedro:
"How do you expect me to be happy? Am I very fortunate?"

"Remember another time, something else, when you were in Havana...?

"And was I not unhappy in Havana?"

"At least....

"At least? Yes, it's true, no one laid a hand on me, not even my mistress
... And clothes, and food; I had more than enough of everything; but tell
me: my mistress, my mistress, did you ever see her laugh with us?" (93).
His enjoyment of the relative comfort of a house slave's life does not prevent him
from identifying mentally and emotionally with the suffering of his field counterparts:
"How many times, while visiting the sugar estate with his mistress, had Francisco not spent
reflecting on his misery and that of those Negroes" (77). Even though the author does not
endow him with the ability to translate promise into action, attributing this feeling of
solidarity to the slave is itself an antislavery gesture, in a situation where division in the
slave community was as inimical to the process of slave resistance as it was conducive to
the sustainability of slavery.

As in the case of Francisco, the inner workings of Dorotea's mind belie her
objective behaviour. Her small acts of defiance ranging from her disobedience of her
mistress's instructions to her sacrificial efforts to save her lover are a modest counter-
weight to her demonstrations of subservience. The slave lovers do not surrender to their
mistress' tyranny without first expressing their will to freedom. They contemplate avenues
to escape, rejecting them through a process of prudent reasoning rather than through
instinctive cowardice:
The same day that Ricardo issued his threats [Fran-
cisco and Dorotea] had a meeting in the grove... where,
after planning for a long time some way to avoid the
storm that was about to be unleashed on the coachman,
they finally decided to not see each other again while
the punishment lasted. For they knew that in the end
there were many risks and difficulties in any strategy,
since asking the mistress for a paper would be useless
if she were to refuse, and running away would be
pointless, since he was weighed down with a rope and
shackles, and they would expose themselves to being
caught immediately by the overseer with his dogs

In outlining the different categories of slave resistance, Lewis reminds us of such
slaves: "Those who openly rebelled, after all, were always a minority, if only because the
penalties for revolt being broken on the wheel or literally roasted alive, as the many
accounts of the judicial records of rebellions grimly testify were in themselves sufficient
to deter all but the most intransigent" (175). In the novel Antonio's account of the
Draconian measures used to hunt down and punish rebel slaves further justifies the two
slaves' reluctance to take the runaway path to freedom. In this way Suarez has pre-empted
Fivel-Demoret's assertion that "never does he [Francisco] contemplate running away an
option which, together with outright revolt, was taken by many more slaves than was
comfortable for many slave-owners and the authorities of the day to admit" (5). Moreover,
their secret defiance of their mistress's despotism signals the two slaves' ability to translate
psychological resistance into small-scale rebellious action: "The injustice of their punish-
ment, of being condemned innocently for merely loving each other, and seflora
MendizAbal's stubborn opposition, angered them and not seeing any ray of hope, they
tarnished, misguidedly, the purity of their love." (59-60, my emphasis). It is a move that
challenges the Marxist theory of the dominant ideology's stranglehold over the subordinate
Despite the choice of a timid slave protagonist, SuArez does not labour under the
illusion that Francisco's attitude is replicated in the general slave population. In fact, his
claim that Francisco's attitude is "exceptional" is in itself a tacit admission of the preva-
lence of slave resistance. For alternative values and responses in the slave community, one

must look to the author's vision of the shadowy mass of slaves, the nameless and faceless
negrada. SuArez demonstrates his awareness of this broader historical reality in various
economical and understated ways. In the first chapter Don Antonio recalls an incident of
retaliation on the part of the slaves on the San Salvador sugar estate, who killed the overseer
and buried him in the forest. Thus the author demonstrates that the actions of rebellious
slaves did indeed give the planters reason to be fearful. Sudrez also uses the occasion to
dispel the stereotypical notion that, like the contramayoral on the Mendizabal estate, black
slave drivers were always collaborators with the slave owners, for he acknowledges another
contramayoral's role as leader of the San Salvador revolt. The overseer's suspicion that the
old slave watchman, Taita Pedro, was hiding some fugitive (98), is, in addition, an oblique
reference to a steady undercurrent of slave rebellion.
Although he provides only fleeting glimpses of the experience of the other slaves
on the estate, their presence and action at various points in the story are significant enough
reminders of the broader reality of slavery, and of the expressions of solidarity and
resistance which ultimately enabled the slaves to maintain the integrity of their human spirit
while appearing to conform or submit to the dominance of their white owners. A case in
point is this reference to the work song of the slave cane cutters which forms a backdrop for
one of the many episodes of Francisco's torture. Sudrez risks no possible interpretation of
their singing as a sign of contentment, as might have been claimed by some of slavery's
avid supporters. He demonstrates, on the contrary, that it is used to express solidarity with
their suffering brother, thus deflecting the focus from disunity within the slave community:
"Although the Negroes sang as they cut the cane while Francisco suffered, if the truth be
told, we must say that their tunes were neither happy nor cheerful; the whipping in the early
morning had made them sad and that Negro moved them to feel compassion" (63-4). Not
content with this passive expression of fraternity, Francisco's fellow slaves act surrepti-
tiously to sabotage the overseer's sadistic intentions:
They offered him their funche 6 and their dried beef,... They tried to exchange
machetes with him and help him with his work. To humiliate him, two Negresses had been
put to cut cane next to him, but they were as strong as men and skilful at wielding the
machete. These women understood the purpose for which they were placed next to Fran-
cisco and moved to pity by his wretchedness, they suffered some lashes happily rather than
cut too quickly, thus saving the poor coachman from lashes he would have received for
falling behind and when the overseer was not watching, they helped him with his work (64).
While the house slaves function as individuals in isolation, community is shown to
characterize slave life in the fields. When one adds the complicity of Taita Pedro in
facilitating clandestine meetings between the slave couple, these responses constitute acts
of resistance, less dramatic than open rebellion, but no less significant. Suarez's overall
depiction of the slave workers on the plantation defies Gabriel Coulthard's description of
them as "all good, simple people" (12). Not content with merely exposing their subversive
acts, the novelist conjures up their subversive thoughts:
[Don Antonio] whipped the Negroes under his command again and after
sacrificing the victims he leaned back in a raw hide chair next to the sugar

mill, with his legs crossed, smoking his tobacco, and
smiling at the sight of the pitiful picture that he had
prepared for his relaxation. He soon fell asleep peace-
fully in that position and then, what thoughts must
have crossed the minds of those poor Negroes! (49)

While the primary action of the novel does not include radical acts such as
marronage, open slave rebellion, or even the less blatant petit marronage, when account is
taken of the controlled forms of resistance of which his slave characters avail themselves,
Suarez may be seen to anticipate postcolonial thinking in his interpretation of the relative
power of slave and slave owner. He shows that the conditioning to which the slave was
subjected was neither complete nor fully successful. Rather than the absolute powerlessness
of the slaves he portrays the limits of their power.
In Sudrez's fictional universe there is an implicit moral scale on which he meas-
ures his characters. Francisco and Dorotea are located at the highest extreme while the
slave-owner son Ricardo, the white overseer and the black slave driver occupy the lowest
end. Mediating those two poles is Dolores MendizAbal, the slave mistress and other main
character in the drama. As the personification of moral ambivalence, Dofa Dolores pro-
vides the novel with its most interesting character portrait. Her portrayal may be viewed in
the light of the Mikhail Bakhtin's concept of the dialectic of rapprochement and dissocia-
tion in the novelist's relationship to his or her characters:
The novelist welcomes heteroglossia and language
diversity into his own work not only weakening them
but even intensifying them (for he interacts with their
particular self-consciousness).... The language of the
prose writer deploys itself according to degrees of
greater or lesser proximity to the author and to his
ultimate semantic instantiation: certain aspects of lan-
guage directly and unmediatedly express the se-
mantic and expressive intentions of the author, others
refract these intentions (298-9).

His interaction with Dofla Dolores' self-consciousness is displayed in his intimate
understanding of her disposition, motivations and anxieties. Her goodness, like Francisco's
submissiveness, makes her "exceptional." In the words of the author-narrator, her compas-
sionate treatment of her house slaves conforms to the practices of the minority group of
"good" slave owners on the island (52). It is the influence of her exemplary virtue and not
only their natural inclination that determines the goodness of Francisco and Dorotea.
SuArez punctuates the action of the novel with the acts of generosity by which she strives to
maintain her benevolent self-image (3, 160). Gonzlez del Valle was apprehensive of the
danger in what he considered her excessively benign portrait and urged Suarez to adopt a
more subversive strategy: "strip her of the colours of goodness with which you overloaded
her portrait, so that there will not be a huge contrast between her character and her actions"

(28-9). Writing later in 1971, R. Anthony Castagnaro, on the other hand, is seduced by this
brighter vision of the character: "[Sudrez's] strong indignation against slavery does not
blind him to the moral virtues possessed by some slave owners, as he demonstrates in his
depiction of the compassionate Dofla Dolores Mendizabal" (160). Viewed from the
Bakhtinian perspective, however, her image takes on a less transparent appearance. Her
character, like that of her son, serves to refract the author's intentions.
With a keen eye for nuance and subtlety, SuArez engages various strategies to
tarnish her aura of benevolence. While Don Antonio and Ricardo articulate an undisguised
anti-slave bigotry, Dofla Dolores' prejudice is played out in a more insidious manner. To
illuminate her portrait we may turn to the postcolonial notion of the ambiguity of the
colonized-colonizer relationship: "Ambivalence also characterizes the way in which colo-
nial discourse relates to the colonized subject, for it may be both exploitative and nurturing,
or present itself as nurturing at the same time." (Ashcroft et al. I). In the overall portrayal
of her character the consciousness of the author-narrator collides with the consciousness of
the slave mistress at several points. From her perspective the young slave, with his "humble
character" is a blank slate on which she has inscribed the superior cultural ways that make
him acceptable to the Euro-Creole elite. To pre-empt any interpretation of this acculturation
as an unqualified benefit of slavery, however, the author dilutes its value by subtly evoking
the deculturation involved in the slave's forced displacement from Africa: "Uprooted from
Africa at the age often, it was easy for seflora Mendizabal to mould him to her will" (52).
For Doi.d Dolores, slavery is inseparable from Francisco's identity. Her ultimate aim,
therefore, is to make him "an excellent servant" (52), to "elevate" him without changing his
servile status. Her benevolent treatment of Francisco as an individual is not enough to
dispel the Negrophobic stereotype she holds of people of African descent generally: "she
had little confidence in the goodness of coloured folk, a race of ungrateful men, in her
opinion, naturally inclined towards evil" (110). This character's belief system alienates her
from the author. In the final analysis she speaks the same proslavery language as her son
and her overseer.
In a similar fashion her self-perception and self-presentation diverge from the
author's view. Dofla Dolores sees and presents herself as the paternalistic mother, obliged
to use a well-meant but rigorous discipline to limit the freedom of her slave-child. Though
she nurtures Francisco, the total obedience she demands speaks to the threat of insubordina-
tion she fears in that very education. Her desire for total control of the life of her most
favoured slaves stands in sharp contrast to her ignorance and lack of interest in the condition
of the (field) slaves generally. In fact, the author uses understatement to place a cynical
accent on her thoughtlessness: "On the morning of the next day when seflora Mendizabal
went to the sugar mill to amuse herself for a while with the grinding of the cane, Ricardo
made use of the opportunity to put his plan into motion" (141, my emphasis). Probing
further beneath the facade of the slave mistress's goodness, Suarez reveals the deep-seated
anti-black racism in her attitude to Ricardo's relations with women, for though indulgent of
his sexual escapades with white women she is intolerant of any thought of such a liaison
with a black or mulatto slave.

In the analysis of her complex psychology and of the motives driving her actions,
a tension appears in Dofla Dolores who struggles to reconcile the incompatible demands of
her desire to be perceived as humane, on the one hand, and on the other, her social and
economic self-interest and Negrophobia. Lewis's reference to the work of Caribbean
historian Elsa Goveia sheds light on this inner conflict:
The mental atmosphere of the white world was domi-
nated by the ever-present fear of black servile revolt....
It was only natural that the Caribbean ruling class...
should construct, as one defense mechanism, a code of
behaviour every member was required to observe....
The behavioral code, then, demanded that the master
not compromise his authority and thereby the collec-
tive prestige of the white race by behavior that could
call it into question. ....Planter public opinion was
brought against especially newcomers who "spoiled"
the blacks by inconsiderate kindness. (163-5)

This scenario, outlined in reference to the British Caribbean experience, is no less
applicable as an explanation of the affront that the slaves' autonomous desires signified for
Sudrez's fictional slave mistress and of her anxious efforts to crush their slightest act of
disobedience or insubordination. Neither whimsical nor merely perverse, Dolores's actions
stem from her need to maintain her grip on power. With this the author has therefore
brought to the forefront the precariousness of the planters' hold over the slave and, in its
most neurotic manifestation, the fear of granting them even the slightest freedom.
At the same time, part of Sudrez's plan also appears to be to reconcile the image of
the slave mistress's charity with her complicity in the wanton brutality visited upon the
slave. Firstly, he seems to amend his denunciation by exposing the sociogenetic roots of her
Slavery seems to have spread a poison in our environ-
ment, that kills philanthropic ideas, leaving in its wake
only hate and contempt for the wretched race of col-
oured people. Francisco's mistress, born and bred
among slaves, could not be entirely immune to this
pernicious influence (50).

He also creates a divide between mother and son, making the latter into the real
villain. She is referred to repeatedly as "innocent" and as "naive" and it is her excessive love
for her son that blinds her to the atrocities: "How could she know the horrors committed by
Ricardo and much less remedy them?" (156) But whatever goodness the reader may be
inclined to perceive in Dofia Dolores is rendered null and void by the malevolence that her
overindulgence breeds in her son. Suarez does not entertain the thought of any significant
oasis in the wilderness of slavery. Bearing in mind the widespread concern expressed in

Cuba at this time about the demoralizing consequences of the sugar planters' parental
incompetence, SuArez uses the family situation in his novel to intimate that it is the
overindulgence, not of black slaves, but of white children, that constituted the bigger social
Relations between slave owner and slave are a major theme in Francisco. Writing
about the novel in 1962, Gabriel Coulthard remarked on the oppositional aspect of these
dealings, "the confrontation of two worlds, that of the masters and that of the slaves" (13).
Homi Bhabha's theory of ambivalence as a defining feature of colonial discourse permits a
more complex view of Suarez's depiction of the dynamics of this exchange:
The relationship between colonizer and colonized is ambivalent because
the colonized subject is never simply and completely opposed to the
colonizer. Rather than assuming that some colonized subjects are 'com-
plicit' and some 'resistant', ambivalence suggests that complicity and
resistance exist in a fluctuating relation within the colonial subject.
(Ashcroft et al. 13)

Such ambiguity, in the form of a dialectic of submission and subversion, lies at the
heart of SuArez's understanding of the slaves' response to their owners. Time and again he
points up the discrepancy between their true mental state and their consciously assumed
stance. Outward compliance is a mere masking of resistance. Disclosing this ambivalence
is one of the most subversive aspects of the novel. It undermines the slave mistress's belief
in her unassailable power at the same time that it renders less tenable the notion of a polarity
of total submission and total rebellion in slave responses. As a house slave, Francisco's
reaction points to the complexity of the ties that bound slave to slave owner. He is
motivated to heed his mistress's advice by foregoing his love for Dorotea because of his
incredible self-denying fear of disturbing "the tranquillity of the house" (56). Indeed, by
creating this anxiety in the slave, Suarez seems to point to his complicity with the slave
owner's interests and to indicate the extent to which his thinking has been shaped by the
expectations of his oppressor. But this collusion is not sustained. Whereas the imposition of
European trappings and the granting of special privileges are expected to bring about the
house slave's happy accommodation to his owners' culture, Francisco experiences his
preferred-slave status as a form of both physical dispossession and psychological isolation.
SuArez refuses the rationalization of slavery as a means of bringing the savage African into
civilization by making Francisco, instead, an example of the tragic effects of cross-cultural
exchange. His education separates him from other slaves, hindering his participation in their
acts of solidarity. In addition, the slave's relegation from the house to the sugar estate
highlights the superficial nature of his acculturation, for it is accompanied by the removal
of the signifiers of Euro-Creole culture, including a change in his mode of dress and the
cutting of his hair.
An important part of this dialectic of submission and subversion is the slaves'
delusion of the slave owner as a survival strategy. Far from being mindless, SuArez's slave

characters psychoanalyze their mistress and don the mask of docility to pander to her
egocentrism, to mitigate their suffering and to claim some control over their lives. Francisco
plays to ole "massa," appealing to what Orlando Patterson (179-80) calls the slave owner's
"see-what-I-mean" mentality, when he thinks:
Perhaps with time, or by showing humility their mis-
tress's anger would be placated, because in the same
way that they could gain nothing from her by force, she
yielded readily when they did not disobey her orders,
and finally because it seemed wiser to wait, provided
that it would serve to give them a happy outcome
rather than cause their mistress additional annoyance.

Unlike the plantation arena where the novel affords the reader a view of the
master-slave divide as unambiguous, the house is depicted as the territory of negotiation
between slave owner and slave. The author emphasizes the slaves' negotiation of the
relationship with their owner when Francisco advises Dorotea on the strategy to use for
petitioning her mistress: "that she should do it with the meekness necessary for achieving
anything from someone who derived so much pleasure from seeing humility in the slaves"
(135). While Francisco is inclined to see himself as a victim overwhelmed by his fate,
Dorotea's responds to her misfortune by engaging in an elaborate and unrelenting negotia-
tion with her mistress. She plans to carefully time her request for permission to marry
Francisco to coincide with the New-Year festivities, at which many visitors would be
present. The slave is here shown to exploit her understanding of her mistress's psychic
need for positive self-presentation a need that is alluded to repeatedly in the latter's
musings and conversations. In the case of Dorotea the vocabulary used to represent this
negotiation is tellingly ironic: "The mulatto girl disarmed and softened her because the look
of melancholy on her face, the sad tone of the words that her emotions brought to her lips
and the power of her arguments could not but awaken her pity" (155). Such metaphorical
weapons are the only ones available to the slave, but she uses them to her advantage.
Acting upon the awareness that submission was rewarded and recalcitrance punished (157)
she devises an elaborate method of subterfuge to bring about a change of heart in Dofa
Dolores (143). Similarly, Francisco is not only cast in the role of a Christian martyr by the
author, but also wilfully adopts martyrdom as a pragmatic posture, a conscious strategy of
self-protection: "he had decided to suppress this pain, this unbearable torture, convinced
that by advertising the crime, perhaps the penalties would increase rather than being
mitigated" (53). Ascribing such strategic thinking and action to his slave characters allows
the author to pre-empt the charges of critics like Fivel-D6moret who would later accuse him
of not ascribing agency to the slaves.
Postcolonial theory of colonial discourse has problematized the concept of alterity
by foregrounding the reciprocal nature of colonizer-colonized relations: "The self-identity
of the colonizing subject, indeed the identity of the imperial culture, is inextricable from the
alterity of colonized others" (Ashcroft et al., 12). This syndrome is addressed through the

paradoxical ties binding slave and slave mistress in Suarez' tale. As the slaves' performance
constitutes a conscious living up to the master's expectations, so too is the owner's response
tantamount to an involuntary fulfilment of the slaves' predictions. With the latter's fre-
quently assumed prostrate position in her presence, and their many demonstrations of
devotion, the slave mistress's ascendancy seems assured: "Dorotea sank to her knees at la
seflora MendizAbal's feet with the same anxiety with which a Christian sinner would fall
down before Our Lady the Virgin to ask humbly to be granted heaven's blessing" (154-5).
But her dependence on the slave for a sustainable image of her own goodness is seen
graphically in Dofla Dolores' response to the slave's compliance: "She was filled with
unspeakable joy when she heard her promise to forget him and she felt even more
satisfied with the mulatto's obedience because she believed that her humility was only the
result of her desire to please her"(138). Through this bifurcation of the view of the wise
author-narrator, (who is privy to the hypocrisy in the slave's expression of allegiance), and
the belief of the gullible slave owner, (who is blind to the slave's insincerity), the wished-
for integrity of the master's dominance over the slave has once again been undermined.
Inter-racial sex and the attendant issues of power constitute what is perhaps the
most pervasive theme of antislavery narrative. It is a major item on Sudrez's antislavery
agenda since it plays a large part in the oppression of both slaves. The house-slave
privileges that Dorotea is allowed to enjoy come with a price: the sexual persecution she
must endure. Central to the expression of this theme is the young slave master, Ricardo, a
character whose role has not been fully evaluated. His pursuit of Dorotea not only bears
witness to the destabilization of the separatist principle on which race relations were
founded, but also underlines the divergence in outlook between the white-Creole slave
master who was generally not averse to sexual liaison with non-white women, and the
white-Creole slave mistress who interpreted it as a grave threat. In the world created by
Suarez, sex is another area of negotiation in master-slave relations. Here one sees an erosion
of white privilege, as it is the master who must bargain with the slave woman. Ricardo does
not resort to vulgar sexual abuse, as was the custom of many slave masters. He seeks instead
the more psychologically gratifying alternative of engaging the slave in a consensual sexual
alliance. Dorotea feels no desire for her white master, his social and racial privilege
notwithstanding. The depth of the desperation which leads him to prostrate himself before
her is equalled only by the contempt with which she rejects him. Moreover, the author-nar-
rator's use of the term "bastard desires" (86) to describe Ricardo's feelings is an invitation
to rethink the question of illegitimacy as a feature of the social dynamic of colonial Cuba.
Most frequently associated with the mulatto offspring of the white slave owner and black
slave woman, the condition of bastardy is here displaced on to Ricardo, the legitimate
MendizAbal son and heir. The creation of this dissonance between (illegitimate) desire and
(legitimate) legal status is nothing less than a backhanded allusion to the unnaturalness of
the master's power over the slave.
His awareness of this elusive power of the slave woman is the cause of Ricardo's
anguish: "To have been despised by her, to have passed him over for the coachman, who
possessed neither his status, wealth or personal charm, after he had humiliated himself by
doing her the favour of falling in love with her. These thoughts wounded his pride. He felt

even more offended when he imagined that pleas and punishments would not bend her will
whose freedom she maintained even in the midst of her bondage. There was where his
power and his dominance faltered" (87-8). Thus, the inviolability of Dorotea's free will
marks equally the frontiers of the slave's bondage and the limits of the master's dominance.
In the perplexed mind of Ricardo, the significance of the "wretched slave's" resistance lies
in its patent incongruity with her social and racial status, "for the woman who captivated
him was a slave and dark-skinned" (139). Secretly encoded in this response is the ever-pre-
sent Euro-Creole alarm over the threat to their dominance posed by the demographically
superior Africa-descended Cuban slaves, following the example of their Haitian counter-
parts. In commenting on the coexistence of sex and slavery, Lewis asserts that "slave
master met slave woman on unequal terms leading to her sexual exploitation" (8). Doro-
tea's capitulation to Ricardo's aggression, however, is given a more ambivalent meaning.
As a counterpoint to her victim persona, the author underlines the agency in her action. She
chooses to sacrifice her honour and her happiness in the (futile) hope of saving her lover, a
choice reminiscent of a similar self-sacrificial spirit in acts of petit marronage such as
self-administered poison, abortion, self-inflicted illness, and suicide for which female
slaves were famous.
Embedded in this discourse of sex and power is the white master's subliminal
envy of the male slave's virility. It is this that explains Ricardo's insatiable cruelty towards
Francisco. For not only is he preferred by Dorotea, but Francisco's masculine potency is
made manifest through the act of procreation. Ricardo's symbolic emasculation of Fran-
cisco is therefore intended to not only bend Dorotea's will, but also to allay his own sexual
anxiety. Though Francisco is not presented through an overtly sexualized discourse, the
discreet reference to his proud bearing in his initial physical description, "he walked always
with head held high" (53), subsequently acquires sexual resonance. In the fourth chapter,
after his body has been mangled by repeated whippings, this aspect of his demeanour, "his
way of holding his dead high" (112), is the only remnant that enables Dorotea to recognize
him. The image is evoked tacitly again at the end of the story in his suicide, where his
hanging head symbolizes his ultimate castration.
SuArez's claims of humanity for the slaves, does not cause him to minimize their
cultural difference. Offsetting the account of the assimilation of the urban house slaves into
the dominant white Creole culture is the perspective of the unique African cultural reten-
tions in the everyday life of the field slaves. Lewis includes under the antislavery rubric the
ideology immanent in these survivals, which fuelled different types of resistance in the
minds and actions of the slaves. SuArez mediates his Romantic idealization of the two
protagonists, on the one hand, and on the other, the naturalistic rendition of slave life on the
plantation with costumbrista insertions that counterbalance the stereotype of the slave as
subhuman and the misperception of slave culture as barbaric. In the following anthropo-
logical sketch the emphasis is on making the unfamiliar intelligible to the uninitiated
outsider. It warrants lengthy citation because of the resonances in its rich details:
Two young Negroes took the drums and without even
warming them began to call, as they say... At the beat

of the drum, watchmen from here, there and everywhere, the slaves
serving in the house, the little Negro children, everyone gathered in the
slave huts. The Negroes surrounded the drummers; only two of them
danced in the centre, a Negro and a Negress; the others accompanied
them by clapping and repeating the chorus.... The men went around
taking the women out to dance (we would say asking); and the
Negresses did not shy away, they never rebuffed their colleagues; the
woman who stands up to dance to the drums has to dance with anyone
who presents himself, she does not go about choosing like white women
do, she doesn't wait for her partner.... And what figures do the dancers
make? The movements always follow the different drum rhythms,
sometimes forming circles, heads to one side, arms shaking, the woman
behind the man, the man behind the woman, facing each other, but never
together,... or they face each other and begin to spin around, to twirl
quickly and coming back around they open their arms once again, stretch
them out, push their chests forward (99-101).

This keen observation of slave music and dance prefigures the nationalistic inter-
est which these cultural forms were to inspire in later writers, especially those of the 1920s
negrista movement. It bears comparison with a poem written in 1928 by Jose Zacarias
Tallet, which illustrates the typical discursive strategy used by negrista poets to depict
Afro-Cuban cultural expressions:
How black Tomasa dances the rumba!
how Jose lncarnaci6n dances the rumba!
She moves one rump, and then the other.
he stretches, crouches, thrusts out his haunches
he thrusts out his belly, stoops, walks
on one heel, then on the other.
Chaqui, chaqui, chaqui, charaqui!
Chaqui, chaqui, chaqui, charaqui!
The powerful haunches of that girl Tomasa
turn with whirlpool fury
on an invisible axis,
matching in rhythm and with lewd dislocation
the lustful attack of Che lncarnaci6n
Black Tomasa with a lewd gesture,
moves her hip aside, raises her head,
and arms held high, hands joined,
resting on the nape of her ebony neck
obscenely she thrusts out her round breasts (Morales 329-31)
At first glance both scenes might appear to originate from a similar voyeuristic
position. Like Tallet's poem Sudrez's description is remarkable in its dramatic detail.

Unlike his successor, however, Sudrez describes the performance using a neutral and
transparent vocabulary, without the hyperbole and sensationalism of grotesquely exagger-
ated imagery, and without the racism implied in Tallet's investment of animal sensuality in
the black bodies. While Tallet's spectacle is fixated on the two dancers to the exclusion of
all others, Suarez's account captures the active participation of the audience with the
performers. Given the anti-African tenor of the dominant proslavery worldview at this time
in Cuba's history, the absence of any trace of white ethnocentrism in Sudrez's comparison
of the African folk forms to those of Euro-Creole culture is remarkable. His enlightened
vision is a far cry from the jaundiced perspective of the Havana sugar planters who in 1790
reported to the Spanish king that "the favourite entertainment of the Negroes is the dance in
the barbaric style of their native countries" (Garcia 71). One discerns, instead, an approving
tone in the language of Sudrez's account, suggesting openness to the slaves' cultural
difference and a will to understand it in Negro terms.
SuArez displays more than a momentary interest in such activities of the slave
community. In a detailed exposition of the varied uses of song he notes the persistence of
some African forms:
But there are songs that never change, because they
were composed over there in Africa and come with the
African-born Negroes; the Creoles learn and sing
them, in the same way that the former learn and sing
the songs of the latter.... What is remarkable is that
they never forget them; they come when they are very
young, many years go by, they grow old, and then
when they can only serve as watchmen, they sing them
alone in some hut .... They remember their home coun-
try even when they are one step from their graves (65).

This description bears witness to two of the processes that slavery entailed:
resistance and accommodation. Whereas the emphatic tone used to underline the resilience
of this cultural expression translates metaphorically into the slaves' defiance of their
bondage, the parenthetical allusion to cultural interchange between African and Creole
slaves attests to a concurrent adaptation to the alien environment. Such recognition of the
validity and vibrancy of a distinct Negro counter-culture may be interpreted as attribution
of a self-constrncted cultural identity to the slaves. Its durability is a contrast for Francisco's
previously noted ephemeral acculturation. This slave subculture, by his own admission,
provided Suarez with something to relieve the bleakness of the picture of oppression and
suffering that confronted him during his stay at the Surinam estate: "I have developed
such a liking for studying the customs that are born in slavery, so unusual and varied that it
is a pleasure rather than a burden for me to be here to gather information and material to
some day write another novel like "The Sugar Mill or the Delights of the Country" (23). The

author's fascination with Africa-derived song and dance makes unavoidable a comparison
with the cultural void in the Euro-Creole world he has created in the novel.
Africa is also evoked in a more direct way through the slave's autobiographical
memory. In the first chapter Francisco recalls his idyllic African past: "He remembered the
happy childhood days, happy because he was free: the hills, the valleys, the forests the
streams of his homeland, his relatives, his parents" (66). The theme of the African home-
land makes a strategic reappearance at the end of the novel in the slave's final thoughts
before his death: "Without father, without mother, without brothers, without family, with-
out friends, in Cuba, the land of the whites; a slave, a son of Africa and a black man" (176).
Here the novelist uses punctuation to good effect; the staccato rhythm of the short phrases
gives sensory expression to the slave's dispossession. His self-identification in the final
phrase involves both separation from his imposed New World identity (slave) and recon-
nection with his African racial and national roots ("son of Africa and black") (176). Of
greater significance than the obvious idealization of the African home is the author's
imaginative interpretation of the meaning of slavery to the slave. Understood in a longer
view, these details signal an early recognition in colonial literature of the slave's connection
to a vital African past, associated with freedom and personal dignity. This perspective was
to become a major theme of postcolonial discourses on slavery. That Suarez lacked the
knowledge to write about the real Africa does not diminish the importance of his thinking.
In Francisco SuArez has created a multihued picture of Cuban slavery in the first
three decades of the nineteenth century. He turns the spotlight equally on slave and slave
owner. His portrayal of the great divide between them does not obscure the ambiguities and
hidden dimensions of their relationship. The ambivalence in his perspective of the slave
experience has been disturbing for some readers because of its potential for compromising
the required unequivocal denunciation of slavery. The earnestness of the author's antislav-
ery stance might even be called into question for his disruption of the notion of unremitting
enmity between the slaves and their enslavers, and his suggestion that not all slaves were
heroes or forthright in their resistance.
In sketching his characters on both sides of the socio-economic and racial divide,
the author displays his understanding of "the discrepancies between people's thoughts and
their actions," and "the diversity of their wishful impulses," to use Sigmund Freud's
expression (1). Far from compromising the novel's overarching antislavery purpose, high-
lighting the ambivalence of the characters and the paradoxes of their relationships is one
more way of undermining the established order of slave society, premised as it was on the
belief in the separation of an all-powerful and superior master class and a powerless and
inferior slave body.
Suarez makes no pretence of objectivity, for his identification with the slaves is
matched by his dissociation from the slave owners and their economic interests. Like his
contemporaries, he vocalized his antislavery sentiments in a tacit dialogue with proslavery
ideology. If one only speculates about those subversive elements that might have been

excised from the novel one is prone to miss what subversion it offers. Netchinsky's
observation that "there remains little in the speeches and dialogues of Suarez y Romero's
characters that appears subversive in the slightest" (162), though defensible, does not
negate the fact that, taken in its entirety, Francisco is subversive, even if not radically so. To
use the attitude and behaviour of the slave protagonist to prove otherwise is to ignore the
many streams in Suarez's antislavery thought, ranging from the antislavery significance of
the references to African cultural retentions, to the various dimensions of his protagonist's
character, and the diverse oblique challenges to the notion of the superiority of Cuban
planters and their European-derived culture. Francisco's egregious meekness and apparent
mental enslavement may be viewed as counterproductive to the antislavery principle. Yet,
his consciousness of, and discontent with, his status, his enduring desire for freedom,
together constitute the difference between total submission at one extreme of the slave
continuum, and radical rebellion at the other. In lamenting the absence of a distinctive racial
personality in SuArez's slave characters, Gabriel Coulthard concludes that the novelist was
"too intent on presenting a revolting picture of the master-slave relationship to notice such
things" (14). Even more damning is the judgement of Sharon Fivel-Demoret who believes
that Francisco is a novel that "actually confirms white dominance" (3).The preceding pages
have sought to dispel such views by directing attention to the complexity of Suarez's vision
and the additional meanings that emerge from the big picture of the novel when one follows
its different thematic, ideological and strategic traces.


1 Page references in parentheses are to the 1947 edition of the novel. References to the 1974 edition will be
indicated by date and page number. All English translations of the Spanish original are mine.
2 Two important exceptions are Jill Netchinsky's Ph.D. Dissertation, "Engendering a Cuban Literature:
Nineteenth Century Antislavery Narrative [Manzano, SuArez y Romero, G6mez de Avellaneda,
Zambrana]" and Loma V. Williams's The Representation of Slavery in Cuban Fiction. University of
Missouri P, 1994, the second chapter of which explores various technical features of Suarez's novel.
3 I have borrowed the term "selfish altruism" from Bemie Siegel who applies it to the attitudes and actions
of people who are deemed to be good survivors because "they make the world a better place for
themselves by devoting themselves to making it better for others." (43)
4 See Netchinsky for a insightful reading of the role of Taita Pedro.
5 The "paper" referred to here is the manumission document given freely to some slaves by their owners.
6 Funche is a dish prepared from ground corn, water, salt and lard.


Ashcrof, Bill, Gareth Griffiths, and Helen Tiffin. Post-Colonial Studies: The Key Concepts. London: Rout-
ledge, 2000.
Bakhtin, M. M. The Dialogic Imagination. Trans. Caryl Emerson and M. Holquist University of Texas Press,
Castagnaro, R. Anthony. The Early Spanish American Novel. New York: Las Americas Publishing Co., 1971
Coulthard, G.R. Race and Colour in Caribbean Literature. London: Oxford University P., 1962

Freud, Sigmund. Civilization and its Discontents. Trans. James Strachey. New York: W W. Norton & Co.,
Garcia, Gloria. La esclavaiuddesde la esclavitud Havana: Instituto Cubano del Libro, 1996.
Jackson, Richard L. Black Writers in Latin America. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1979.
Johnson, Lemuel A. The Devil, The Gargoyle and The Buffoon: The Negro as Metaphor in Western Literature.
Port Washington, New York: Kennikat Press, 1971.
Leante, Cesar: Dos obras antiesclavistas. Cuadernos Amertcanos 11.4 (July August, 1976): 175 188.
Lewis, Gordon K. Main Currents in Caribbean Thought. The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983.
Luis, William. Literary Bondage: Slavery in Cuban Narrative. Austin:University of Texas Press, 1990.
Morales, Jorge Luis, ed. Poesia afroantillanay negrista (Puerto Rico, Republica Dominicana,Cuba). Rio Pie-
dras, Puerto Rico: Editorial Universitaria, 1976.
Netchinsky, Jill. "Engendering a Cuban Literature: Nineteenth Century Antislavery Narrative [Manzano, Suarez
y Romero, G6mez de Avellaneda, Zambrana]" Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, Yale University, 1985.
(Published under the same title by Yale University Press in 1986)
Ortiz, Fernando. Los negros esclavos (1916). rpt. Havana: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales, 1996.
Patterson, Orlando. The Sociology ofSlavery. London: Granada Publishing Ltd., 1973.
Romeo Fivel-Demoret, Sharon. The Production and Consumption of Propaganda Literature: The Cuban Anti-
Slavery Novel. Bulletin of Hispanic Studies 66.1 (1989): 1-12.
Siegel, Bernie. The Survivor Personality. New York, The Berkley Publishing Group, 1996.
Suarez y Romero, Anselmo. Francisco (1839). Edited with an introduction by Mario Cabrera Saqui. Havana:
Publicaciones del Ministerio de Educaci6n, Direcci6n de Cultura, 1947.
Francisco. 1839; rpt. Havana: Instituto Cubano del Libro, 1974.
Lorna V. Williams's The Representation ofSlavery in Cuban Fiction. University of Missouri P, 1994

The Foundation and Structure of Health and Family Life Education
in The Caribbean An Initiative of The Advanced Training and
Research in Fertility Management Unit


The University of the West Indies was opened to students in October 1948 to serve
the English-speaking countries of the Caribbean. In addition to the on-site functions and
faculties, the University has an established network The School of Continuing Studies
(formerly The Extramural Department) with facilities in the Member States. It is through
these facilities that the Advanced Training and Research in Fertility Management Unit
(ATRFMU) was able to launch and deliver its overseas outreach programme. Distance
teaching (UWIDEC formerly UWIDITE) via satellite communication has, in the course of
twenty years of operation, given greater meaning to the regional character of the institution.
As the region faces the imminent realities of an economically more demanding
Twenty-first Century, the countries of the Caribbean have found it necessary to collaborate
in order to address population problems and the attendant social issues. The Caribbean
Community, CARICOM, originally an association of the English-speaking States, now
encompasses the wider Caribbean including Suriname and Haiti and has given observer
status to the Dominican Republic.
As early as 1955, the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in the Faculty of
Medicine responded to the needs of the population it served and established the Marriage
Guidance Clinic to provide counselling and family planning services. A major turning
point came in 1968 when, as a result of a study on tubal ligation (outpatient procedures), the
Department was recognized for its research and training in the culdoscopic sterilization
technique and later the laparoscopic and mini-laparotomy procedures.
The ATRFMU was established in 1972 with three components Clinical Services,
Research and Training. Funding was received from the Pathfinder Fund and the Ford
Foundation to support a training programme in culdoscopy tubal ligation offered with the
University of Miami. Participants came from Egypt (3), India (11), the Caribbean includ-
ing Haiti (11) and Panama (1). Other courses were developed and sustained by funding
from the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) between 1976 and 1978,
and from 1978 to 1983 by the Government of Jamaica in collaboration with the UNFPA,
the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Deutsche Ge-
sellschaft fir Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) of the BMZ (Federal Republic of Ger-
many) through the initiative of Dr Dieter Ehrhardt, the then UNFPA country
representative and Dr. Pierre Sevryns, the PAHO representative stationed in Guyana. After
1983, the GTZ became the major funding source of the Unit's programme. The Johns

Hopkins Programme for International Education in Gynaecology and Obstetrics
(JHPIEGO) also supported The University of the West Indies Distance Teaching Experi-
ment (UWIDITE) programmes. Other organizations assisted the activities of the Unit in
specific ways between 1984 and 1998. In 1998 the University took over the financing of
the Unit from GTZ on a phased basis.
The expansion of the courses offered by the Unit was the result not merely of the
generous funding by the external bi-lateral agencies, but also of the ATRFMU's philosophy
of responsiveness to the fertility management needs of the Caribbean. In the earlier days, it
was seen as an opportunity to address the anxiety of the University caused by the criticism
that the University's presence was not felt in the non-campus territories and the view that
the University did not reach out to people. It was certainly with some degree of wisdom
that the universal problems of population began to be addressed more than thirty years ago.
Perhaps it is true to say that attention to these problems is now more desirable, in fact
urgent, even after so many years have passed. The ATRFMU has maintained its focus on
three components Clinical Services, Research and Training modifying and expanding its
offerings and activities according to the assessment of need and the development of new
Clinical Services
The Clinical work of the Unit has made available all methods of contraception,
including surgical contraception for women and a number of males who present them-
selves. Diagnostic and Operative Laparoscopy became a part of the Unit's activities.
Colposcopy was offered and was later accommodated in an annex of the Unit. Cancer
screening and Pap Smears were done. Hysteroscopy was introduced in 1990 and Invitro
Fertilization was established in 2000.
The Research section of the ATRFMU must be considered important. Retrospec-
tive analyses and prospective studies afford information for direction and achievement.
The pulse of the society must be monitored through study in order to feel the direction of
the thrust. Contraceptive technology must be monitored within the population as variations
are expected and must be regulated. Demographic studies placed The University of the
West Indies within the international framework. All this has progressed parallel to the work
in the Clinical Services and Training. A range of research studies in support of the Unit's
Clinical Services and Training programmes has been undertaken and publications have
been made under the headings of Clinical Research, Community Research and Operational
In the initial period, Stage I of the Unit's programmes (1979-1981), Family
Planning was the focus of training. This was widened to embrace Fertility Management in
Stage II (1982 1988) and later, following a regular evaluation visit to the Eastern
Caribbean, Family Life Education was adopted in order to include all aspects of healthy
living. The steps in the evolution of the Unit's training programmes are noticeable as they

relate to the nature of the tasks that required attention. The inter-disciplinary approach,
which started in Stage I, stood the test of time as a useful one; but, as the scope of content
widened, multi-disciplinary approaches and inter-sectoral collaboration became essential to
the process of developing practitioners to assist in the promotion of healthy living in the
The On-Campus Programme
During the thirteen years, 1979-1992, the ATRFMU developed twenty-two
courses of study in response to the requests from Caribbean countries and to the Unit's
recognition of needs in the field of Fertility Management. At first, the focus was on Family
Planning and programme content and design were selected with the aim of preparing
Family Planning Practitioners. However, as the wider concept of Fertility Management
gained acceptance, practitioners in other health-related areas were included and the scope of
the Unit's programme expanded.
Initially, a comprehensive Family Planning Training Programme was developed
to include the five disciplines represented in the Health Team surgeons, physicians,
nurses, health educators and administrators. Five courses were delivered simultaneously
with specific segments related to each discipline and with varying lengths of training
experiences. The total group attended the core subjects and, where appropriate, two
disciplines combined for a common subject. For example, educators and nurses were
directed to Teaching Methodology, while administrators and nurses combined for Supply
Management. The inter-disciplinary approach was novel and proved very popular with the
participants and challenging for the planners and instructors. The design also provided
opportunities for participants to work together, to establish linkages with professionals in
their own country and regionally and to understand the roles of members of the Health
Two problems emerged and took on major proportions as the practitioners in
health-related fields were included and the courses became multi-disciplinary as well as
inter-disciplinary in nature. Firstly, the number of persons who could be trained in a year
in each discipline was severely limited because of having representatives of several disci-
plines in each class. Secondly, in order to cover sixteen countries in the region only two
participants from each country could be accommodated. It also became clear that graduates
would need support from senior personnel or they would become frustrated and discour-
aged when they could not implement action plans they had prepared during the course at
The experience during the period 1979-1981 led to new initiatives which took into
account the problems that were identified and allowed the creation of courses aimed at
meeting the needs of specific groups, while addressing the concern to achieve impact in the
field. The following five activities indicate some of the Unit's efforts:
Workshop for Senior Managers
Trainer of Trainers Course
Adolescent Fertility Course

Adolescent Paternity Cours
Counselling for Family Life Educators
Workshop for Senior Managers
Senior managers, who have responsibility for the areas course participants work
in, are highly significant to successful implementation of new ideas, methods and tech-
niques; but, they find it difficult to leave their posts for a long period. It was, therefore,
decided to invite managers from key agencies to a two-week workshop in order to update
them in the areas of management, programme planning and resource determination.
The programmes of the Unit were reviewed and input for training was solicited.
Emphasis was also placed on the selection of staff for training and the necessity to support
changes that the graduates were prepared to undertake. This workshop did have the desired
effect of improving the selection of trainees and increasing field support; but, it should be
noted that keeping in touch with officials who make decisions is an on-going activity
because of attrition, changes in positions and shifts in priorities.
Trainer of Trainers Course
It was recognized that, however effective the training courses at Mona were, there
was also the need to encourage local training in order to meet the manpower needs of each
participating country. The Trainer of Trainers Course came into being in 1982. The
content of the Course reflected the roles to be played by graduates and covered eight
Principles and Techniques of Management
Family Planning and Family Life Concepts
Human Sexuality and Contraception
Principles of Communication
Teaching Methodology
Educational Media
Curriculum Planning and Development
This Course was considered helpful and over the years it was fully subscribed.
After 1988 the Trainer of Trainers Course became directly linked with the Outreach
Programme, serving as Phase 1 in the development of that thrust.
Adolescent Courses
Participants in the Trainer of Trainers Course were assigned the task of preparing
a Training Plan they considered necessary and workable in their home situation. During the
assessment of the graduates in the field, staff of the Unit identified that most of the projects
that were implemented related to adolescents. It was concluded that more specific attention
to the needs of adolescents was necessary. Two similar courses evolved and were offered
in 1985 for the first time: The Adolescent Fertility Course and The Adolescent Paternity

The Adolescent Fertility Course was developed for leaders of adolescent groups
served by Government and Non-Government organizations. The main elements in this
120-hour course were:
Human Sexuality
Growth and Developmen
Cultural Influences
Impact of Early Child-Bearing
Medical, Psychological, Social, Demographic Factors
Communication Techniques
Contraception for Adolescents
Related Legal Issues
Project Management
The Adolescent Paternity Course included practically the same content; but, more
emphasis was placed on issues that affect males specially. The following topics were
Socialisation of the Male
Influences of Contemporary Caribbean Culture
Music and Youth Sub-cultur
Politics and Youth
Marginalization and Deviance
Sports and Formation of Value
Male Resistance to Contraceptive Methods
Techniques to Combat Resistance
These two Courses were welcomed around the region and several countries
requested permission to use the curriculum for local training programmes. In particular, the
creative, innovative techniques for communicating with adolescents were well received.
Counselling for Family Life Educators
As the importance of placing clinical health services in the larger setting of health
promotion increased over the years, requests for preparing nurses for their counselling role
also increased. A Counselling Course for Clinic Nurses was developed in 1987 and this led
to the 120-hour Course in Counselling for Family Life Educators which was first offered in
This Course was opened to service providers in any Government or Non-Govern-
ment Agency whose staff members were required to offer a counselling service. The main
elements of the Course were:
Values, Relationships
Principles and Techniques of Counselling
Human Sexuality

Family planning Methods
Crisis Intervention
STDs and AID
Substance Abuse
Child, Sexual and Other Abuses
The demand for this Course continued because the schools in the Caribbean region
were in the process of instituting Guidance and Counselling at primary and secondary levels
and, in addition, more attention began to be paid to home-school-community linkages in
order to foster more healthy life-styles.
Difficulties Encountered
Over the span of twenty years it was inevitable that difficulties would arise and
that new needs would emerge. The ATRFMU sought to address these developments
through consultation with counterparts in the region and through the preparation of new
courses and new training strategies. As may be expected, the solution for some of these
problems could be found by the ATRFMU; but, some were beyond the Unit's scope of
Some of the problems addressed by the Unit included:

* Lack of support from senior personnel

* Resistance to change by some health workers

* Lack of Family Life Education material

* Insufficient monitoring of programmes

* Limited impact because of dispersal of graduates throughout the region

* Attrition

Lack of inter-sectoral and intra-sectoral coordination and cooperation

Among those problems that could not be addressed by the Unit were:

* Unreliable supply of some contraceptives in some countries

* Religious opposition

* Dependence on volunteers in some projects

* Insufficiency of funds

* Severe shortage of staff
In spite of constraints, which are part of any process of development, the Unit's
contribution to Family Planning and Family Life Education is recognized in the region.

The on-campus training programmes provided opportunities for over a thousand
professionals in Health, Education and Community Services to acquire skills and deepen
their understanding of and commitment to Family Planning and Family Life Education.
The residential courses were enhanced by the use of The University of the West Indies
telecommunications facility which reached more than a thousand doctors and nurses in the
In addition to the statistical evidence of success, the field evaluation showed that
supervisors were satisfied with the greater efficiency of the graduates. These results were
gratifying; but, there appeared to be little reason for complacency. Family Planning had
become acceptable and reduced fertility rates reflected higher acceptor rates; but, the
magnitude of social problems related to irresponsible and destructive individual behaviour
was escalating. More persons needed to be prepared to deal with the new problems; but, the
cost of training larger numbers at Mona would be prohibitive and the shortage of staff made
it impossible to rely exclusively on the use of a centralized system of training. A new and
challenging development was in the making and Family Life Education moved into a
central position in the Unit's training programmes.
The Outreach Programme
The ATRFMU's Outreach Programme was designed as a result of the assessment
of the nature of the work required in the next stage of the development of its activities which
aimed at increasing the impact of training on the quality of life in the Member States of The
University of the West Indies. Discussions with officials in the countries which had been
participating in the Unit's on-campus courses for many years confirmed the need to focus
on Family Life Education (FLE) because of the increased awareness of the importance of
this area to development in the region. The necessity to prepare urgently a large enough
cadre in each country who could implement the Family Life Education programmes being
developed, especially in the Education sector, influenced the design of the Outreach
Programme and determined to a large extent the plan for its implementation which began in
Family Life Education
Objectives of the Programme
Three major objectives were identified in the course of discussions with officials
in Government and Non-Government organizations:
* To prepare a cadre of persons to act as Resource Persons in the Education,
Health and Community Services sectors
* To demonstrate the importance of inter-sectoral coordination through community
intervention activities
* To prepare or make accessible Family Life Education material rooted in the
Caribbean experience

Features of the Programme
Three main features of the design of the Outreach Programme were:
1.Inter-sectoral composition of the participants
2.Mobilization of in-country resources for the delivery of the programme
3.Use of TheUWI network of facilities in participating countries
Design of the Programme
The design called for a Trainer of Trainers Course on the Mona Campus of The
University of the West Indies to be attended by teams from the participating countries.
These teams were expected to form the nucleus of the Instructional Team in their own
country and to support and promote the Outreach Programme generally. This Course was
Phase 1 in the development of the Outreach Programme and made possible the link between
the on-campus and in-country aspects of the work of the ATRFMU.
Phase II in the design was the preparation for the in-country delivery of a 120-hour
Course in Family Life Education for participants in Education, Health and Community
Services. As envisaged in the design these Resource Persons would become available
during Phase III to assist the Programme Implementers through in-service courses and
seminars or workshops appropriate for their sector. Ultimately, in Phase IV children in
schools, clients in health programmes and participants in community-based activities would
become the Beneficiaries of the increased competence of Teachers, Health Workers and
Community Development Officers.
Central to the design of the Outreach Programme was the preparation of a critical
mass of professionals in three key sectors Health, Education and Community Services -
whose expertise could be utilized in the promotion of Family Life Education in schools,
homes and communities. Thus, the initial thrust of in-country activities became the organi-
zation and conduct of the Certificate Course in Family Life Education.
In-country Certificate Course
On the advice of the Country Teams, the curriculum was organized around six
main areas:
1.Philosophy and Goals of Family Life Education and Family Planning
2.Caribbean Social, Legal and Cultural Affairs
3.Human Growth and Development
4.Family Life Issues
5.Contraceptive Technology
6.Educational Techniques
The participants were expected to play a significant role in the promotion of
Family Life Education in their sector and were to be assessed on their competence in the
following four areas:
1.Understanding of Social Conditions

2.Accuracy of Information about Family Life Education
3.Ability to Communicate Information
4.Preparation for Promoting Family Life Education
Based on their performance, participants would be awarded an Honours Certifi-
cate, a Merit Certificate or a Pass Certificate endorsed by the ATRFMU.
Implementation of the Programme
The collaboration between the ATRFMU and the School of Continuing Studies
(SCS) facilitated the delivery of the Programme through the network of University Centres
in the Eastern Caribbean. The Coordinator of the Programme, who was based at the
University Centre in each Country, organized and managed the local activities. The role of
the Outreach Coordinator was to supervise the development of the regional Programme,
providing advice and administrative support from the Mona Campus.
Within each country a Committee was formed with representation from participat-
ing Government and Non-Government Agencies and individuals with special interest or
expertise. The primary purpose of this Committee was to assist the local Coordinator in
obtaining decisions from senior officials, in reviewing the content and schedule of the
activities and in advising about sensitivities of a political, religious or professional nature.
It was also expected that this group would continue to act as a mechanism for the promotion
of Family Life Education when the support of the ATRFMU was no longer available.
In addition to making provision for the administration of the Programme and
creating a local support system, it was necessary to identify and organize a team of
instructors from among local professionals. A small group of representatives from the
sectors involved also served on the Assessment Committee in order to make recommenda-
tions on the performance of candidates in the Certificate Course.
Difficulties Encountered
The Outreach Programme, which began in 1988 with the Trainer of Trainers
Course, was conducted in the Eastern Caribbean in seven countries which are all politically
independent and have their own administrative structures through which the University
works. Conditions vary in terms of size, terrain, infra-structure, level of development,
cultural and religious beliefs and practices. Five difficulties were encountered, to varying
degrees, in these countries as the Programme developed:
1.Perception of Family Life Education as synonymous with Family Planning
2.Objections on religious grounds
3.Unavailability of participants because of staff shortages
4.Differences in educational qualification of participants
5.Administrative obstacles

From the outset it was understood that flexibility would have to be a basic
principle in the conduct of the Outreach Programme and every effort was made to take into

account the particular circumstances of each country. This approach went a far way in
overcoming the problems encountered. The involvement of a cross-section of local persons
from the beginning secured acceptance of the Programme, even when objections were
raised because of inclusion or exclusion of specific ideas. The most important factor in
reducing negative responses seemed to be the timeliness of the offer of assistance. The
decision to establish Family Life Education had already been taken by some persons, even
if not by all, so the offer of assistance from the ATRFMU was welcomed. The level of local
support made it possible to persist and achieve creditable results.
In order to keep within the time-frame of project funding and provide maximum
support for Member States of The University of the West Indies, it was decided to organize
the delivery of the Outreach Programme using two of groups of islands Cluster I and
Cluster II and offer continuous day-to-day support for each Cluster over a two-year period.
In 1989-1990 four islands were included Antigua, Grenada, St. Kitts and St. Vincent. In
1991-1992 three islands were added Barbados, Dominica and St. Lucia. St. Vincent
requested that students at the Teachers' College should be included and two groups of
students participated in 1991/92 and 1992/93. St. Vincent also wished to strengthen the
contribution of the group of men who were working in Non-Government Organizations and
a Course was organized "For Males only" in 1994/5. A similar arrangement was made to
have a Course "For Males only" in St. Lucia in 1993/94.
Table 1 provides details of the number of practitioners in each of the 7 countries
who participated in the FLE Certificate Course and the number of those who were awarded
a Certificate. These numbers indicate that 332 members of the Education, Health and
Community Services Sectors became more knowledgeable about Family Life Education.
The time and effort required to mount successfully the Family Life Education
Course made it difficult to pay sufficient attention to the Community Intervention activities,
as envisaged. Nonetheless, some attempts were possible and indicated the importance and
usefulness of harnessing trained personnel to promote Family Life Education at the com-
munity level. Family Life Education inputs were made in on-going groups formed for such
diverse purposes as studying home-making, playing football and learning the skills of
"playing pan" Other efforts which brought together Health, Education and Community
Services professionals were working with a group of teenage mothers and formation of a
group of parents of children at nursery, primary and secondary school to learn about Family
Life Education.

Table 1: Family Life Education In-Country Certificate Course 1989-1995

Cluster I
Antigua 1989/90 24 8 2 34 29
Grenada 1989/90 24 5 8 37 29
St. Kitts 1989/90 16 12 4 32 27
St Vincent 1989/90 11 19 3 33 29
Teachers' College 1991/92 40 40 38
Teachers' College 1992/93 20 20 15
Males only 1994/95 1 2 11 14
Cluster II
Barbados 1991/92 24 21 3 48 46
Dominica 1991/92 27 11 12 50 43
St Lucia 1991/92 46 12 6 64 57
Males only 1993/94 22 1 5 28 19

TOTALS 255 91 54 400 332

Key: Edn = Education, H = Health, CS = Community Services

The preparation of suitable materials for the use of Family Life Educators re-
mained incomplete. But, the selection of materials from the USA and the UK which were
used in the Courses provided a guide for determining the type of material that should be
prepared. Lesson plans produced by participants in the Course were documented and
formed part of the Resource Book for Family Life Educators which was produced and
circulated to participating countries.
Over the seven-year span 1989 1995 some direct and some indirect results were
achieved and some learning emerged. Five direct results were noted:

* 1. Development of a curriculum for training Resource Persons

* 2. Mobilization of local instructional teams

* 3. Preparation of a cadre of Family Life Education Resource Persons

* 4. Demonstration of effective collaboration at community level

* 5. Identification of useful instructional materials

Four indirect results were identified:

Heightened awareness of Family Life Education
Identification of individuals committed to the promotion of Family Life Education
Increased support for Family Life Education programmes in Government and Non-Govern-
ment Organizations
Recognition of the next stages in the development of Family Life Education
As the work proceeded adjustments needed to be made and the following learning
emerged from the experiences:
* Importance of flexibility in programme design

* Need for careful attention to securing sanction from influential persons/groups

* Need for keeping in constant contact with officials

* Necessity to work within the framework of local customs and circumstances

* Importance of planning for continuity
On-going assessment of the Outreach Programme influenced decisions about the
future which were necessarily taken in the context of the Unit's understandings, expertise
and resources. The identification of appropriate strategies, however, were also to be based
on the joint appraisal conducted with participating countries.
Next Steps
The decisions taken by the ATRFMU to decentralize its training activities in order
to achieve greater impact appears to have been justified on the evidence of number of
trainees, increased awareness of Family Life Education and continuing requests for more
support in order to maintain the momentum achieved. However, it was necessary to
consider whether more training of the same kind was needed and whether the available
resources were being adequately utilized. Especially when financial as well as human
resources are limited, the purpose of training needs to be expanded to include the develop-
ment of the system as well as the development of the individuals in order to achieve
optimum results.
Based on the ATRFMU's field experiences four important next steps appeared
necessary, if Family Life Education was to be firmly established in Caribbean countries.
The steps were as follows:
1.The formulation of clear policies to direct programme efforts
2.The creation of appropriate linkages between programmes in training institu-
tions and field programmes
3.The preparation of an effective plan for utilizing trained resources
4.The allocation of adequate financial and supervisory support

The University of the West Indies had a stake in the success of the next phase in
the promotion of Family Life Education in the region in view of its commitment to Human
Resource Development and its record of innovative and continuous service to its Member
States. Future directions of the ATRFMU's programme would, therefore, need to include
greater attention to Organizational Development interventions as well as efforts to extend
its activities to new countries and to cocomplete its unfinished business.
Health and Family Life Education
As a natural part of its work in the Eastern Caribbean during the period 1988-1995,
the ATRFMU associated with the School of Education on the Cave Hill Campus as well as
with colleagues in the Non-Campus Countries. In addition, a close relationship was
developed with staff of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in Barbados who
were engaged in a Carnegie Project to promote School Health and Family Life Education.
The ATRFMU was invited to participate in the Eastern Caribbean Inter-Country
Meeting on School Health and Family Life Education organized by PAHO and the
Carnegie Foundation in St. Kitts/Nevis, June 3-5, 1991. Discussions at the meeting resulted
in the adoption of the term "Health and Family Life Education" which would include
content suitable for adults as well as children to be delivered at school, at home and in the
community. This meeting helped to create the shift in the purpose and the expansion of the
scope of Programmes and Activities to be included in future plans for the development of
children, youth and adults in the Caribbean Region.
The ATRFMU continued its collaboration with PAHO, participating in a series of
meetings as a member of an Inter-Agency Working Group which developed a "Core
Curriculum Guide for Strengthening Health and Family Life Education in Teacher Training
Colleges in the Eastern Caribbean" (1993). This Guide was to become a central part of the
thrust to introduce Health and Family Life Education (HFLE) in all the CARICOM States.
During the period 1990-1995, the need for Life Skills, as identified by WHO, to
become a part of educational strategies that deal with the development of Healthy Life-
Styles was becoming clear. The 1993 report of a "Survey of 'Life Skills' Programmes in
the Eastern Caribbean", sponsored by the United Nations Children's Fund Caribbean Area
Office (UNICEF CAO), brought to attention the lack of strategic planning to support the
development of competent individuals and a better society in Caribbean countries. In
response to the findings of this survey, UNICEF CAO initiated a thrust to create a more
coordinated effort to improve Health and Family Life Education.
The ATRFMU was invited to assist in organizing a four-day Regional Workshop
entitled "Health and Family Life Education in the Caribbean, the Next Steps", July 12-15,
1994. The Workshop, which was sponsored by UNICEF, UNFPA and PAHO in collabo-
ration with CARICOM, was held on the UWI Mona Campus. It was attended by 36
representatives of National, Regional and International Agencies engaged in the promotion
of HFLE in schools.

In assessing the progress of HFLE, participants identified the positive and nega-
tive factors influencing the present position and recognized the gaps between the reality of
HFLE in the Caribbean in 1994 and what they envisioned for the year 2000 and beyond.
This analysis led to the formulation of a set of recommendations for follow-up which
included the circulation of a report of the Workshop at the meeting of the Standing
Committee of CARICOM Ministers of Education in Belize, October 1994. The Ministers
of Education received the Workshop Report and expressed their support for the acceleration
of the implementation of the recommended plans.
Development of the CARICOM Multi-Agency HFLE Project
The UNICEF Caribbean Area Office continued its effort to support a Multi-
Agency initiative to promote HFLE through meetings with UN Agencies and with CARl-
COM. During 1995 a staff member was assigned to prepare a strategy document for
discussion in order to clarify where responsibility for overall coordination would be placed,
how the proposed working groups would be structured and what actions would be required
to begin implementation. In April 1996 a CARICOM/UNICEF Consultation on Health and
Family Life Education was arranged with Chief Education Officers, Chief Medical Officers
and HFLE Specialists in order to devise specific recommendations concerning HFLE for
submission to the CARICOM Ministers of Education Meeting to be held in Barbados, April
25-26, 1996. These activities resulted in the preparation of"A Strategy for Strengthening
Health and Family Life Education in CARICOM Member States" which was endorsed by
the Ministers of Education and the Ministers of Health and became the mandate for
implementation of HFLE through the CARICOM Multi-Agency HFLE Project.
Project Implementation
UNICEF CAO became the Agency responsible for the implementation of the
CARICOM Multi-Agency HFLE Project in collaboration with the CARICOM Secretariat,
participating UN Agencies, participating Governments and the UWI. A Working Group
was formed. Meetings were held with Ministry Officials and UWI representatives. Four
Components were identified for programme implementation Advocacy, Training, Cur-
riculum Development and Materials Development. The ATRFMU was invited to contrib-
ute to the preparation and development of the Training Component.
The listing of the four components of the CARICOM Multi-Agency HFLE Project
provided guidelines for accelerating the inclusion of HFLE in formal and non-formal
sectors. The experience of the ATRFMU during the in-country delivery of the FLE
Certificate Course indicated that, while programmes in the Education Sector were central to
the achievement of the goals of the CARICOM Project, these efforts would be assisted by
the inclusion of appropriate activities by practitioners in the Health and Community
Services Sectors. It was decided that the Training Component of the Project should be
designed to facilitate the preparation of inter-sectoral groups of practitioners who would be
able to select and use content and methods suitable for different groups of learners -
children, youth and adults.

Three types of programmes were developed for use in regional, sub-regional and
in-country settings:
Trainer of Trainers Cours
Facilitators Programme
Teacher Education Strategy
Trainer of Trainers Course
The CARICOM Multi-Agency HFLE Project included six States which had not
participated in the FLE Courses offered in the Eastern Caribbean. The ATRFMU devel-
oped a proposal to conduct a Trainer of Trainers Course at its facility in Jamaica for teams
who would form the core of an instructional group to provide in-country training in Health
and Family Life Education and create a larger pool of Resource Persons required for a
national effort in The Bahamas, Belize, Jamaica, Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad &
Tobago. The UNICEF CAO supported this proposal and undertook to secure funds for its
implementation, as a part of its contribution to the CARICOM HFLE Project.
Given the go ahead in July, 1996, the ATRFMU invited the participation of the six
countries whose involvement would also initiate the process of implementing the Regional
HFLE Project. Eighteen representatives of the Education and Health Sectors attended the
Trainer of Trainers (TOT) Course which was held on the UWI Mona Campus, August 5-30,
1996. Presenters and Panelists, who were involved in the activities of the TOT Course,
included Specialists representing UWI Departments and Government Ministries and Agen-
cies. Private Consultants also shared their experiences as the participants prepared them-
selves for the job of promoting HFLE in their country.
Experience had shown that in many countries HFLE had not yet received the level
of support required for its establishment in national programmes. One reason was that
insufficient attention was paid to the complexity of the change required. It was considered
that developing a tool for Managing the Change Process would be useful to the participants
as they prepared to strengthen HFLE in their countries. Accordingly, the Force-Field
Analysis concept was introduced and used as the basis for planning the development of
in-country HFLE programmes.
While the specific conditions in each country differed, there was general agree-
ment that there were five main obstacles to creating change in the status of Health and
Family Life Education:
Continuing resistance to HFLE because of ignorance

Insufficient collaboration between agencies
* Lack of structured programmes
* Inadequate preparation of personnel required to deliver programmes

* Inadequate funding

There was consensus that increasing the number of persons available to strengthen
HFLE was a priority as the training activities would also help to decrease the level of
ignorance about the importance of HFLE to personal and social development. In turn,
increased understanding and stronger advocacy could impact favourably on decisions made
by policy-makers and officials. It was agreed that each Country Team would prepare a
specific Action Plan to train additional Promoters of Health and Family Life Education.
Over the years several countries in the Caribbean prepared personnel to teach
topics related to Health and to Family Life Education. In 1989 the ATRFMU developed a
curriculum for preparing Family Life Educators with the help of Eastern Caribbean partici-
pants in a Trainer of Trainers Course. This Curriculum covered the basic content to be
taught in the FLE Certificate Course offered during the period 1989-1995; but, some
improvements were made by participants in the 1990 Trainer of Trainers Course. By 1996,
the value of integrating content of Health Programmes and FLE Programmes was recog-
nized and participants in the 1996 Trainer of Trainers Course proposed a combination of
topics for the preparation of inter-sectoral groups of Promoters of HFLE who would
become active in the CARICOM Multi-Agency HFLE Project.
The topics identified as essential for the preparation of Promoters of HFLE were
consistent with the five Themes that came to be selected for the development of a set of
HFLE Curricula common to the Caribbean Region:
Appropriate Eating and Fitness
Human Sexuality
Personal and Social Skills
Managing the Environment
Promoting Health, Wellness and Human Living

The Facilitators Programme
At its meeting in March 1997, the Regional Working Group on HFLE recom-
mended that the ATRFMU should develop "a programme to prepare a cadre of Facilitators
to support the introduction of new approaches and new methodologies in teaching the
revised HFLE Curriculum" as part of the Teacher Education Strategy of the CARICOM
Multi-Agency HFLE Project. The Project was aiming to assist in the development of
children, youth and adults who have understandings, insights and practices that allow them
to live positive, constructive, productive lives. The teaching/learning experiences needed
to achieve this overall aim would have to be based on experiential methodologies that
encourage internalization of the meaning of external realities and the acquisition of skills
that promote healthy living.
This re-definition of the contribution of education to the development of individu-
als and groups was gaining ground and led to the recognition that experiences in three
places, school-home-community, must be taken into account if the goal of positive, con-
structive behaviour was to be achieved. The Facilitators Programme was designed to
include as "Educators" Health Practitioners and Community Service Workers as well as

Teachers in Schools. The aim of the Facilitators Programme was to strengthen the capacity
of a critical mass of these three groups to understand and apply a thematic frame-work for
organizing HFLE learning experiences and to use participatory, interactive methodologies
to support a skills-based curriculum which was in the making.
The programme to prepare Facilitators of Health and Family Life Education, who
would assist in the introduction of new approaches to teaching and learning, was designed
in four phases in order to achieve the multiplier effect of training.
Phase 1 Preparation of a Regional Team of Instructors
Phase 2 Preparation of Country Facilitators through sub-regional courses
Phase 3 Conduct of in-country courses for National Teams of Facilitators
Phase 4 Conduct of courses by National Teams for Implementers of the HFLE
Training activities to be planned for the four Phases would include regional,
sub-regional and in-country meetings of participants from some or all of the CARICOM
States. It was expected that the group of Implementers in each country would become
available to deliver the HFLE Curriculum in formal and non-formal settings, leading to the
implemer;.ation of Phase 5 when students, clients, community groups would be Beneficiar-
ies of the regional initiative. See Figure 1.
The ATRFMU developed a proposal for a 3-year Project in collaboration with
colleagues in UNICEF, PAHO, UNDCP and UWI which resulted in funding by UNDCP of
the Project, "Research and Training to Promote Health and Family Life Education" (Janu-
ary 19, 1998). Initially 9 CARICOM Countries were included Barbados, Trinidad &
Tobago, Suriname and the six countries in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States
(OECS.) Later, the UNICEF Offices in Belize and Guyana were able to support partici-
pants from these countries.
The original design that included regional, sub-regional and in-country activities
was used in the Implementation of the Facilitators Programme. But, changes had to be
made in order to meet the challenges presented by a variety of causes, including difficulties
in re-arranging work schedules to allow participation in training and expectations of
participants about UN-funded programmes.

Figure 1: CARICOM Multi-Agency HFLE Project

Preparing Facilitators of Change: Multiplier Effect of Training





















During the 3-year period 1998-2001, 72 members of 11 CARICOM States (Table
2) participated in Workshops held in Jamaica, St. Kitts, Barbados, Guyana and Grenada.
They examined new teaching methodologies, learned content of HFLE, prepared plans for
in-country training and developed lesson plans for use in teaching children, youth and
adults. In June 2001, materials used and produced during the Facilitators Programme were
collated in two volumes: "Materials for HFLE Facilitators in Formal and Non-Formal
Settings in the Caribbean" and "Examples of Life Skills-Based HFLE Activities for Use in
the Caribbean." A copy of these Volumes was sent to the Ministry of Education in each of
the participating Countries. Another set of these materials was sent by the Director of the
School of Continuing Studies to each of the University Centres in order to provide continu-
ing support for the CARICOM Multi-Agency HFLE Project.

Table 2: CARICOM Multi-Agency HFLE Project Facilitators Programme Partici-
pants in Regional and Sub-Regional Meetings 1998 2001
Education Health Community Services Total
Antigua& Barbuda 4 2 7
Barbados 2 1 4
Belize 2 4
Dominica 2 2 2 6
Grenada 3 3 2 8
Guyana 8 5 2 15
St. Kitts 3 I 2 6
St. Lucia 2 2 2 6
St. Vincent 2 1 4
Suriname 5 3 10
Trinidad and Tobago 2 2

Sub-Total 35 21 16 72
Management Team 4 3 1 8
Total 39 24 17 80

Teacher Education Strategy
During the decade of the 1990s PAHO played an important role in supporting
efforts to strengthen Family Life Education and Health Education through links with
Teachers' Colleges in the OECS. Of special significance was the preparation of the "Core
Curriculum Guide for Strengthening Health and Family Life Education in Teacher Training
Colleges in the Eastern Caribbean" by a Working Group which included UWI staff,
Teachers' College staff and Health Personnel. In October 1993 PAHO organized a Confer-
ence in St. Kitts "Strengthening HFLE in the Caribbean" at which the Curriculum Guide

was examined by participants representing Ministries of Education and Teachers' Colleges.
It was recognized that while the Ministries of Education did not yet have a consensus on the
need to include HFLE in the curriculum for schools, the Teachers' Colleges should consider
modifying their offerings and include materials related to the Themes developed in the
Guide, while the content for use in schools was being determined. Some of the Colleges
represented at the Conference started to use the Guide, although the content could not yet
be considered mandatory.
A variety of meetings with groups representing UWI, PAHO, Teachers' Colleges
and Ministries of Education in the OECS continued during the next period, as efforts were
made to deal with the challenges that had to be met before HFLE could become an integral
part of the Education Sector. The acceptance, by the CARICOM Ministers of Education
and Health, of the importance of strengthening HFLE in the formal and non-formal sectors
accelerated the efforts to revise the offerings of Teachers' Colleges in the Region and the
Colleges became more involved in the Teacher Education Strategy after 1996.
In order to provide an opportunity for Jamaica to become involved in the Training
Component of the CARICOM Project the UNICEF Office in Jamaica was requested to
support the Teacher Education Strategy. During the period 1998-2000 the ATRFMU
received funds from UNICEF Jamaica to conduct a series of four Workshops for Tutors
from the twelve Teacher Education Institutions in Jamaica. The Workshops which were
conducted by the Institute of Education at Mona and the ATRFMU resulted in the prepara-
tion of a draft curriculum for a Personal Development Course and for a Professional
Development Course, based on the Themes recommended by PAHO and adopted for use in
the CARICOM Project. These drafts and a set of recommendations for implementation
were submitted to the Joint Board of Teacher Education (JTBE). The Board accepted them
in principle at its meeting on April 28, 2000 and referred the matter to the Curriculum
The Ministry of Education in Jamaica had placed the responsibility for FLE/HFLE
in the scope of work of Guidance Counsellors and content and methodologies related to
these areas were included in the programme of those Colleges that prepared Guidance
Counsellors. The programmes for other students were not immediately revised to include
the content of the Personal Development Course and the Professional Development Course.
However, the emergence of HIV/AIDS in Jamaica brought to attention the necessity to
focus directly on the development of the behaviour of children and youth from the begin-
ning of their school experience and to include content related to the prevention of
HIV/AIDS in the HFLE programme offered in schools.
The Ministry of Education's policies on HFLE (1994 with partial revision in 1999)
and HIV/AIDS (2001) reflected the necessity for the involvement of all teachers in the
preparation of all students to live healthy lives. These changes led to renewed efforts to
modify the Teachers' College Curriculum. But, it was not until May 17, 2004 that the
Institute of Education held a Conference with Principals and Staff of Teachers' Colleges,
"HIV/AIDS and Teacher Education", at which it was agreed that HFLE HIV/AIDS
content should be taught to all Teacher Trainees beginning in the academic year 2005-2006.

Planning a New Initiative
On completion of its undertaking to prepare Facilitators in the Eastern Caribbean
to introduce the HFLE Programme which was to be developed as one component of the
CARICOM Multi-Agency HFLE Project, the ATRFMU turned its attention to Jamaica in
2002 and began to explore ways in which the combined efforts of Sectors that are most
closely related to the social development of children and youth could be strengthened. The
Unit's experience with the Education, Health and Community Services Sectors suggested
that if the school's programme could be supported more directly by parents and community
members, the goal of acquiring Life Skills, which are of central importance in the HFLE
programme, would become more achievable. In addition, in order to achieve a shift from
the traditional emphasis on the acquisition of information to the use of information for the
development of positive, constructive behaviour, it would be necessary to create links
between Pre-Service and In-Service Education of Teachers. These considerations led to the
design of a Project which would include a Teachers' College, schools in which Teacher
Trainees do Teaching-Practice and the communities to which the schools belong.
In 2003 the ATRFMU and the School of Continuing Studies (SCS) decided to
continue their long-standing collaboration in the Eastern Caribbean by developing a Project
that could provide an opportunity to examine ways of linking programmes in the Education,
Health and Community Services Sectors. Western Jamaica was selected because the
University Centre in Montego Bay could act as a hub for the UWI intervention. Sam
Sharpe Teachers' College was known to be supportive of Health and Family Life Education
and students of the College relate to schools in St. James, particularly those in Granville and
Catherine Hall, in a variety of ways that include opportunities for their Teaching-Practice
Discussions were held with the Principal and staff of the Teachers' College and the
schools and with staff of the Health Centres in Granville and Catherine Hall as well as
members of the Granville Community. It was agreed that a Project should be developed
with three main goals:
1.To strengthen the HFLE programme offered to students at Sam Sharpe Teach-
ers' College and schools in Granville and Catherine Hall
2.To include HFLE topics in PTA meetings and encourage increased participation
of parents in school activities
3.To assist community groups to include HFLE activities in their programmes
During the period 2003-2004 a series of meetings was organized in order to
discuss in greater detail early suggestions for inclusion in the Project Proposal. The
document entitled "Promoting Healthy Life-Styles in Western Jamaica: HFLE HIV/AIDS
Project" was prepared and circulated to the Principals of the participating institutions in
August 2004. The implementation of the 3-year Project began in September 2004 when a
Project Coordinator was appointed.

Sam Sharpe Teachers' College provided an office for the Coordinator on its
campus and access to its facilities. The Principals of the Teachers' College and the schools
in Granville and Catherine Hall continued their support and the staff of these institutions
began to work directly with the Project Coordinator in planning the activities included in
the Project document. Representatives of the Ministries of Education and Health were kept
informed and participated in the preparation of plans for the Management of the Project.
Meetings with parents and community members were arranged in order to share concerns
and develop support for projected activities.
A two-day Workshop for Tutors at Sam Sharpe Teachers' College was organized
for November 12-13, 2004 in order to begin the process of extending the College's
programme to all students in January 2005. In February 2005 the ATRFMU began the
conduct of a Research Study which would provide information for planning and for
assessment of the achievement of Project goals. Teachers, students and members of the
Granville and Catherine Hall communities participated in this first stage of the study and
they provided information about concerns and problems that need to be addressed during
the meetings and workshops planned for the Project.
The HFLE-HIV/AIDS Project was launched officially on May 12, 2005 at the
UWI University Centre. Staff of the ATRFMU and SCS were involved in the planning and
management of the meeting. The participating institutions were represented by staff and
students. Students provided entertainment as part of the programme. Members of the
Montego Bay community joined the meeting expressing their support for the initiative and
two groups presented gifts to the ATRFMU, as an indication of their interest and willing-
ness to be associated with the initiative.
A Project Management Committee has been formed. Meetings and workshops
have been conducted with teachers, parents and community members. Tutors at Sam
Sharpe Teachers' College began to use the revised HFLE curriculum for all students and in
January 2005 third-year Teacher Trainees, doing their Teaching-Practice in Granville and
Catherine Hall, began to use some of the new content and methods with the support of their
On the evidence of the interest and acceptance of groups who were invited to
become involved in the Project, the ATRFMU and SCS have been encouraged to continue
their efforts to demonstrate the advantages of combining the resources of the Education,
Health and Community Services Sectors in order to contribute to the development of
healthy Life-Styles in Western Jamaica.
For many years the ATRFMU has collaborated with the School of Continuing
Studies because of the importance of supporting developmental activities being undertaken
by the University Centres and with the Faculty of Education because of the centrality of the
educational component of the Health and Family Life Education thrust. The UWI
HIV/AIDS Response Programme (UWI HARP) has provided an additional programme
through which new avenues for the development of positive, constructive behaviour could


be explored, especially by strengthening the contribution of the Health Sector to the
Education Sector. The inclusion of the Community Services Sector in the HFLE
HIV/AIDS Project in St. James, Jamaica is a sign of the recognition that the preparation of
children to become successful adults must relate to the experiences they encounter in the
community in which they grow as well as to those they have at school and at home.
The experiences of the ATRFMU over three decades have demonstrated clearly
that collaboration between institutions, between agencies and between sectors is essential
for securing the continuity of attention to the elements of growth and development of
individuals and groups in each society. The activities described in this document indicate
the possibility to move forward by expanding and consolidating the gains made through
taking Health and Family Life Education to a variety of groups who can assist in addressing
and correcting such ills as teenage and unwanted pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, male irresponsi-
bility, lack of respect for self and the elderly, crime and poverty.

The Cultural Importance of Edna Manley's Art


What is the most important relationship between art and the rest of culture?
Before addressing this question a few preliminary remarks are necessary. The term 'culture'
is often used to refer to the arts. But in the ethnographic sense the word has a much wider
meaning: it refers to what someone has called all "learned behaviour' In this wider sense
art is a part of culture. The question then arises as to the nature of the relationship between
art and the rest of culture. This relationship is clearly varied and complex, and it is
probably claiming a lot to say that there is one aspect of this relationship which is the most
important of all.
Yet this is the claim made by Susanne Langer the American philosopher She
defines art as "the practice of creating perceptible forms expressive of human feeling"
(Langer 1971, p.87). By "feeling' she means the whole gamut of our feelings and emotions
which she sees as a realm beyond the reach of discursive language. In her view art is
expressive not in the sense that it is a symptom of feelings; it is, rather, a way of formulating
or symbolizing feeling in such a way that it can be conceptualized by the spectator.
According to her, "The primary function of art is to objectify feeling so we can contemplate
and understand it" (Langer 1971 p.91).
By presenting these forms of feeling to our imagination, she argues, the arts "form
our emotive experience" (Langer 1971, p.93).This is their crucial cultural importance. New
art creates new feelings and with them new cultural consequences. Thus, for her, art is not
the frill so many people think it is. It is, rather, like the spearhead of human development,
social and individual" (Langer 1971, p.86). As evidence for her claim she points to Egypt,
Greece and Christian Europe where periods of "efflorescence in the arts" led to periods of
cultural advance (Langer 1971, p.93). According to her a new way of feeling is the
beginning of a new cultural age, and it is the arts that form these new ways of feeling.
In this essay I wish to undertake some Langerian interpretations of some of Edna
Manley's works. The parallels between Langer's historical examples and the apparent
relationship between the flourishing of the arts and the rise of the nationalist movement in
Jamaica earlier in this century are striking; Edna Manley was a pioneer of this artistic
movement, and, as wife of Norman Manley, a national hero of Jamaica, was also close to
the social, and political developments. I wish to pursue the question of whether or not
Langer's ideas can be successfully applied to some of the works by Edna Manley. I shall
concentrate on ten works. In each case I shall offer a description of the work as well as its
expressiveness and cultural importance in the Langerian sense. This will be followed by a
brief discussion of Langer's theory.

(1) "Negro Aroused." (1935). David Boxer calls it "undoubtedly her most influ-
ential and most famous sculpture" (Boxer 1990, p.24). A replica of it is a monument in
Kingston and it has appeared on logos, posters, book jackets and postage stamps. It was a
prophetic work. Three years after its completion the island was plunged into a series of
riots which protested against the exploitation of the black working class. These riots led to
the establishment of the main political parties, the trade unions, and eventually self-govern-
ment The Sculpture shows the torso of a Negro with head thrown back as he stares
expectantly into the open space above him. The figure is not realistic in the conventional
sense, but is a type of stylized realism. The edges are firm and strong. Lines, shapes and
negative spaces are combined with an economic austerity which helps to create the sense of
power which emanates from the work. The palms resting firmly on the base help to give
force to the upward thrust of the hand. The arms are massive and full of strength. But the
power which it portrays is just being awakened. The figure is moving towards action, but
this action has not yet been attained. It is perhaps easier to portray action and inaction. But
Manley's work is located between the two. Her success is in her convincing and powerful
portrayal of the tension of becoming.
But has Manley created a perceptible. form "expressive of human feeling" as
Langer would have it? According to Langer's theory this work is not a symptom of
Manley's feelings. It is a formulation or objectivation of a feeling. In it a feeling is
symbolized in such a way that we can contemplate and understand it
The work can surely be seen as a symbolization of the feeling of arousal. Boxer
puts it this. way:
Negro Aroused, a symbol of what? We have spoken of
a surging upwards; a dawning. This half figure of an
unmistakably black man, his gaze turned skywards is a
symbol of a search; a vision of a new social order, a
New Day. And it has become the very icon of a people
awakened to a new consciousness of self, of race and
of nationhood" (Boxer 1990, p. 24).'

The symbolic nature of the work can be said to be well established.
The second part of Langer's thesis would claim that the work has helped to form
the emotive experience of the Jamaican people. It would do so through its impact on the
imagination of those who perceive it The fame and popularity of the work as cited earlier
- indicates that it does have a special meaning for large numbers of Jamaican people. But
only an empirical study could help to gauge the extent of its impact. For my own part, given
my response to this work over the years, I have no difficulty believing that there could be
some truth to Langer's thesis.
(2) "Prophet" (1935). According to Boxer "In the Prophet, carved within six
weeks of the completion of Negro Aroused, the negro is moved to action. He stands erect
and defiant his massive arms and enlarged hands raised in a gesture that is decidedly

combative" (Boxer 1990, p. 25). This, too, is a wood carving. It shows a black male figure
from the thighs up, with arms raised and hands touching over his head.. Both arms and
hands are massive and exude strength and power. But the raised arms seem to me to
suggest triumph; they are the raised arms of someone anticipating victory. The expression
on his face is resolute as he seems to be rallying others with his gesture. He is prophesying
victory, and this victory will come as a result of the exertion of strong arms and hands.
I suggest that the feelings symbolized are righteous indignation and optimistic
expectancy. The first is occasioned by the realities of injustice and oppression. The second
springs from confidence in one's strength. The prophet seems to be sending forth a call to
The traditional warner-woman in Jamaica predicts catastrophes. But Manley's
"Prophet" is a work which I can see stirring feelings of hope and confidence in the future.
(3) "Diggers. (1936). This work shows the figures of three men, their pickaxes
raised and bodies taut as they prepare to bring the pickaxes down in unison. Each digger has
one leg thrust forward. Their curved bodies are similar in design, as are their raised arms
and what is seen of the pickaxes. The artist has skillfully arranged the forms into a pattern
of considerable dynamism. She captures a dramatic moment as the diggers lean backward,
preparing to move forward and strike the earth. The figures are working together in
purposeful labour. Boxer describes the work as "an assertion of power through the glorifi-
cation of male strength" (Boxer 1990, p. 26)
Work has been called the elemental historical process" (Schrecker 1948, p. 12)
Given the Manleys' commitment to nation-building it is not surprising that Edna Manley
showed an artistic interest in labourers. Socialism, the ideology of their party at the time,
glorifies the working class. It was through work that the new nation would be built. Gangs
of male diggers were a common sight in Jamaica at the time. I remember seeing such gangs
as a child: they fixed roads, worked in the fields and prepared sites for new houses.
Much has been said and written about the pathology of work to borrow a phrase
from Green (1978) in Jamaican society. The governments formed by the two main
political parties have addressed the issue. In the 1970s the socialist government led by
Michael Manley, did much to try and influence work attitudes; this included the "put work
into Labour Day" campaign which has become a tradition. The succeeding government led
by Edward Seaga commissioned a survey of work attitudes which was carried out by
pollster Carl Stone (1982).
Boxer sees an expression of anger in the work. But it seems to me that the feeling
symbolized is purposeful, aggressive power. The work could evoke a variety of emotive
experiences, including an appreciation of manual labour, and a celebration of the joy,
beauty and dignity of work. In this piece, workers can see themselves as strong, proud and
(4) "Tomorrow. (1938). There are two versions of "Tomorrow", one done in
1938 and the other in 1985. 1 shall concentrate on the one done in 1938: It shows the torso
of a very slim male figure with a long neck and head tilted back as the eyes look upward.

Both arms are curved at the shoulders and descend, with little attempt at realism, to the base
where they become elbows. Both forearms rise in front of the torso, but before forming the
apex of an inverted V, the large cupped hands spread outward without touching, forming
the outer sides of what, if joined, would be a concave receptacle. The emphasis is on the
geometrical patterns, and on the expressiveness of the linear forms.
Like the curved roofs of pagodas, said to exemplify openness to the cosmos, the
large, expectant hands of the figure are open and receptive to the future. The large hands
suggest that much is expected. The tilted head and upward looking eyes indicate that the
gesture is one of supplication.
Like so many of Manley's works, this figure symbolizes feelings of expectancy
and optimism. It symbolizes the large hopes of the emerging nation. It can also be seen as
a warning to political leaders that the people's hopes are immense. This work, however,
touches on something universal; it is in keeping with Pope's dictum that "Hope springs
eternal in the human breast" (Bartlett 1970, p. 336). Most of us live for our tomorrows and
approach them with large, open hands. This is not a work for the 1930s only; it is a work
for all times. This work is likely to have an emotive effect on anyone who has expectations
about tomorrow. According to Boxer, the poet George Campbell, who posed for the work,
wrote a beautiful poem inspired by it. The work was clearly an emotive experience for him,
and no doubt for many others.
(5)"Horse of the Morning." (1943). This is one of Manley's most popular sculp-
tures. Many have hailed it as her masterpiece. Boxer describes it as follows:
"The Horse of the Morning presents a specific aspect
of the Sun God, namely his sexual, libidinous self. He
is caught in a moment of searing erotic intensity with
phallic leg and carefully articulated "ping pong ball"
eyes that read both as suns and as symbols of a fully
charged sexuality" (Boxer 1990, p 34).

It shows the head, mane and left foreleg of a rearing horse. Manley claimed she
saw him in a vision in the morning sky (Boxer 1990, p. 33). It is a magnificent and powerful
portrayal of, life surging upwards. Horses are traditionally seen as symbols of sexuality, and
this is Boxer's interpretation of the work. But it seems to me that the rearing horse may also
be seen as a symbol of the rising new nation. The horse's sexuality is, of course, part of its
fertility, its power to create new life. It isn't only a horse, it is a horse of the morning, the
morning of a new day.
The emotion symbolized is that of an ecstatic rising up. Boxer rightly describes it
as "a superb ecstatic carving" (Boxer 1990, p.34). The feeling of ecstasy is symbolized in
the form of a rearing horse.
Many persons are likely to respond to its affirmation of surging life as something
that can be strong, noble and beautiful. Its popularity suggests that it has been an inspiration
to many.

(6) "Growth. (1958). This work is reminiscent of a totem pole. At the base is
what looks like the sun and its rays behind a mountain. There is a triad of left-leaning nude
figures at the base. Above them there is another triad of figures leaning toward the right.
Next in the progression is another version of the "Horse of the Morning. At the apex is a
portrait which Boxer interprets as the Sun God. The first five figures are asleep; the sixth is
waking up.
Boxer sees the work of a symbolization, of a transformation of consciousness
from a human condition to a higher spiritual existence (Boxer 1990, p. 38). If Boxer is
correct the work portrays a religious emotion, a spiritual exaltation.
As with some of her other works, I do not think that secular interpretations can be
ruled out. A case can be made, I think, that the work portrays social and political growth.
But Boxer makes a good case for his point of view, if he is right the work can be
seen as an important contribution to Jamaican spirituality. It would mean that in this work
Manley moves from her concern with social issues to the realm of the transcendental. The
link between art and religion is a strong one. We may therefore see the work as an
enrichment of the Jamaican religious imagination.
(7) "Bogle. (1965). Manley's statue of Paul Bogle was commissioned by the
Jamaican government to mark the centenary of the Morant Bay rebellion in 1865. Bogle
was the leader of that rebellion against oppression and injustice in St. Thomas. He was
executed by the British government. The statue is the full figure of a black man standing
with legs slightly apart with elbows extended causing the body to suggest a cross and a
Christ-figure, the hands grasp the handle of a machete on the chest while the blade points
downward over the stomach. In keeping with African tradition the head is unusually large.
Boxer claims it was inspired by Blake's concept of "visionary heads" (Boxer 1990, p. 41).
The face is bold and strong, and the eyes are those of a visionary.
As far as the expressiveness of the work is concerned the most important parts
seem to be the legs, the face and the hands holding the machete. The parted legs give the
impression of someone firmly planted on the ground. With regards to the face, Rachel
Manley attributes the following words to Edna Manley: "In the face you will see confronta-
tion and the sort of bloody determination that is at the heart of human outrage" (Manley
1996, p. 323). Many viewers may wonder why Bogle is holding a machete, and why he is
holding it in such an unusual way. Bogle is said to have chopped up the Custos with a
machete (Manley, 1996, p. 322). According to Edna Manley, Bogle's way of holding the
machete is intended to portray his boldness (Manley 1996, p. 322).
Governments erect statues of the national heroes of their countries because of the
effects which they hope these statues will have on the populace. Part of what they hope for
is that these works will help to form the emotive experience of their people. They hope these
works will instill feelings of pride,admiration and appreciation. They believe they will help
to form national consciousness.. In the case of a statue such a "Bogle"the hope is that it will
become part of the visual vocabulary of social and political thought in Jamaica.

(8) "Angel. "(1970). Manley created this work in response to the'illness and death
of her husband Norman. Boxer describes it this way:
"In the carving, a gentler head, reminiscent of Moon
but given now an expression of resigned grief looks
down tenderly at the soul-figure. Because of the
soul-figure's size in relation to that of the angel, the
immediate impression is that of a mother cradling in
her arms, her infant son.. The lower wing of the angel
seems to caress the figure but, in fact, as the artist
explained, creates a gateway, the portal for the soul's
entry into a new existence" (Boxer 1990, p .43)
I think this is a fine description of the work. I note that the feelings which Boxer
sees portrayed are the "resigned grief of the angel as well as her tender care for the infant
child or "soul-figure" as he calls it.
In addition to the expression of grief and the ethic of care, the work also gives the
mother-and-child image a wider meaning, for the mother represents the spiritual realm and
is the conduit for the child to a higher reality. It is also an expression of faith in the
transcendental. Like "Growth" it may be seen as an important contribution to Jamaican
religious culture.
(9) "Mountain Women. "(1971). Boxer describes the work as follows:
"the mountains have been anthropomorphized, here
into three female heads. Increasing in mass as we as-
cend the three 'peaks', we move from, at the base a
young girl's head only partly released from the block
of wood, then a mature woman and finally at the
summit the large dominant head of an old woman"
(Boxer 1990, p.44).
The work is a portrayal of the monumental strength of women. These are not only
women of the mountains, they are as strong as mountains. Metaphorically, they are moun-
tain peaks. The underlying idea is the ancient one of the earth as mother. In this case it is
black women who are likened to the Jamaican earth, and not just the earth, but the earth
elevated to mountain peaks.
Boxer thinks there may be some artistic novelty in Manley's portrayal of the old
woman as the highest and most important figure in the composition. It could have some-
thing to do with the traditional Jamaican, and indeed African veneration of elders.
The idea of women feeling as strong as mountains is one which can have an
emotive impact on both women and men. Women may see in it a positive affirmation of
their power and worth. (The enormous contribution of women to Jamaican history and
society is well documented). The work may also enhance men's appreciation of women.

(10) "Ghetto Mother. (1981). The late 1970s and early 1980s were among the
most violent periods in Jamaican history. This consisted mostly of political violence in the
ghetto areas. Edna Manley's sculpture, "Ghetto Mother" was created during this period and
is a protest against violence and its effects on the people living in the so-called garrison
communities. It shows a black mother, wearing a typical Jamaican head-tie, her face is
distorted in desperation. According to Boxer:
"She still, however, summons her most natural instincts; her massive
arms reach down to protect her four frightened children whose hollowed
eyes and partly opened mouths are gaping receptacles of fear" (Boxer
1990, p. 49).
Created 46 years after the optimistic "Negro Aroused" it is what Boxer calls "a
monument to our failures as a people" Boxer 1990, p. 50).
The work expresses a number of emotions: desperation, fright and fear but it also
expresses motherly love. As a denunciation of violence it is also life-affirming. Like
"Mountain Women" it is also a statement on the strength of women.
The kind of violence which led to the creation of this work continues to be a
Jamaican reality as I write. Manley wanted to highlight its devastating effect on people.
Her hope was that it would touch the conscience of the nation.
It seems to me that Langer's theory is applicable to some of Manley's works.
Some of them are clearly "perceptible forms expressive of human feeling'" (Langer 1971,
p 87); and as such they. have helped to "form our emotive experience" (Langer 1971, p.
93). It is debatable, however, whether or not the theory is applicable to all of Manley's
works and to all artworks.
Can art be related to culture in other ways? In an earlier article suggested that the
functions of visual art include: (1) the description of culture; (2)social persuasion; (3) to
serve as historical documents; (4) as an aid to religion' (5) as vision; and (6) as beautifica-
tion (McKenzie 1977, pp. 84-107). Langer would probably question whether it is possible
to describe culture without taking an emotive attitude toward it. In "Ghetto Mother ", for
example, Manley takes an emotive attitude toward Jamaica's culture of violence. A similar
claim can be made about the persuasive, historical, religious, visionary and aesthetic
functions which I described; they all may have an emotive base. While I concede this point,
the question remains: Must there be an emotive base for the work to be of cultural
Langer's theory raises the big question of the relation between art and the emo-
tions. It seems to me that art may reflect feelings already existing in the society. Artists must
be aware that people have certain feelings and then portray them in their work. Langer is
right, I think ,in claiming that artworks are not necessarily the symptoms of the feelings of
artists ; artists can portray feelings without experiencing those feelings at the time of
creation. The view that artists reflect existing feelings is, of course, different from Langer's

more radical view that artists create new ways of feeling. It seems to me that both claims
may be true.

It is certainly the case, as Langer suggests, that art can evoke feelings in people.
Plato is perhaps the philosopher best known for his fear of the emotive power of art
Langer's theory includes, the perspectives, of both artist and spectator, but her main
emphasis is on the power of the work to shape the experience of the spectator.

There is some vagueness, I think, in Langer's view of artworks as symbols
According to her, they are symbols in the sense that they are devices, for the presentation
of ideas. But at the same time she claims that "A work of art differs from a genuine symbol
that is a symbol in the full and usual sense in that it does not point to something else"
(Langer 1971, p. 91). She seems to be denying that works of art are referential, that they are
what Danto somewhere calls "meaning vehicles" It is not at all clear how something can
be a symbol without being referential. She seems to be saying that works of art symbolize
feelings but in a very special way. But this special way remains unclear.

Edna.Manley's work is an important part of Jamaica's imaginative culture. The
task of mapping all the links between imaginative culture and the rest of culture is beyond
the task of this essay. But the link which Langer gives us, is, I believe, a fruitful one to
explore. Gotshalk argues that art is a spiritual asset of a people (Gotshalk 1962, p. 202). To
form emotive experience to contribute to the spirit of a nation. In the Langerian sense, this
is the cultural importance of Edna Manley's art.


Bartlett, John. 1980. Familiar Quotations. Boston and Toronto: Little, Brown and Company.
Boxer, David. 1990. Edna Manley: Sculptor. Kingston:The National Gallery of Jamaica and The Edna Manley
Gotshalk, D.W. 1962. Art and the Social Order. 2nd ed. New York: Dover Publications.
Green, T.F. 1978. Career Education and the Pathologies of W ork in K.A. Strike and K. Egan, eds. Ethics and
Educational Policy. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. 211-22
Langer, Susanne. 1971." The Cultural Importance of the Arts" in Ralph A.Smith, ed. Aesthetics and Problems
of Education Urbana, Chicago, London: University ofDlinois Press.
Manley, Rachel. 1996. Drumblair. Kingston: lan Randle Publishers.
McKenzie, Earl. 1977. Art with a Social Purpose: Projects for Jamaican Secondary Schools" in Caribbean Jour-
nal of Education. Vol. 4, Nos. 1 & 2, January, April
Scchrecker, Paul. 1948. Work and History. New York: Thomas Y Crowell Company
Stone, Carl. 1982. Work Attitudes Survey: A Report to tfre Jamaican Government. Brown's Town: Earle Publish-

Cultural Preservation and Language Reclamation: The St. Lucian



The paradox referred to in the title of this paper is more transparent in the
educational policies and cultural practices that obtain in St. Lucia than it is in the actual
wording of the title. The paper attempts to explore the policies and cultural practices that
give rise to what one may refer to as "lingua-cultural" contradictions for want of a more apt
term. An examination of the historical circumstances that initiated particular language
education policies and influenced their maintenance in contemporary times reveals the
existence of an inverse relationship between the decline of one of St. Lucia's languages,
Kweybl and the promotion of selected African-influenced French Creole folk cultural
practices in carefully orchestrated events of limited duration annually. Similarly, within the
context of language, an inverse relationship exists between the decline of Kw6yb6 as the
language of preferred use, for casual communication by the majority of St. Lucians,
especially in rural territories, and the ascendancy of English from which the former seems
to derive. This situation is perpetuated by existing language policies that are asynchronous
with commonly held perceptions as to what constitutes a St. Lucian cultural identity. The
paper examines the historical perspective that shaped the current linguistic and cultural
realities in St. Lucia, with some attention being given to a discussion of the contradiction
resulting from the language policy and the preservation of a "French Creole" identity. The
final section presents a framework for the development and implementation of policy that
will lead to synchrony with respect to the reclamation of Kwey6l and the preservation of
French Creole culture.
The Cultural Heritage
One of the interesting facts about St. Lucia is that it had a turbulent, chequered past
which involved a change of ownership from the French to the British no less than fourteen
times until it was finally ceded to the British in 1803 and remained under their control from
then. These battles occurred over a relatively brief period of one hundred and fifty years
since the establishment of the island as a colony by the French West India Company in
1642. The change in ownership led to policy changes such as the use of English as the
official language and the language of instruction in the education system. The rich cultural
legacy deriving from interaction between the French and the Africans during the periods of
French occupation and now manifested in French Creole culture has, in the past, been a
strong drawing card for the tourist industry. The agency for the promotion of tourism has
also capitalized on historical circumstances by drawing an analogy between the battles

fought by the French and British for possession of the island, with those fought by the
Greeks and Trojans over Helen of Troy. St. Lucia is often referred to in promotional
material as the Helen of the West Indies, thereby making explicit a perceived parallel
between the beauty of the island and that of the legendary Trojan princess, which drove
armies to battle.
The French influence was manifested in several areas, such as place names:
Kwdybl, the name given to French Creole which is spoken on the island, music, and dances
like "the Quadrille, Lancers, Polka, Mazuka and Scottishe" (Simmons)2 The Africans on
the island blended their own dance and musical styles with those of the Europeans to create
dances like the Debotte, Piquant, Solo and the B1l6 which, as Simmons pointed out,
probably derived from French Belle Aire. African and European influences were also
probably manifested in street celebrations such as the Christmas Masque or Boum-Boum.
Although the origin of the Flower Festivals of La Woz and La Magwite (La Rose and La
Marguerite) is not clear, Simmons observed that the music "bear(s) the stamp of Afro-
American music (while) some of the tunes are definitely African the songs (are) in
Creole (and) some of the older ones (are) in French" (p. 40). While the street celebrations
are now almost non-existent, the Flower Festivals, La Woz and La Magwite, are still
celebrated in August and October respectively, though considerably less elaborately than in
former times, and with the La Woz receiving more attention than the La Magwite.
Simmons pointed out that the Flower Festivals were "at one time steeped into every strata
of life of the island" (p. 37), a fact noted by Breen in 1844.
However, the folk traditions of St. Lucia have become increasingly vulnerable to
strong external cultural influences, as have those of several other territories in the region.
Writing on this subject almost exactly one century later than Breen, Simmons noted:
For various historical reasons, the West Indian Folk
tradition is an 'underground' tradition. Its songs,
dances, festivals, beliefs and customs manifest an
increasing attempt to create forms of expression for a
way of life which is at variance with established
authority, orthodox religion, upper class morality, law,
and other cultural forms having the sanction of
authority... It has been under constant attack from the
pulpit, the law makers, and its language is being
pushed gradually out of existence by educational
policy as well as by social forces not directly subject to
control. (p. 33)
Simmons identified several factors that contributed to the rapid disappearance (p.
33) of the folk tradition at the time. These include:
Socio-economic changes, improved transport and
population mobility (which) have encouraged

succeeding younger generations to look beyond the immediate
neighbourhood for standards of prestige, examples of behaviour, forms
of entertainment... increased literacy, the coming of newspapers and
radio (which) have combined with better transport to lessen the authority
of the "older heads" in their homes, the torch bearers of tradition." (pp.
The influence deriving from the introduction of television in the 1960s, which
escalated to twenty-four hour programming primarily from North America by the end of the
20th century, as well as increased availability to the World Wide Web in the late 1990s, has
eroded these traditions even further.
Recognition of the need to study and document the folk traditions and to raise the
consciousness of St. Lucians about these traditions, as well as issues related to identity and
national development, resulted in the formation of groups such as the Study Action Group,
later the Folk Research Centre (FRC) in the 1970s, whose primary objectives included the
preservation of the folk traditions. The institution of celebrations such as the Jounen
Kw6ybl or International French Creole Day, which is celebrated on the last day of October,
is one of the manifestations of the efforts of agencies such as FRC to give prominence to
French Creole Culture in St. Lucia. The extension of this event to a full week of activities
during which folk cultural traditions are celebrated and Kweybl is more widely heard on the
various comr.iunications media, has, undoubtedly, raised the consciousness of the average
St. Lucian about the French Creole cultural tradition and the language Kw6ybl. Nwenmely
(1996:29) suggests that creation of Jounen Kw6y6l "is perhaps the most important initiative
in the marshalling of community-wide support for the language." However, one needs to
ask the question whether one day or one week of activities devoted to highlighting Kw6y6l
culture will be sufficient to restore widespread and enduring interest in that cultural heritage
or kindle a desire among younger generations of St. Lucians to speak Kwey6l and to
become literate in it.
Ironically, even as interest in Kweybl and French Creole culture has increased as a
result of the efforts of agencies such as the FRC, the policies governing official language
use in education have remained unchanged, with the result that Kw6y6l has been pushed
even further "out of existence" and now has fewer native speakers than it did at the time
Simmons' commented on that situation some forty-five years ago. While Government
policy has changed in recent years to allow the use of Kwey6l in the speeches of
parliamentarians in the House, the obduracy with regard to the educational policy has,
perhaps, been one of the most significant factors that have affected language distribution
patterns and language change in St. Lucia, and which has also had a direct impact on the
maintenance of French Creole folk traditions which are transmitted primarily through
Kweyl6. Another major effect of the policy has been the continued retardation of the
process of "intellectualization of the language" (Alleyne and Garvin 1982), which can only
be achieved through a broadening of its functions, primarily through its use for literacy and
academic purposes by young people. A central contradiction resides in the fact that the
preservation of the French Creole culture depends to a large extent on the maintenance of

KwCy6l but the latter continues to be eroded by alternative cultural trends and policies that
run counter to its survival. The next section examines some issues that are critical to the
survival of Kw6ybl.
The heritage language
Writing about French Creole almost five decades ago, Simmons made the
following comment:
The contempt for Creole, that it creates a gulf for
proper expression in English, is irrational. The United
Nations report on Haiti in 1949, agreed that French is
desirable for secondary and higher education, but it
also recommended that Creole be instituted in the
primary school. The difficulty in St. Lucia is that our
educators do not understand the basic value of the
French Creole, that the language properly understood,
is a bastion towards bilingualism and Creole is an aid
to the teaching of proper French." (pp. 106-107).

The lack of understanding at the time stemmed from generally held
misconceptions about language, particularly the notion that one language could be
considered superior or inferior in relation to another, depending on its origins. French
Creole developed out of the contact situation between the West African slaves who had
been brought to work on the plantations and the French colonizers. The language
developed as a result of the joint efforts of these groups to communicate with each other and
the subsequent expansion of the grammar and lexicon by the first generation speakers of the
language. However, the erroneous idea that only the slaves spoke the language led to the
association of negative characteristics that had been used to describe the slaves with the
language that they spoke. These characteristics were predominantly negative and their
ascription to Kwdy6l resulted in its being stigmatized. A dominant idea prevailed, namely,
that French Creole had no grammar and was a "broken" version of French. One finds the
expression of such views in early writings about St. Lucia. The study by Breen (1844) is
one such. He had this to say about the language:
(It is) a jargon formed from the French, and composed
of words, or rather sounds, adapted to the organs of
speech in the black population... It is, in short, the
French language, stripped of its manly and dignified
ornaments, and travestied for the accommodation of
children and toothless old women... It is the refuge of
ignorance. (p. 185).

Such negative attitudes were so pervasive that the stigma which was attached to
Kw6y61 has been difficult to overcome. This was one of the main reasons for the exclusion

of Kwey6l as a language of instruction, despite the fact that at the start of the 20th century,
the majority of St. Lucians were monolingual Kwey6l speakers.
Figures recorded for the census taken in 1911 showed that 58.58% of the
population spoke Kweybl exclusively; 5.4% were monolingual English speakers and
30.91% were bilinguals (5.04% spoke other languages). By 1921 the figures for Kw6ybl
had decreased to 56.53% and English to 4.09% while bilinguals increased to 33.45%. In
1946, the last year in which records on language distribution are available, the figures for
monolingual Kweybl speakers had decreased further to 43.32%; monolingual English
speakers had decreased to 0.22%; but the number of bilinguals had increased to 54.16%.
These trends show the beginning patterns of a complex sociolinguistic situation that would
have implications for education and cultural development. The imposition of a
monolingual English policy for all the official affairs of the island and as the sole language
of education generated tensions that resulted in the continued denigration of Kw6y6l and a
concomitant undervaluing of French Creole cultural manifestations for which it served as a
vehicle of expression.
The situation at present is markedly different from that which existed in 1946. In
the absence of census data on language distribution since 1946, a partial survey based on the
language backgrounds of children in primary school in 1984 was undertaken (Simmons-
McDonald 1988). These showed that the number of English speakers in both urban and
rural settings had increased (55% and 12% respectively); that the number of monolingual
Kweybl speakers had declined considerably (2% in urban and 3% in rural areas) and that the
number of bilinguals had increased across both settings (43% urban; 85% rural). Simmons-
McDonald suggested that the patterns evident in the school setting were likely to reflect
those existing in the wider community. However, an interesting phenomenon that was
reported in some sociolinguistic studies (e.g. Le Page and Tabouret-Keller 1985) was the
fact that an English lexicon vernacular had emerged and was being spoken by the majority
of younger St. Lucians. It was also interesting that many children who lived in areas where
Kweybl had formerly been dominant were acquiring the English lexicon vernacular as their
first language. Simmons' prophetic pronouncement, namely, that the language "is being
pushed gradually out of existence by educational policy as well as by social forces not
directly subject to control", seems to be borne out in the reported trends that show fewer
exclusive Kweybl speakers, increased numbers of exclusive English speakers and
bilinguals, and a growing number of exclusive speakers of a Creole-Influenced Vernacular,
St. Lucian English Vernacular (SLEV).
The figures indicated for English speakers in the Simmons-McDonald study were
reported to include those who spoke the vernacular variety (SLEV). These changes in the
language distribution patterns can be attributed in part to the policy that excluded Kw6y6l
as a means of developing literacy among its speakers. It has been suggested (Christie 1983;
Simmons-McDonald 1996, 2000) that the vernacular developed from the efforts of
monolingual Kweybl speakers to learn English in school. The expansion of that variety was
attributed to the possibility that it "was reinforced" as younger Kwey6l speakers
communicated "with members of the community outside school who may have had a

limited production of some English" (Simmons-McDonald 2000). The monolingual
English policy for the education of speakers of Kw6y6l validated English as the language of
progress and as a vehicle of upward mobility and success, until it supplanted Kw6y6l as the
dominant language, while the latter continued to be stigmatized. The intrusion of other
dominant cultures via television and increased visits by tourists to the island as well as the
other factors identified by Simmons contributed, at the same time, to the gradual but
persistent erosion of French Creole traditions. The sum of these effects was the
"totemization" (Kramsch 1998:75) of English but, ironically, English could not substitute
for Kwey61 as a medium of folk cultural expression.
Although evidence indicated that Kweybl was considered publicly to be inferior to
English and was even criticized as not being a language by many, including educated
people who were expected to know better, studies showed that St. Lucians were ambivalent
about the languages spoken on the island. Alexander (1993) and Liebermann (1975)
reported that un the one hand, St. Lucians admitted that Kweybl was 'more expressive' than
English in casual communication, that it was 'better' for jokes and the recounting of stories
and anecdotes but, on the other hand, they considered it less useful than English for the
conduct of serious business and rejected the suggestion that it could be used for purposes of
education. Such ambivalence is sometimes expressed as a more general issue of individual
choice between British and African traditions as the cri de coeur in the following example
from Walcott's A Far Cry from Africa illustrates.
Where shall I turn, divided to the vein?
I who have cursed
The drunken officer of British rule, how choose
Between this Africa and the English tongue I love?3

Africa here can be taken to symbolize, among other things, Kweybl which was
constructed from the interaction of the languages of the African ancestors and French, and
which stabilized into the Creole which was used primarily to express the cultural reality of
the St. Lucian people. A more recent study among teachers (Simmons-McDonald 2004)
that included an investigation of attitudes to SLEV reported very positive attitudes towards
Kweybl but negative attitudes towards SLEV, with more than 80% of the sample giving
negative responses about the latter. This represents a shift in terms of the attitudes reported
in earlier studies (Liebermann, 1974, 1975; Alexander, 1993 in which Kwdybl was the
language that was considered to be unacceptable for education. The more recent responses
suggest that Kwey6l is more highly prized and viewed more favourably.
Perspectives on Culture, Cultural reality and French Creole identity
A question that must be asked within the context of the sociolinguistic changes
that have occurred in St. Lucia over the last four decades is: What is the cultural reality of
St. Lucia at present and to what extent are Kw6ybl and French Creole practices and
traditions central to that cultural reality? Jules (1998:3) commented on what he perceived
to be a tendency to "homogeneity" which, in his view "erodes" the "differentiating
character" of culture. He said:

More and more, we drink Coke (and some sniff it also!), we buy the latest
cars and washing machines, and we dress up in the fashion of the
universal tribe (the baggy clothes of the underground or the sassy skin fits
of the young, restless and upwardly mobile). More and more we tune in
to CNN and know more about Monica Lewinsky than about what and
how our own children are doing. More and more we become more
cosmopolitan in our outlook, in our taste, in our aspirations. Our dreams
are no longer in Kweybl.

Yet St. Lucians refer to the notion of a French Creole culture, thereby accepting as
central to their cultural identity the language and the norms of what Jules (1998:2) refers to
as "Kwey6lness" He explained this concept as follows:
Kweybl culture must be that sum total of our way of life that is distinctive
in its Kw6yblness. It was once a totality that defined us it was how we
worked and played, our waking reality and our dream state, the things
that we made, how we made them and the ways that we used them; the
foods that we ate and the manner in which we prepared them; the habits
that we cultivated and the common sense that they became. It was the
way of life that was the product of our history and geography and it
continues to be the language that we speak in common understanding
with 13 million other Kwey6l speakers worldwide. (p.3)
Jules' tone resonates with nostalgia and his use of the past tense in every instance
except the reference to the language, Kw6y6l, is not surprising because these are the very
"Kweybl" practices that have been eroded and continue to be transformed under consistent
pressure from external cultural influences. Jules harks back to a time when the practices he
lists pervaded the entire society and provided a context for the definition of the Kw6ybl
cultural identity that he refers to as "Kw6yblness" His description does not apply to the
"Kweybl" cultural reality that exists in the present. This view is essentially synchronic
because it focuses on a way of life that was dominant, during a particular period, across
every strata of society. It was a period in which values, beliefs and behaviours were shared
by the majority in the community. Kw6y6l was also spoken by the majority, and the French
Creole traditions were more widely known and celebrated. These traditions have been and
continue to be eroded by the hegemonic effects of foreign cultural domination, and the
language, Kweybl, continues to suffer the effects of English linguistic imperialism as do
many indigenous languages the world over. At present, there are many St. Lucians who
admit to not understanding Kwey6l and to not knowing about some of the more prominent
festivals, like the Christmas masque which, until fairly recently was still celebrated in some
communities. Considering the significant socio-cultural shifts that have occurred over the
last fifty years, the institution of the week long Jounen Kweybl celebrations is a welcome
reminder to older St. Lucians of the rich heritage to which their ancestors laid claim, and a
worthwhile context for instructing younger generations about that heritage. However,
concentration of the folk celebrations in one week of consecutive activities is insufficient to

establish an identity of "Kw6yblness", in particular, among younger generations who did
not experience that way of life.
Other perspectives of culture serve to reveal the tensions that exist within the
socio-cultural context in St. Lucia. Kramsch (1998:7-8) refers to a diachronic or historical
view of culture as one which:

Focuses on the way in which a social group represents
itself and others through its material productions over
time its technological achievements, its monuments,
its works of art, its popular culture that punctuate the
development of its historical identity. This material
culture is reproduced and preserved through
institutional mechanisms that are also part of the
culture, like museums, schools, public libraries,
governments, corporations, and the media...

Very few of the institutional mechanisms mentioned by Kramsch that are essential
for the preservation of a historical French Creole identity have functioned primarily or
exclusively for this purpose. The notable exception is the Folk Research Centre whose
explicit aim is such preservation. This institution has attempted, from the time of its
inception in the early 1970s, to document the stories, the songs, the music, the accounts of
the folkways, the way of life that characterized French Creole culture. Since this was
primarily an oral culture, these records would have been obtained from the oral descriptions
given by the "older heads" Much would have been lost where opportunities did not permit
extensive recording of these older folk whose stories would have died with them. While
some materials would also have been preserved through the efforts of The Arts and Crafts
Society4 and the National Archives, the absence of a national museum probably means that
much of the material, which an institution such as a museum would have preserved, might
have been lost.
Of the communications media, the radio broadcasts the most programmes in
Kw6ybl. These include news, agricultural information for farmers and one or two talk
shows. The varieties of Kw6ybl that are used on these programmes sometimes contain
several English words and some ungrammatical Kw6ybl structures. This often happens
when the announcer is not a native speaker of Kwdy6l, has a limited vocabulary and is not
fluent in the idiom of the language. Indeed, the varieties that are now spoken around the
urban centres are different in some ways from those spoken in those rural areas where
Kweybl is still dominant, and they are different from those varieties that the older folk use.
As the older folk die, the varieties of Kwey6l that they speak die with them, so relatively
fewer speakers use a variety that reflects the idiom of native speakers of two generations
ago, an idiom which is free from English lexical insertions.
As noted earlier in this paper, the school has functioned as an institution whose
primary aim over the years has been to eradicate Kw6ybl. Simmons-McDonald (1988)
reported that the effect of school policy resulted in a situation of subtractive bilingualism

for many native speakers of Kweybl. That is, proficiency in the school language has not
been developed to a sufficient extent to allow these speakers to use it productively after they
leave school and, at the same time, the lack of nurturing of Kwey6l, in fact, its suppression
in the school context, also results in the lack of development of that language. The high
levels of functional illiteracy recorded by Carrington (1984) can be attributed, in part, to
this policy. In short, the school, which might have functioned as a powerful agent for the
preservation of Kweybl and fostered its intellectualization as well as the cognitive
advantages (such as increased flexibility) that derive from bilingualism, has been
instrumental in the linguistic impoverishment of native speakers of Kweybl. This
impoverishment has also hampered the "perpetuation of (Kw6ybl) culture and retarded its
development as a print medium"
A third layer of culture referred to by Kramsch (1998:8) is that of the imagination,
which she described as "essential" and defined as the "common dreams, fulfilled and
unfulfilled imaginings." She explained:
These imaginings are mediated through the language, that over the life of
the community reflects, shapes and is a metaphor for its cultural
reality...Language is intimately linked not only to the culture that is and
the culture that was, but also to the culture of the imagination that
governs people's decisions and actions far more than we may think.
The institutions in St. Lucia have not allowed Kw6ybl to be a powerful voice in the
shaping of the St. Lucian cultural imagination or its expression in media other than the oral
French Creole traditions which are now preserved in the collective memory of fewer St.
The conflict inherent in language choice is evident in the practical sphere of
education and the decisions regarding the selection of one language for instruction as well
as in the literature produced by St. Lucian writers. Perhaps the dual image of'rain and salt'
on the one hand and 'frowning marble' on the other which Walcott uses in his Nobel
acceptance speech, can be interpreted as symbols of the duality of the St. Lucian experience.
The dialects of my archipelago seem as fresh to me as those of raindrops
on the statue's forehead, not the sweat made from the classic exertion of
frowning marble, but the condensations of a refreshing element, rain and

The 'rain and salt' can be taken to represent the earthiness and vibrancy of French
Creole culture, and Kweybl itself, while the 'frowning marble' is an appropriate image of the
colonial power, the frown representing the disapproval of the colonizers towards the native
language and culture. Kramsch makes the interesting observation that Culture as a process
that includes and excludes "always entails the exercise of power and control" (p.8). It is the
powerful who make decisions about the "values and beliefs" that are adopted by the group,
the "historical events" that are commemorated, and the "future (that) is worth imagining."
She said that "national cultures resonate with the voices of the powerful, and are filled with

the silences of the powerless" (p. 9). The imposition of English as the official language was
a decision of the powerful and the means by which English was established as the voice that
would articulate a particular course of development and cultural reality for St. Lucia was a
reality in which Kweybl would be rendered powerless.
Despite the persistent attempts at "silencing" Kweybl in the critical areas that
would ensure the empowerment of its native speakers, the Kweybl voice continued to
resonate in the St. Lucian context. More recent changes in political orientation have
encouraged a rejuvenation of French Creole folk cultural manifestations and permitted the
exertion of pressure for the reclamation of Kw6y6l through its introduction in education.
Nwenmely (1996) reports the findings of a study on language reclamation, which was
conducted with the children of first generation migrants to the United Kingdom. She found
that teaching these children Kweybl in the UK context was successful and that there was an
increased interest in the manifestations of Kwey6l culture among the subjects of the study.
These findings support the view that the use of Kweybl for educational purposes can act as
a catalyst for generating interest in the folk culture among young people who may have
heard about the French Creole traditions but who do not speak Kw6ybl, and who may not
be fully aware of the richness of that heritage. In fact, without an appropriate programme
which involves the young people, reclamation and maintenance of Kweybl is not likely to
be successful.
Towards a coherent cultural policy
In the St. Lucian context, preservation of French Creole culture and the
reclamation of Kw6y6l cannot proceed as two distinct and separate activities. The
successful preservation of the French Creole traditions will depend upon the continued use
of Kwdybl in St. Lucian society and also upon a broadening of its functions. One difficulty
is that as more St. Lucian children acquire English or the Vernacular as their only first
language, the number of native Kw6y6l speakers will continue to decrease. Less
widespread use of Kw6ybl by younger generations will certainly lead to the eventual
demise of the language Some of the studies on St. Lucia, referred to in this paper, have
reported that language distribution shifts over the last five decades indicate decreased use of
Kweybl among the population, as well as fewer native speakers in both rural and urban
areas. If these trends continue, the outcome for Kw6ybl may well be similar to that which
exists in Grenada where it has practically disappeared or Trinidad, which now has only
a very small community of Kwey6b speakers.
The issues related to French Creole culture and Kwey6l in education are closely
tied to broader development in St. Lucia. As long as English is perceived as the sole
language through which success can be achieved, there will be no motivation for St.
Lucians to want to learn Kw6ybl or to take it seriously. One issue that has not hitherto
received the attention it merits has to do with the relationship of language to national
development generally, and the development of human resources specifically. A second
related issue concerns the role of French Creole traditions in the development of local
industry and in nurturing a cultural experience that is unique and distinctively St. Lucian.
It may very well be that the changes that have occurred in recent years preclude the

possibility of recapturing the ethos that Jules refers to in his recollection of what constitutes
a Kweybl culture. Certainly, the pressures exerted by strong external influences will
continue to erode St. Lucian folk traditions and will continue to be a challenge to St.
Lucians who are interested in preserving them. The policies that are implemented internally
are crucial in determining whether the French Creole traditions and the language, Kwey6l,
continue to die out gradually or whether reclamation and preservation can proceed as
synchronous processes that will conserve these aspects of St. Lucian heritage.
Perhaps the first step towards conservation must be articulated at the level of
national development. This would require the following assertions: firstly, that French
Creole language and traditions are important in defining the St. Lucian experience and
identity; secondly, that Kweybl has a powerful potential for developing St. Lucian's human
resources and that it is necessary in perpetuating the cultural tradtraditions were more
widely known and celebrated. These traditions have been and continue to be eroded by the
hegemonic effects of foreign cultural domination, and the language, Kw6y6l, continues to
suffer the effects of English linguistic imperialism as do many indigenous languages the
world over. At present, there are many St. Lucians who admit to not understanding Kw6ybl
and to not knowing about some of the more prominent festivals, like the Christmas masque
which, until fairly recently was still celebrated in some communities. Considering the
significant socio-cultural shifts that have occurred over the last fifty years, the institution of
the week long Jounen Kwey6l celebrations is a welcome reminder to older St. Lucians of
the rich heritage to which their ancestors laid claim, and a worthwhile context for
instructing younger generations about that heritage. However, concentration of the folk
celebrations in one week of consecutive activities is insufficient to establish an identity of
"Kw6yblness", in particular, among younger generations who did not experience that way
of life.
Other perspectives of culture serve to reveal the tensions that exist within the
socio-cultural context in St. Lucia. Kramsch (1998: 7-8) refers to a diachronic or historical
view of culture as one which:
Focuses on the way in which a social group represents itself and others
through its material productions over time its technological
achievements, its monuments, its works of art, its popular culture that
punctuate the development of its historical identity. This material culture
is reproduced and preserved through institutional mechanisms that are
also part of the culture, like museums, schools, public libraries,
governments, corporations, and the media...

Very few of the institutional mechanisms mentioned by Kramsch that are essential
for the preservation of a historical French Creole identity have functioned primarily or
exclusively for this purpose. The notable exception is the Folk Research Centre whose
explicit aim is such preservation. This institution has attempted, from the time of its
inception in the early 1970s, to document the stories, the songs, the music, the accounts of
the folkways, the way of life that characterized French Creole culture. Since this was

primarily an oral culture, these records would have been obtained from the oral descriptions
given by the "older heads" Much would have been lost where opportunities did not permit
extensive recording of these older folk whose stories would have died with them. While
some materials would also have been preserved through the efforts of The Arts and Crafts
Society and the National Archives, the absence of a national museum probably means that
much of the material, which an institution such as a museum would have preserved, might
have been lost.
Of the communications media, the radio broadcasts the most programmes in
Kweybl. These include news, agricultural information for farmers and one or two talk
shows. The varieties of Kw6ybl that are used on these programmes sometimes contain
several English words and some ungrammatical Kw6ybl structures. This often happens
when the announcer is not a native speaker of Kw6ybl, has a limited vocabulary and is not
fluent in the idiom of the language. Indeed, the varieties that are now spoken around the
urban centers are different in some ways from those spoken in those rural areas where
Kweybl is still dominant, and they are different from those varieties that the older folk use.
As the older folk die, the varieties of Kweybl that they speak die with them, so relatively
fewer speakers use a variety that reflects the idiom of native speakers of two generations
ago, an idiom which is free from English lexical insertions.
As noted earlier in this paper, the school has functioned as an institution whose
primary aim over the years has been to eradicate Kw6ybl. Simmons-McDonald (1988)
reported that the effect of school policy resulted in a situation of subtractive bilingualism
for many native speakers of Kw6ybl. That is, proficiency in the school language has not
been developed to a sufficient extent to allow these speakers to use it productively after they
leave school and, at the same time, the lack of nurturing of Kw6y6l, in fact, its suppression
in the school context, also results in the lack of development of that language. The high
levels of functional illiteracy recorded by Carrington (1984) can be attributed, in part, to
this policy. In short, the school, which might have functioned as a powerful agent for the
preservation of Kweybl and fostered its intellectualization as well as the cognitive
advantages (such as increased flexibility) that derive from bilingualism, has been
instrumental in the linguistic impoverishment of native speakers of Kw6ybl. This
impoverishment has also hampered the "perpetuation of (Kweybl) culture and retarded its
development as a print medium.
A third layer of culture referred to by Kramsch (1998:8) is that of the imagination,
which she described as "essential" and defined as the "common dreams, fulfilled and
unfulfilled imaginings." She explained:
These imaginings are mediated through the language, that over the life of the
community reflects, shapes and is a metaphor for its cultural reality...Language is
intimately linked not only to the culture that is and the culture that was, but also to the
culture of the imagination that governs people's decisions and actions far more than we may

The institutions in St. Lucia have not allowed Kw6y6l to be a powerful voice in the
shaping of the St. Lucian cultural imagination or its expression in media other than the oral
French Creole traditions which are now preserved in the collective memory of fewer
The conflict inherent in language choice is evident in the practical sphere of
education and the decisions regarding the selection of one language for instruction as well
as in the literature produced by St. Lucian writers. Perhaps the dual image of'rain and salt'
on the one hand and 'frowning marble' on the other which Walcott uses in his Nobel
acceptance speech, can be interpreted as symbols of the duality of the St. Lucian experience.
The dialects of my archipelago seem as fresh to me as those of raindrops on the
statue's forehead, not the sweat made from the classic exertion of frowning marble, but the
condensations of a refreshing element, rain and salt.5
The 'rain and salt' can be taken to represent the earthiness and vibrancy of French
Creole culture, and Kwdybl itself, while the 'frowning marble' is an appropriate image of the
colonial power, the frown representing the disapproval of the colonizers towards the native
language and culture. Kramsch makes the interesting observation that Culture as a process
that includes and excludes "always entails the exercise of power and control" (p.8). It is the
powerful who make decisions about the "values and beliefs" that are adopted by the group,
the "historical events" that are commemorated, and the "future (that) is worth imagining."
She said that "national cultures resonate with the voices of the powerful, and are filled with
the silences of the powerless" (p.9). The imposition of English as the official language was
a decision of the powerful and the means by which English was established as the voice that
would articulate a particular course of development and cultural reality for St. Lucia was a
reality in which Kwey6b would be rendered powerless.
Despite the persistent attempts at "silencing" Kw6y6b in the critical areas that
would ensure the empowerment of its native speakers, the Kw6y6l voice continued to
resonate in the St. Lucian context. More recent changes in political orientation have
encouraged a rejuvenation of French Creole folk cultural manifestations and permitted the
exertion of pressure for the reclamation of Kwey6l through its introduction in education.
Nwenmely (1996) reports the findings of a study on language reclamation, which was
conducted with the children of first generation migrants to the United Kingdom. She found
that teaching these children Kwy6l in the UK context was successful and that there was an
increased interest in the manifestations of Kw6y61 culture among the subjects of the study.
These findings support the view that the use of Kwey61 for educational purposes can act as
a catalyst for generating interest in the folk culture among young people who may have
heard about the French Creole traditions but who do not speak Kwey6l, and who may not
be fully aware of the richness of that heritage. In fact, without an appropriate programme
which involves the young people, reclamation and maintenance of Kw6y61 is not likely to
be successful.

Towards a coherent cultural policy
In the St. Lucian context, preservation of French Creole culture and the
reclamation of Kweybl cannot proceed as two distinct and separate activities. The
successful preservation of the French Creole traditions will depend upon the continued use
of Kw6ybl in St. Lucian society and also upon a broadening of its functions. One difficulty
is that as more St. Lucian children acquire English or the Vernacular as their only first
language, the number of native Kwdy6l speakers will continue to decrease. Less
widespread use of Kweybl by younger generations will certainly lead to the eventual
demise of the language. Some of the studies on St. Lucia, referred to in this paper, have
reported that language distribution shifts over the last five decades indicate decreased use of
Kweybl among the population, as well as fewer native speakers in both rural and urban
areas. If these trends continue, the outcome for Kwey6l may well be similar to that which
exists in Grenada where it has practically disappeared or Trinidad, which now has only
a very small community of Kwey6b speakers.
The issues related to French Creole culture and Kwey6l in education are closely
tied to broader development in St. Lucia. As long as English is perceived as the sole
language through which success can be achieved, there will be no motivation for St.
Lucians to want to learn Kwey6l or to take it seriously. One issue that has not hitherto
received the attention it merits has to do with the relationship of language to national
development generally, and the development of human resources specifically. A second
related issue concerns the role of French Creole traditions in the development of local
industry and in nurturing a cultural experience that is unique and distinctively St. Lucian.
It may very well be that the changes that have occurred in recent years preclude the
possibility of recapturing the ethos that Jules refers to in his recollection of what constitutes
a Kwey6l culture. Certainly, the pressures exerted by strong external influences will
continue to erode St. Lucian folk traditions and will continue to be a challenge to St.
Lucians who are interested in preserving them. The policies that are implemented internally
are crucial in determining whether the French Creole traditions and the language, Kweybl,
continue to die out gradually or whether reclamation and preservation can proceed as
synchronous processes that will conserve these aspects of St. Lucian heritage.
Perhaps the first step towards conservation must be articulated at the level of
national development. This would require the following assertions: firstly, that French
Creole language and traditions are important in defining the St. Lucian experience and
identity; secondly, that Kweybl has a powerful potential for developing St. Lucian's human
resources and that it is necessary in perpetuating the cultural traditions; thirdly, that
reclamation and maintenance of Kwey6l can only succeed if children acquire it, become
literate in it and become engaged in a process that promotes its intellectualisation ; and
fourthly, that there are ways in which these can be harnessed to contribute to social,
economic and human resource development in St. Lucia. As Kramsch (1998:8) pointed
Language is not a culture-free code, distinct from the
way people think and behave, but rather, it plays a

major role in the perpetuation of culture, particularly in its printed
form... Language is intimately linked not only to the culture that is and
the culture that was, but also to the culture of the imagination that
governs people's decisions and actions far more than we may think.

The point is that perpetuation of the French Creole cultural traditions depend on
the continued productive use of Kweybl in speech and in writing; and yes, on its intellectu-
alization which will only come about if young native speakers learn to use it in literacy
activities. However, enough has not been done to promote this development. There are two
very important considerations here. The first is that over the decades St. Lucia has
systematically wasted human resources through its monolingual policy of instruction in
English only for Kwey6l speakers. Thousands of native Kw6y6l speakers who left the
education system as functional illiterates could only contribute in limited ways to the
development of their communities and country. Language, specifically the inability to
become proficient in a second language (English), possibly constituted the main
impediment to full participation by these Kw6ybl speakers in the affairs of the nation.
Second language acquisition research has shown that development in the native or first
language for purposes of literacy facilitates the development of literacy in a second
language. In the case of St. Lucia, a policy that allowed for the development of literacy in
both Kw6ybl and English would redress the disadvantages that native Kw6y6l speakers
have endu:ed and continue to endure in the education system. In addition, such a policy
would pave the way for the intellectualization of Kwy6l, which would be manifested in the
production of literary materials in the language, thus making possible the development of a
rich literary component as part of the French Creole heritage.
If indeed the French Creole heritage is considered an important part of St. Lucian
identity, then policy could dictate the learning of Kw6ybl as a second language by native
speakers of the Vernacular and English. The learning of Kw6y6l as a second language in
the St. Lucian context, which provides support for it in the wider community, would
facilitate the learning of a third and fourth foreign language, e.g. French and Spanish, later
on in school. The use of culturally relevant materials in this process would serve to kindle
interest in the folk traditions and build the sense of "Kwdyblness' to which Jules refers.
It would not be sufficient to celebrate the folk traditions mainly during the week
surrounding Jounen Kwey6l once a year. It would be important to reactivate these events
at the times that they were normally celebrated by the ancestors as a means of becoming
reacquainted with their relevance and re-establishing them as part of the fabric of the life of
the French Creole community. Developing the interest of young people in these activities
would require their active participation in the events. This could be established on the basis
of involvement by schools in the form of exhibitions and competitions, for example, in the
indigenous dances and in plays written in Kweybl. These events would provide authentic
examples of the culture and might serve as additional attractions for a tourist industry in
need of such authentic cultural manifestations.

A top-down policy would not be appropriate in introducing a shift in policy as this
would only serve to build resistance to Kw6y6l for the same reasons that it was stigmatized
in the first place. Instead, a participatory process that included the relevant Non-
Governmental Organizations, particularly those primarily concerned with folk matters, the
parents of native Kwdybl speakers, educators and the relevant government ministries might
advance these interests in an expeditious way. A prerequisite, however, would be a
heightening of the awareness of participants and the general public about the value of
Kweybl in developing bilingualism and the cognitive acuity of its speakers. A broad based
participatory approach in promoting the cultural activities in conjunction with a critical
pedagogical approach that included Kw6y6l as one of the languages of instruction would
begin to mediate the contradictions that exist and provide the basis for the continued
existence of the traditions and the French Creole language as part of the St.Lucian cultural


1. This paper was presented at the conference on (Re)Thinking Caribbean Culture, UWI, Cave Hill Campus,
June 4-8, 2001.
2 The articles by Harold Simmons which are referred to in this paper were probably written between 1950 and
1963: A selection of his writings were compiled by D. Jules and published by The Folk Research Centre
in 1989. That collection has not recorded the dates of publication in every case. The page references cited
in this paper are from that publication.
3. Derek Walcott 1986. Collected Poems 1948-1984 pp.17-18. Noonday Press).
4. This was established by Harold Simmons and others in April, 1945.
5 Derek Walcott. 1992. The Antilles: Fragments of Epic Memory The Nobel Lecture. Farrar, Straus and
6. One need only consider the situation in Trinidad and Tobago or Grenada where the language variety
succumbed to the influence of alternative cultural expressions.
7. That is, through using it as a vehicle for the expression of the cultural imagination in both oral and written
media, but particularly in its printed form, e.g. journalism and literature poetry, fiction drama, essays etc.


Alexander, Marcella. 1993. "Exploring Attitudes towards St. Lucian French Creole and English in a selective
St. Lucian Community" Caribbean Studies Thesis, UWI, Cave Hill.
Alleyne, Mervyn and P Garvin. 1982. Standard Language Theory with Special Reference to Creole Languages.
In Theoretical Issues in Caribbean Linguistics. M. Alleyne (Ed.). Pages 19-35. UWI Mona: The Language
Breen, Henry. 1844. .St. Lucia: Historical, Statistical and Descriptive. Frank Cass & Co, 1970 Reprint.
Carrington, Lawrence. 1984. St. Lucian Creole: A Descriptive Analysis of its Phonology and Morphosyntax.
Hamburg: Helmut Buske.
Christie, Pauline. 1983. In Search of the Boundaries of Caribbean Creoles. In Studies in Caribbean Language,
L. Carrington (ed.). UWI, St. Augustine: A Society for Caribbean Linguistics Publication.

Jules, Didacus. 1998. Kwdy6l culture: Differentiation in a globalized context. Feature Address given at the
International Symposium on Creole Cultures. Roseau, Dominica, October, 1998.
Kramsch, Claire. 1998. Language and Culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Le Page, R.B. and A. Tabouret-Keller. 1985. Acts ofldentity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Liebermann, Dena. 1975. Language Attitudes in St. Lucia. In Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 6:471-81.
Nwenmely, Hubisi. 1995. Language Reclamation: French Creole Language Teaching in the UK and the
Caribbean. Clevedon, Phildaelphia, Adelaide: Multilingual Matters.
Simmons, Harold. Notes on the Folklore in St. Lucia, West Indies for Members of the U.S. Volunteer Peace
Corps. In Selected Writings of Harold FC. Simmons, compiled by Didacus Jules for The Folk Research
Centre, St. Lucia. 1989.
Notes on French Creole, St.Lucia. In Selected Writings of Harold F C. Simmons, compiled
by D. Jules for the Folk Research Centre, St. Lucia 1989.
Simmons-McDonald, Hazel, 1988. The Learning of English Negatives by Native speakers of St. Lucian French
Creole. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, Stanford University.
1996. Language education policy: the case for Creole in formal education in St. Lucia. In:
Caribbean Language issues Old and New, P.Christie (Ed.). Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad Tobago: The
University of the West Indies Press.
2000. "Language Education and the Vernacular Speaker: A Model for Multilingual compe-
tence." Paper presented at the 13th Biennial conference of the Society for Caribbean Linguistics. Mona,
Jamaica. Forthcoming.
2006.Vernacular Instruction and Bi-Literacy Development in French Creole Speakers In Ex-
ploring the Boundaries of Caribbean Creole Languages. Simmons-McDonald, H. and Robertson, I (Eds.)
Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad, University of the West Indies Press, pp.118-146

"The best poor man's country"? Thomas Thistlewood in
eighteenth-century Jamaica



What enabled a white immigrant to succeed in eighteenth-century Jamaica? An
exchange in the opening pages of Marly, a novel written and set in early nineteenth-century
Jamaica, highlights both how a later generation of white immigrants viewed a land of
opportunity and the continuing challenges of adapting to its slave-holding society. Fresh
off the boat, two Scots lads meet a fellow Scot who has become a well-established attorney.
He tells them "you will find the manners of this island very different from Scotland; but in
a very short time, the prejudices you have imbibed in your own country, will wear off and
then you will feel yourselves very comfortable. Take my word for it, this is the best poor
man's country in the world, for with industry and economy, every man here may prosper."'
Were these assertions justified, either in 1750s, '60s and '70s or in the 1820s? Trevor
Burnard's new book on Thomas Thistlewood engages with such claims, while considering
the wider repercussions for all of the island's residents, black and white, enslaved and free,
of the moral suppleness of the successive white immigrants who became "comfortable"
with Jamaica's brutal social norms.
The diaries compiled by Thomas Thistlewood, an immigrant from England who
came out to Jamaica in 1750 and died there in 1786, provide fascinating insights into the
process of adaption and creolisation he, and the slaves he sought to control, all underwent.
That Thistlewood's notebooks survive at all is remarkable. The fullness of the record they
provide is more remarkable still. For thirty-six years he kept a daily journal, besides filling
literary commonplace books, garden books and a weather log. The resulting archival hoard
offers fascinating glimpses into the everyday life in one of Britain's richest colonies. This
is not only by far the fullest diary from eighteenth-century Jamaica, but these notebooks
also cover a longer span than any other Jamaican journals from this period, including the
history-cum-journal written by John Taylor, a soon-returning potential immigrant who
visited in 1687, the "Journal of a Residence in Jamaica" compiled by Admiral Hovinden
Walker during his service on the island in 1712; the journals of Nicholas Phillips, an
English merchant who arrived in 1759 and married into a planting family, the scrappy notes
kept by the island-born James Pinnock, a future Advocate General of Jamaica, the vivid
recollections penned by William Hickey, a well connected Anglo-Irish lawyer who came
out to make a career in Kingston in 1775 before shifting to greener pastures in India, the
brief summaries that Henry Turton, a Kingston lawyer, scribbled at the back of his 1796
Jamaica Almanac, or even the very full diary compiled between 1801 and 1805 by Lady
Maria Nugent, the wife of Jamaica's then Governor. Thistlewood's collections are also
fuller than the memoranda compiled by another lower middle class English emigrant,

Samuel Eusebius Hudson, whose integration into the slaveholding society in Cape Town at
the start of the nineteenth century has prompted a thought-provoking study by Kirsten
McKenzie on what cultural adjustments were involved in becoming an English slave-owner
there.3 We will not come away liking Thomas Thistlewood, but his journals do allow us to
understand far more about the island he knew.
Since Thistlewood's papers were rediscovered in the 1970s several scholars have
explored them. The first of these, Douglas Hall's powerful In Miserable Slavery, used the
diaries to reconstruct the lives of individuals in a slave-holding society, not only Thistle-
wood but also his principal enslaved African-Jamaican companion, Phibbah. Hall, who
farmed in western Jamaica himself, read Thistlewood's agricultural notes with an informed
eye to trace how he ran the property he purchased there, noting where attempts to grow new
crops could be turned to social advantage with gifts of cherries or cabbages prompting
invitations to dine with the parish's leading planters. Hall's book remains an engaging
study whose second edition continues to introduce readers to the harshness of "slavery
times."4 A further essay by Philip Morgan reversed some of Hall's themes, turning away
from the elite social circles where Thistlewood won admittance in his later years, to
reconsider his first years on the island and explore the implications of living miles from the
next white while, in the same spirit of tracing cross-cultural encounters, Richard Sheridan
discussed medical recipes that Thistlewood derived from and compiled for the slaves under
his control.5 Meanwhile J.R. Ward used the descriptions of mid-eighteenth-century planta-
tion management in Thistlewood's journals as a benchmark for his analysis of the ways that
easing the conditions for enslaved workers could help make individual plantations more
profitable. Now two more authors have explored this extensive archive to provide further
assessments of Thomas Thistlewood and his activities. The first is a specialist monograph
on The 18th Century Climate of Jamaica: Derived from the Journals of Thomas Thistle-
wood, 1750-1786, where Michael Chenoweth explores the long run of meteorological
journals Thistlewood compiled.7 These apparently offer the fullest series of eighteenth-
century weather logs surviving from outside Europe or mainland North America. Che-
noweth's analysis commends not only the compiler's persistence and diligence but also his
methodological rigour, with Thistlewood taking more thought about placing his barometer
and thermometer to avoid direct sun than Thomas Jefferson. The care demonstrated in
recording this data testifies to the persistent effort Thistlewood devoted to writing up his
various logs and records. We can see why the slaves under his charge assigned him the
nickname "Abbaumi Appea," or "No for Play" The remarkable evidence that Thistle-
wood's journals offer for his own career and for his dealings with slaves shape a second
new book, Trevor Burnard's ambitious Mastery, Tyranny, & Desire: Thomas Thistlewood
and his Slaves in the Anglo-Jamaican World.8
In framing Mastery, Tyranny & Desire as an examination of the opportunities
available to an English migrant at the distant edge of Britain's mid-eighteenth-century
empire, Burnard turns drafting his study in New Zealand to considerable advantage. Two
generations later someone like Thistlewood might well have appeared a prime recruit for
the New Zealand Company. Burnard engages with questions of cultural distance, consider-
ing the effectiveness of shipments of books and scientific instruments in keeping settlers in

remote places posted on current scientific discussions in London. Boxes of books and seeds
could help bridge the miles between rural Jamaica and London, but they were not nearly so
effective in communicating social values, which increasingly diverged over the same
period. Nor is Burard simply writing about Jamaica when he aims to set Thistlewood in
an imperial context as "a foot soldier of the eighteenth-century empire," asking what
options were available for the younger son of a yeoman farmer in mid-eighteenth-century
Lincolnshire. They seem pretty slim. Young Thomas received a reasonable schooling but
only had limited prospects locally even before getting a girl pregnant. He was fortunate
the pregnancy did not come to term, so escaped fines and imprisonment from the local
justices of the peace for fathering a bastard, but he shipped off to India soon afterwards. In
the event Thistlewood did not make a career in the East India Company's service. The
voyage allowed him to accumulate a small grub stake, though not enough for a new start at
home. His suit was turned down by the parents of the next Lincolnshire lass he courted.
His cash could pay for a passage to Jamaica where he remained for the rest of his life and
Thistlewood's Jamaican experiences bring out the remarkable opportunities avail-
able for those white immigrants who managed to survive the island's ferocious disease
regime. With only a fair amount of luck hard-working newcomers could win land and local
status at least if they were not squeamish. He started near the bottom of the tree for white
immigrants, though not at the absolute bottom as he paid his own passage out, so did not
have to serve out an indenture before making his start. Emigrating improved his opportu-
nities. In contrast to the disappointments of job-hunting in England, Thistlewood was
offered a post as a bookkeeper (assistant overseer) almost as soon as he landed in Jamaica.
What's more, when his host's promised position did not open up, he could take a job
elsewhere. From this start he soon rose to b-ecome overseer on another estate, saving
enough money to purchase one slave after another whose labours allowed Thistlewood to
accumulate sufficient capital to buy a small pen. A tenant farmer's younger son who had
almost been hauled before the Lincolnshire justices, became a landowner, militia officer
and justice of the peace. By any standards this was a remarkable turn around and his career
testifies to the opportunities that remained available for white migrants in mid-eighteenth-
century Jamaica. But at what costs were such gains won? Burard's book also provides an
illuminating view of the harsh under-side of the island's sugar-boom prosperity.
Thomas Thistlwood succeeded in a society where enslaved labour generated high
profits. His diary and annual accounts show how an immigrant white could climb the local
ladder. As an employee on a sugar estate he received free board and lodgings. He was also
supposed to receive his pay in cash in a society where money was always short; With his
accumulated wages a frugal employee could purchase slaves. Meanwhile, as a competent
overseer, neighboring landowners tried to hire Thistlewood away to work for them. Their
bids pushed his current employer to increase Thistlewood's pay, hire his slaves and offer
bonuses for good crops. If he had remained an overseer he might well have secured still
higher fees before becoming an attorney, managing several estates for absentees and raking
in commissions.10 In the meantime, as a prickly individual with a difficult employer,
Thistlewood explored the alternatives available to him. A provincial English education

continued until he was eighteen qualified him for school-teaching posts but, as ever, the pay
and prospects appeared too low. In his early years he was tempted by the possibility of
shipping aboard a schooner to Honduras, always the open frontier for plantation Jamaica.
He also considered the option of going into partnership with a local land surveyor, one of
the few colonial professions open to mathematically-inclined whites who had not acquired
any advanced training in Europe. His prospective partner's suicide closed off that route.
Instead, after taking up a post as overseer on another employer's estate, Thistlewood
allowed himself to be recruited back at a better stipend after a year, in the process re-uniting
with his enslaved female companion, Phibbah, who had acted as an active go-between in
these negotiations. After another nine years he left again, this time using his accumulated
capital to buy land. He arranged to hire Phibbah so she could accompany him. As the
proprietor of Bread Nut Island Pen he enjoyed far more autonomy than any of the other
choices he considered, even if following the overseer-to-attorney route or even becoming a
tavern keeper might well have generated a higher annual income. He valued his status as a
landowner, which quickly transferred into the independence and authority he craved.
In Jamaica Thistlewood entered a white society shaped by profit: sugar was
shipped to Britain while newcomers arrived hoping to enrich themselves. To gloss over
very wide social discrepancies white Jamaicans stressed common values. Visitors were
always struck by the island's inclusive hospitality, where white travellers could expect a
meal and a bed for the night when they presented themselves at a planter's door. Thistle-
wood offered a welcome to job-hunting overseers who wandered by. When it came to
dealing with richer whites his journals stress further egalitarian expectations. He was not
prepared to be patronised. During an election for a seat in the island's Assembly a local
grandee tried gladhanding the crowd and was surprised when this elector refused to shake
his hand. Thistlewood not only expected to be treated with respect during elections, but all
the time. Jamaican slaveholders were absolute masters in their own households and
unaccustomed to offering deference. If anything, eighteenth-century Jamaica seems an
even less deferential society than the slaveholding colonies on the North America mainland
where shared racial fears led poorer white voters to line up behind established local
What are we to make of the specific experiences recorded by such an upwardly-
mobile individual? Burnard faces the difficulty that all diary-based studies encounter once
they move beyond a biographical narrative and try to trace ordinary experiences through an
extraordinary text. Thomas Thistlewood was hardly typical. In part, certainly, because he
survived the initial "seasoning" that killed off most new arrivals from Europe within a few
months of their disembarking; in part, too, because someone who spent his evenings writing
up his diary and weather journal, rather than crawling into a rum bottle, was more likely to
succeed than many of his fellow white migrants. West Indian planters were prepared to
employ almost any whites who arrived looking for a job, but such "walk-foot buckra" were
often pretty low-grade recruits. In contrast Thistlewood, a tenant farmer's son, had already
encountered England's current "agricultural revolution" in his home county, where system-
atic applications of traditional best practices, alongside experiments and new crops, were
transforming farming techniques and upping yields." One of the initial letters of introduc-

tion he brought with him came from a leading London seed-supplier, whose customer base
included both Lincolnshire and rural Jamaica. Thistlewood's writings then show us how
Jamaica changed him. If the diligent scientific reading recorded in his commonplace books
demonstrates ripples from the European enlightenment reaching deep rural Jamaica and
testifies to the curiosity that helped to shape his success as a settler in an agricultural colony,
his diaries show the parallel process of adjusting to the brutal values of the island's white
society. He was certainly tough and had to be. He soon became callous too. On his first
day as an assistant overseer at Vinyard Pen he accompanied his new employer who ordered
three hundred lashes for the enslaved "driver", one of the estate's senior slaves. The
generous hospitality of a planter's household rested on uninhibited violence in the fields.
Thistlewood absorbed this lesson and continued to order floggings for the rest of his life in
The day-to-day brutality towards slaves recorded in his journals can take us
further, offering a fresh context for re-evaluating the extensive testimony given to the
Westminster Parliament in 1789, shortly after his death, about the maltreatment of the
enslaved under West Indian slaveholders' control. Some witnesses described incidents in
Jamaica's Westmoreland parish where Thistlewood spent his life. These included cruel
beatings occurring not just out on lonely estates, but in gardens in Savanna la Mar, the
parish's principal port, where only a hedge separated passers-by from the victims' screams.
More frightening still, while the witnesses stated the cries were "heard with universal
detestation; the perpetrator was not brought to legal punishment."12 Historians of slavery
have made little use of these remarkable depositions, despite their early date. The argu-
ments for disregarding such vivid testimonies because the nascent abolitionist movement
found these witnesses, so their evidence can hardly be objective, were first offered by
slavery's always-plausible apologists and then repeated by historians unwilling to believe
how vile slave-holding societies could be. Such judicious denials helped to preserve the
illusion that such horrors could not occur in a British colony. Nay-saying will not make the
cruelty these witnesses described go away. After the daily savageries Thistlewood re-
corded, this testimony is no longer unbelievable. As a result, besides Burnard's thought-
provoking study, historians of slavery may well want to reach down the volumes of Minutes
of the Evidence, Taken Before a Committee of the Whole House, to consider of the
Slave-Trade too.
What else did Thistlewood's dealings with African Jamaicans involve? Even if he
was not an introspective diarist the actions he recorded can take us further into this society.
To start with, the journals of a man who left home after getting a girl pregnant include a
numbered record of his sexual encounters. He found plenty of opportunities to add to his
tally in the West Indies, where he continually forced his attentions onto female slaves. The
diary entries provide extensive details about when, where, with whom and how much he
tipped afterwards but, beyond recording whose property they were, we learn little more -
aside from some gruesome descriptions of the treatments he underwent for sexually trans-
mitted diseases. His notes are silent on what these trysts meant to him, while offering no
consideration about what such encounters implied for the enslaved women he lay with.
These blanks highlight not just his own but his society's blind spots. Other white men may

have behaved even worse, but Thomas Thistlewood was still a serial rapist. In the Jamaica
where he thrived his actions were neither criminalized nor even viewed as socially repre-
hensible. By his contemporaries' standards he may even have tipped fairly generously, or
offered some slave women the alternative of sex rather than a flogging for some misde-
meanour. Criticisms confided to his journals about other white plantation employees who
forced their attentions onto enslaved women who were already in relationships, disrupting
the whole slave community in the process, suggest a wish for his own long-term relation-
ships to be consensual. This remains a dismally low baseline and not just by modem
standards, but also by the values increasingly adopted by novelists writing in mid- and late
eighteenth-century Britain. Perhaps it was to Thistlewood's advantage that his extensive
book buying and borrowing did not include much current fiction, as it would have de-
manded considerable mental agility to engage with the generous sensibilities that contem-
porary English authors like Sarah Fielding and Sarah Scott assigned to the male characters
they sent out to Jamaica.13 As things were, when Thistlewood mourned the death of a white
friend his regrets echoed the sensibility of European writers; when it came to the slaves
under his control he could maintain a near complete break in sympathy. Colour defined his
emotional categories. Even his son by Phibbah appears in his diaries as "Mulatto John"
In spme fascinating chapters Burnard traces the careers of several enslaved people
through entries in Thistlewood's diary. The differences between his acquaintance with men
and women and between field and household slaves is striking. Two male field slaves only
made slight impressions. Their purchase, illnesses and deaths were all noted, but he only
ordered them flogged a few times. Another man was far more closely involved in Thistle-
wood's life and his back paid for this proximity. Lincoln, the first slave Thistlewood
purchased, hunted with him, fished for him, served as his driver at Breadnut Island Pen and
was even trusted to stand guard during Tackey's rebellion in 1760. Lincoln was allowed
some opportunities for dalliances with other enslaved women, but this remained a very
narrow space. Thistlewood felt justified in resorting to punishments if any of Lincoln's
many chores fell short of his master's expectations. Trust and anger were tightly inter-
It was very different for women. All the female slaves Thistlewood owned
endured his sexual attentions, though household slaves were far more vulnerable. How-
ever, one major distinction Burard identifies in shaping female slaves' responses was the
number of children they had. A woman who was childless or whose babies were stillborn
only had to look out for herself and, perhaps, her current partner. Some switched partners
fairly frequently, though they could still end up alone. Others kept running away, even
when each recapture prompted floggings, brandings and other punishments while, in one
case, after twenty years of servitude, the African-born Sally ended up despairing and
sinking into a numbed depression. In the event Thistlewood sold her to be transported to
Georgia. In contrast another enslaved African woman who had thirteen pregnancies, with
ten live births of which six children survived their first year, did not have the luxury of
either flight or despair. Nor could she support her family off the produce of her provision
ground and her ventures into petty sales to eke out her resources were unsuccessful too. She
was obliged to turn to Thistlewood for handouts, even if he then demanded sex in return.

The options available to most of the enslaved women under Thistlewood's control appear
choices between bad, worse or still worse. Here, however, besides chronicling individual
endurance, or even the broad-brush category of "resistance," which modem academic
writers sometimes make so all-embracing as to mean everything and nothing, Burard
proposes a further intermediate category of "opposition," which can offer a useful frame-
work for appraising the recalcitrance and foot-dragging that Thistlewood and his fellow
whites grumbled at.
The most complicated personal relationship developed between Thistlewood and
his long-term enslaved companion, Phibbah. This lay at the heart of Douglas Hall's In
Miserable Slavery, so Bumard focuses on the broader pattern of their interactions rather
than unravelling all its emotional threads. It was hardly love at first sight. In January 1753,
when Thistlewood arrived as the new overseer at Egypt plantation, his first choice as
principal sexual companion was an African-born field slave, Jenny, with whom he re-
mained for nearly a year, but she increasingly alienated his affections by heavy-handed
attempts to intervene when he assigned punishments. Bringing a knife to bed proved the
final straw. Phibbah already had a place in his household as the cook and had been the
previous overseer's mistress too; indeed, soon after Thistlewood arrived he had her flogged
for harbouringg" his dismissed predecessor in her cottage. In December 1753, she managed
to win the new overseer's affections on the rebound from Jenny. They did well as a couple.
In part, certainly, because she worked hard to make the relationship succeed. He ate well
and the diaries noted lots of sex too, but Thistlewood also recorded successful commercial
partnerships where he provided her with lengths of cloth which she cut, sewed and resold.
They split the profits 50:50. There were benefits both ways. Linking himself to the
Jamaican-born Phibbah tied Thistlewood into a pre-existing network, which offered back-
channels into his employer's household. On her side she only had a limited deck of cards
but played them very skilfully. Securing the new overseer's favour was a challenge, so was
retaining it, particularly when he left the estate to take up another post. Phibbah did manage
the difficult initial transition from one overseer to another where her loyalty to Thistle-
wood's predecessor compounded her problems. There were plenty of instances where she
could have lost her grip and slipped, as other less adroit or less fortunate enslaved sweet-
hearts did. She was hardly alone in trying to trade companionship into something more
permanent and other enslaved women also succeeded in making spaces for themselves on
individual plantations, accumulating property and doing their best to keep themselves and
their children out of the fields. Phibbah's dealings with Thistlewood illuminate what such
relationships involved.14 The cunning of the weak, commended in the Anancy stories told
in her household, was invaluable.
Can we contextualise the experiences captured in Thistlewood's journals any
further? Perhaps. Asking if the opportunities available for white immigrants to Jamaica
when he arrived in 1750 were unusual engages wider issues. Our answers will depend on
how we pose the question. Chenoweth's close reading of the weather diaries ties their data
into wider meteorological contexts, suggesting that the island where Thistlewood prospered
was enjoying a particularly fortunate climatic regime, with very few hurricanes reaching the
western Caribbean. When this trans-Atlantic weather system broke up in the early 1780s

the results were disastrous. Defining a period of prosperity through climate is intriguing.
Later generations of Anglo-Jamaicans, including the anonymous author of Marly, all
looked back on the mid-eighteenth-century as a "golden age" where estates thrived after the
end of the Maroon wars. It now appears some of this hindsight was justified. The weather
was better then. Taking climatic changes into account should help to rephrase plenty of
Burnard's book prompts broader queries. What did it mean to succeed as a
colonist in Britain's mid-eighteenth-century empire? The comment offered in Marly about
Jamaica being "the best poor man's country" left open how prospective emigrants might
define "best" The glowing promises which encouraged successive European migrants to
sail to Jamaica often shattered against the brutal island society these "Johnny Newcomes"
encountered. An early nineteenth-century book-keeper wrote home regretting his choice,
"instead of being a Gentleman's life it is more like a slave," continuing, "I'll die before I'll
be a planter, tho' it is the best for getting money, a person that is hard enough to manage the
business may get to be an overseer & have 3 or 400 a year, but no one has wages equal to
their hazards, 19 out of 20 die without getting anything & I fear I shall be one of the
unhappy number." These were daunting odds, while the brutalising work contrasted with
the splendid prospects that had persuaded him to migrate. Even if gullible farm boys
continued to swallow recruiters' golden tales, the supply was never sufficient for all the
vacancies. The white recruits who kept the plantations working were "chiefly Scotch(sic)
& Irish of bad character who had no trade or wished for an idle profligate life."15 So, in
contemporaries' terms, would migration to the West Indies offer the best prospects for the
"best" poor men of the period? Maybe yes; but maybe no too.
Academics examining colonial societies in North America have also invoked this
"best poor man's country" catch-phrase in asking where male and female European mi-
grants could hope to thrive. Incorporating mid-eighteenth-century Jamaica into these
discussions has the merit of introducing wide-ranging comparisons for evaluating the
opportunities available to a prospective white emigrant. The earlier debate focused on the
likelihood for hard-working immigrants to establish themselves and their families in eight-
eenth-century Pennsylvania and, still more, the extent that migrants who took on indentures
to pay their passages were drawn by the pull of self-advancement rather than the push of
persecution or scarce opportunities in Europe.16 Would sailing to slave-holding Jamaica
offer a better option to a white migrant or, at least, to a male white emigrant? Perhaps as
individuals; far less so as potential dynasts. If the goal was capital accumulation then a
colony where "by being careful A man May soon accumulate as Much as Would put him in
A way at home of carr[y]ing on bussines" or else "purchase a small farm" back in Scotland,
Jamaica could indeed promise high wages, chances for rapid advancement and the potential
to remit one's gains back to the home country, lures at all social levels.17 Heads you might
win, and maybe win big; but tails, and you were likely to die very soon. The island would
not look nearly so good as a possible destination if the emigrant's goal in accumulating
wealth or land was to establish a family there, because white plantation employees were
discouraged from marrying, while tropical diseases hit white women and children very
hard. Plenty of European migrants who went to British North America's Middle Colonies

failed, while even if they did well they were unlikely to accumulate as many assets as
Thistlewood did. They were still far more likely to survive there for more than a few
months and, despite all the challenges to protecting inheritances after early deaths, remar-
riages and the resulting "blended families", they could hope to leave something to their
children.18 Even the threats from frontier wars or Indian raids hardly competed with
Jamaica's endemic yellow fever. All of which suggests that any white emigrants consider-
ing westbound passages would be well advised to think very hard about their long-term
goals before buying a ticket.
Reconsidering these options highlights the degree that when would-be immigrants
placed their bets and secured trans-Atlantic passages, those Europeans who chose to sail to
the Caribbean adopted different criteria. They might win golden prizes, with Thistlewood's
final estate valuation of 2,408.04 sterling well ahead of those accumulated by most
migrant men in most British colonies, even if his total still fell below the richest estates in
Jamaica or other West Indian islands. But, unlike those pioneering farmers on the North
American mainland, he remained a bachelor and left no descendants. His English nephew,
John Thistlewood, came out to join his uncle in 1764, but after only a little over a year in
Jamaica, John drowned. He had not married either. Afterwards his uncle was left to listen
to the celebrations among the slaves at the news. The long-term relationship with Phibbah
produced a son, but this second young John Thistlewood died in 1780. After Thomas
Thistlewood's death his executors sold "all that settlement or Penn commonly known by the
name of Bread Nut Island," dispersing the slave community there. Some of the cash was
used to purchase the now elderly Phibbah, free her and set her up with a small cottage. The
rest was sent to Thistlewood's kin in England. Death drew a firm line under his account.
This remains a difficult society to understand. The back porches where Thistle-
wood wrote up his diary offer us fascinating vantage points onto the plantation communi-
ties that sustained Jamaica's eighteenth-century prosperity. Here Erna Brodber offers a
useful for metaphor describing "the black/white relationship" in Jamaica during slavery,
being "to some extent like two intertwined circles, a common arc of close relationships with
parts totally black and parts totally white."19 Considering this image can show up the gaps
in Thistlewood's contacts with some segments of island society. Neither extreme is
discussed in his journals, be it the predominately white society encountered by elite visitors
at the King's House or the richest planters' great houses where many of the other surviving
diaries are far stronger or, the free African Jamaican societies in some of the predomi-
nately black sections of urban Kingston or the free societies of the maroons.20 However,
the overlapping circles metaphor also highlights the wider significance of the rich detail that
these journals include for illuminating those areas where black and white experiences did
intermesh. For thirty six years Thistlewood inhabited these spaces. We still hardly know
the individual African Jamaicans or poor whites he encountered in Jamaica, but his journals
do open up far more of the "what" and "how" of the societies that blacks and whites
negotiated than we ever know before. Engaging with Thomas Thistlewood's experiences,
stomach turning as they sometimes are, widens our understanding of a society whose
pervasive brutality demanded the rejection of sensibilities and standards that were increas-
ingly current in late eighteenth-century Britain.21


1. Marly; or, A Planter's Life in Jamaica (ed.), Karina Williamson, (1828, Basingstoke: Macmillan Carribean,
2005), 7.
2. David Buisseret's edition of John Taylor's narrative, Jamaica in 1687 is forthcoming from the University of
the West Indies Press; Kingston, National Library of Jamaica, Ms. 249, Hovinden Walker, "Journal of a
Residence in Jamaica"; Clare Taylor, "The Perils of a West Indian Heiress: Case Studies of the Heiresses
of Nathaniel Phillips of Sleibech," Welsh History Review 12, (1985), 495-513; London, British Library,
Add. Mss. 33316, diary ofJames Pinnock, 1754-1794; William Hickey, Memoirs of William Hickey (ed.),
Alfred Spencer, 4 vols. (London: Hurst and Blackett, 1912-1925), 2, 1775-1782; Spanish Town, Jamaica
Archives, 7/40, Jamaica Almanac, 1796 (St. Jago de la Vega: David Dickson for Thomas Stevenson,
[1796]), unfoliated pages at rear; Maria Nugent, Lady Nugent 's Journal of Her Residence in Jamaica from
1801 to 1805 (ed.), Philip Wright, (n.e. Kingston: University of the West Indies Press, 2002).
3. Kirsten McKenzie, The Making of an English Slave-owner- Samuel Eusebius Hudson at the Cape of Good
Hope 1796-1807, (Centre for African Studies Communication, 24, Rondebosch: University of Cape Town
Press, 1993).
4. Douglas Hall, In Miserable Slavery: Thomas Thistlewood in Jamaica, 1750-86, (1989, 2nd ed. Kingston:
University of the West Indies Press, 1999).
5. Philip D. Morgan, "Slaves and Livestock in Eighteenth-Century Jamaica: Vinyard Pen, 1750-1751," William
& Mary Quarterly 3rd ser. 52. (1995), 47-76; Richard B. Sheridan, "Slave Medicine in Jamaica: Thomas
Thistlewood's 'Receipts for a Physick,' 1750-1786," Jamaican Historical Review 17, (1991), 1-18.
6. J.R. Ward, British West Indian Slavery, 1750-1834: The Process ofAmelioration, (Oxford: Clarendon Press,
7. Michael Chenoweth, The 18th Century Climate of Jamaica: Derivedfrom the Journals of Thomas Thistle-
wood 1750-1786, (Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, 93 pt. 2, Philadelphia: American
Philosophical Society, 2003).
8. Trevor Bumard, Mastery, Tyranny, & Desire: Thomas Thistlewood and his Slaves in the Anglo-Jamaican
World (Chapel Hill and Kingston: University of North Carolina Press and lan Randle Publishers, 2004),
9. Trevor Burnard, "'Prodigious riches' the wealth of Jamaica before the American Revolution, Economic
History Review 2nd. ser. 54, (2001), 506-524.
10. On this option, see now, B.W Higman, Plantation Jamaica 1750-1850: Capital and Control in a Colonial
Economy, (Kingston: University of the West Indies Press, 2005).
11. T.W. Beastall, Agricultural Revolution in Lincolnshire, (History of Lincolnshire, 8, Lincoln: History of Lin-
colnshire Committee, 1978).
12. Abridgement of the Minutes of the Evidence, Taken before a Committee of the Whole House, to whom it
was referred to consider of the Slave Trade, Number 4, ([London], n.p. 1791), 141.
13. Sarah Fielding, The Adventures of David Simple, Volume the Last (ed.), Peter Sabor, (1753, Lexington: Uni-
versity of Kentucky Press, 1998); Sarah Scott, The History of Sir George Ellison (ed.), Betty Rizzo, (1766,
Lexington, University of Kentucky Press, 1996), also Eve W. Stoddard, "A Serious Proposal for Slavery
Reform: Sarah Scott's Sir George Ellison," Eighteenth-Century Studies 28, (1995), 379-396.
14. Exploring two further instances, Richard S. Dunn, "The Story of Two Jamaican Slaves: Sarah Affir and
Robert McAlpine of Mesopotamia Estate," in Roderick A. McDonald (ed.), West Indies Accounts: Essays
on the History of the British Caribbean and the Atlantic World, (Kingston: University of the West Indies
Press, 1996), 188-210, and Karl Watson, A Kind of Right to be Idle: Old Doll, Matriarch of Newton Plan-
tation, (Rewriting History, 3, Cave Hill and St. Ann's Garrison: Department of History, University of the
West Indies, Cave Hill, and Barbados Museum and Historical Society, 2000).
15. On the Johnny Newcome character in a series of early nineteenth-century cartoons depicting life in Jamaica,
Roger Buckley, "The Frontier in Jamaican Caricatures," Yale University Library Gazette 58, (1984), 152-
162. The quotation, William Fisher to his father, 10 July, 1819, quoted in Gordon A. Catherall, "British
Baptist Involvement in Jamaica 1783-1865," Keele University, Ph.D. thesis, 1970, 51-2.

16. James T Lemon, "Comment on James A. Henretta's 'Families and Farms: Mentalite in Pre-Industrial
America'," and James A. Henretta, "Reply," William & Mary Quarterly 3rd. ser 37, (1980), 688-700;
also, Mark Haberlein, "German Migration in Colonial Pennsylvania: Resources, Opportunities, and Expe-
rience, ibidd. 50, (1993), 555-574.
17. John McVicar to Archibald Campbell, 24 March, 1806, in Marion Campbell (ed.), Letters by the Packet:
Family Correspondence 1728-1861, (Dunoon: Argyll and Bute Library Service, 2004), 101
18. The high risk of sickness, Trevor Bumard, "'The Countrie Continues Sicklie' White Mortality in Jamaica,
1655-1780," Social History of Medicine 12 (1999), 45-72. Discussing the possibilities and pitfalls of re-
marriage for inheritances, Linda Sturtz, Within Her Power: Propertied Women in Colonial Virginia, (New
York: Routledge, 2002), 19-42; a well documented case study for the vulnerability of orphans' estates,
Bernard Herman, The Stolen House, (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1992).
19. Era Brodber, Woodside: Pear Tree Grove P.O., (Kingston: University of the West Indies Press, 2004), 55.
20. Wilma R. Bailey, "Kingston 1692-1843: A Colonial City," Ph.D. thesis, University of the West Indies,
Mona, 1974, 191-2, 246-282, also Loma Elaine Simmonds, "The Afro-Jamaican and the Internal Market-
ing System: Kingston, 1780-1834," in Kathleen E.A. Monteith and Glen Richards, (eds.), Jamaica in Slav-
ery and Freedom: History, Heritage and Culture, (Kingston: University of the West Indies Press, 2002),
274-290; Kenneth M. Bilby, True-Born Maroons, (Kingston: lan Randle, 2006).
21. G.J. Barker-Benfield, The Culture ofSensibility: Sex and Society in Eighteenth-Century Britain, (Chicago:
University of Chicago Press, 1992); delineating metropolitan shifts, Christopher L. Brown, Moral Capital:
Foundations of British Abolitionism, (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006).

Goldengrove: New and Selected Poems by Lorna Goodison,Manchester, England: Cacarnet
Press, 2006. 124 pages.
Prolific, wide-ranging, and accomplished, Lorna Goodison's new collection
Goldengrove is a superb compilation made up of twenty new poems and selected poems
from her two previous books, Travelling Mercies (2001) and Controlling the Silver (2005).
As such, this beautiful edition with a cover picture by Goodison allows for clear
demonstration of her ability to grow from collection to collection. She has said:
'One of the things I'm very concerned about is that
the work should develop. It should develop as I
develop as a person, as I develop emotionally and
spiritually and in every way....'

In an article in the Journal of West Indian Literature, Professor Edward Baugh
describes and illuminates Goodison's growth from Tamarind Season (1980), Goodison's
first book of poems, through I am Becoming My Mother (1986) to Heartease (1988), her
third collection. Baugh notes the development of Goodison's striking ability to speak for
people as a good poet should 'in proportion as he [the poet] speaks arrestingly of and for
himself. He traces the growth of her ability to merge her personal voice with the communal
one, and most especially, to speak movingly for women in all their stations and functions.
These traits are found also in the collections presented in Goodison's Goldengrove, and
there is evidence that the poet's poems along, perhaps, with the pain of creation have
grown larger. Her poems now encompass the world of the Caribbean diaspora and beyond,
for we find cultural evidence of voyages to Egypt and India and many references to the old
masters in the world of art. Goodison is growing beyond writing to embrace pure imagery:
she has seriously undertaken a new discipline, that of painting, and her reach of mind and
perception is thereby enhanced.
On the back of the book, Derek Walcott is quoted as calling Goodson's most recent
poems 'a triumph of fusions'. This approach to writing the self-as-community has the effect
of producing joy 'the rare quality that has gone out of poetry that these marvelous poems
restore'. That is high praise indeed. Andrew Salkey adds his voice in praise, noting astutely
that 'The evocative power of Lora Goodison's poetry derives its urgency and appeal from
the heart-and-mind concerns she has for language, history, racial identity, and gender'
Goodison speaks with a voice of great intelligence of these many issues and areas of
concern and interest to Caribbean people. She is without doubt one of the finest poets of our
region, and a worthy recipient of the Gold Musgrave Medal from Jamaica, her home
Goodison still speaks fluently across a wide range of Jamaican speech registers
although she now lives in North America and teaches at the University of Michigan. This
should be of no surprise, for the language of her poems is of the 'heart-and-mind' and is an
integral part of her development as a person and a poet. She still writes with sensitive

eloquence about erotic and familial love (as Laurence Breiner has noted), but her concerns
are now much broader, including signature North American images like salmon swimming
upstream ('The Selflessness of Salmon') and it draws on western masters like Dante
('Giovanni Paulo'), but her heart still has at its root the breathtaking images of home:
To endure the strict days of ice and winter
Come to absorb the green of December grass
That egrets bring. Silk cotton blossoming.
...Do not leave Xamayca forever, your wild self
sprouts here like long-limbed guinea grass
dispersed, blown about and tossed, seeded first
off the Guinea coast. You are African star grass.
Settle lightly, moved by breath of unknowing.
The egrets perch upon the trees like birds,
Blossoms of birds, or white-feathered flowers.
('To Absorb the Green' from Travelling Mercies)
From the recent poems we find a simple (and gendered) version of homesickness,
also fused with African elements and nation language:
I come from a land
where the same sho
offers morning breakfast,
dressmaking and fish.
Where the port of St Mary
is inscribed in Spanish
and called in the tongue of Twi.
...Essie say the water cold
the canoe cannot go forth
for fish take low and gone deep.
No fish today, try greens.
('I Come From a Land')
'Where I Come From' also expresses an essential Jamaican-ness through the
personas of the old women who 'bind living words/across their flat chests' and reach for
'medicine words' of healing from where they have recorded them at 'the base of their
The long sequence on the apprentice Cassamere in 'On Leaving Goldengrove'
shows Goodison's extraordinary versatility and narrative capability for it is the story of 'the
master of at least five trades' and his career in seven poems. Its texture brings to mind
'Controlling the Silver', the title poem of that collection where we learn how the women of
Benin, removed from their homeland, came to control silver enough to 'buy land, even to

lend to massa'. When silver disappears from the banks, it reappears on the bodies of the
African women:
Not a threepence, a sixpence, not one florin.
No metal-alloyed between the stirring notes.
Not even a lion-pon-it shilling to connect
one pound to guinea, absent all the silver,
except for that revolving around the body
of our women like Jupiter's multiple moons,
plunging between black mountains of bosom
into drawstring vaults of calico threadbags.
Goodison ranges the globe in Travelling Mercies and Collecting the Silver, but in
her recent poems she returns home with a mission to right history ('The Cruel Room') and
to pay tribute to its makers ('What Happened to Peter'). She speaks of Peter Tosh in the
warm tones of one artist praising another:
My impression of him was
he was a shy man,
private behind those shades
he never took off.
Between him and everyone else
he maintained a wall of smoke.
She closes her tribute with a magnificent blessing:
...Thank you Peter Tosh
for helping us get up stand up.
As I watched him step off
rolling lambsbread into blunt,
wherever he lives now, what a music.
One could say the same of Lorna Goodson: wherever she lives now, what a music.
As well as the Gold Musgrave, Lorna Goodison has been awarded the
Commonwealth Poetry Prize and the Henry Russel Award from the University of
Michigan. Her work, which has been widely translated and anthologized, appears in the
Norton Anthology of Modem and Contemporary Poetry.
The Salt Reaper: Poems from theflats by Lasana M. Sekou,Philipsburg, St. Martin: House
of Nehesi Publishers, 2004. 114 pages.
no matter the virus of wolves we have known
go on out
find the future, drive it home, as if it was a lost lamb
('My Land')

Losana M. Sekou is the pen name of H. H. Lake who was born in Aruba in 1959.
Sekou was raised in his paternal homeland, half-French and half-Dutch St. Martin, and he
writes impassioned performance poetry calling for independence. In that sense, he is in
something of a time-warp, drawing on the great nationalistic voices of George Lamming
and Kamau Brathwaite, and also the fluid, identity-building voice ofAime Cesaire. Sekou
has been knighted by Queen Beatrix of Holland for his extraordinary contribution to St.
Martin culture and heritage, and he enjoys great popularity in his home country. He is the
guiding light of the House of Nehesi Publishers among many other contributions to his
society. Sekou's poetry is translated into many languages and he has performed widely
throughout the Caribbean, the USA, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. Sekou's
work is studied in universities, performed by high school students, and has been published
in important journals like Callaloo and The Caribbean Writer. He has received many
awards and honours and is the author often books of poetry, monologues, and short stories.
The Salt Reaper, Sekou's most recent offering, is made up of eighteen poems from
the decade of the nineties and about forty new poems from the current decade. An
informative introduction by Hollis "Chalkdust" Liverpool and some intriguing
photographic illustration are included in this text. They serve to cushion the provocative
and intense voice that issues from these pages and lend perspective to the call for
nationhood. In 'No Love Poems', Sekou writes:
There will be no love poems tonight...
becausein we are not permitted
to plant a new banner of colors
in the nipples of the future
to wave at the present for all to see
the many fine features of Our Oneness.
Sekou's multi-creole vocals are subtle but ever present ('becausein') and his words
insist on orality they sing the nation off the page and into being. He has followed the
example set by Brathwaite and writes with visual text that leaps off the page:
A-Buyaka!Buyaka! Becausin I am a bomb of poison.
Buyaka! Buyaka! Festering a plague for treason.
A-buyaka! Say dying fish, say mangrove fringe,
Say diving pelican.
Buyaka, and retaliate, Salt Pond! Re-ta-li-aaaaaaaaaaaaate!
('Great Salt Pond Speaks')
The Salt Pond is a central image, evoking hard slave labour in the St. Martin
heritage 'Through the briny ages'. In it was 'anchored your sweating ebon brow under a
crown of thorns'. Sekou writes with the agonistic history of the colony at his fingertips and
sings and evokes great sweeping rhythms to dislodge the weight and torment of that past.
His poems are full of allusion to what has come from the past, therefore he calls on his
listeners/readers to go forward to fetch the future and bring it cleanly to the present. It is a
way of bringing a new nation into being. In 'The Blockade Next Time', he says:

we are already standing on the grounds
where we are bound to perish or mold this nation
in our very own image
for freedom not paid for is forfeit.

Sekou writes with erotic power about the stages of development of his political
vision. He doesn't pull punches. For example, in 'Freedom', he calls:
Freedom is no gray stone drag queen
she is my bitch to keep
jealous of her like sickness
wuk fo'she like dog
she is the river all men straddle down valleys to claim
He writes with equal passion about the terrible scourge of drug addiction that
prevents many a man from claiming his true heritage:
If you don't look out I'm stifling stink the noseholes
of your home
Deny me for shame and
deny me in the haste and chase of the beast...
deny me and eat this death to emptyfulness.
('Doped up Roughings')
Instead of the demeaning emptiness of drug dealings, Sekou calls for proud
identity to rise and claim its heritage. In the Darkman (dm) poems he makes this explicit:
who fears the dark man
his dark face
his eyes darkened by sun&sorrow&sights
of his stellar tomorrow
a darkly cast feast
his own civilization
('dm ')
And in 'dm ground', he shows his astute political sense when he declares: 'haiti
is/the state of Black manhood/feared by enemies./famished by traitors./phoenix to
These recent poems show Sekou sending out the Freedom call up to present times.
He starts the section with 'cradle of the nation', a long performance poem that Professor
Carolyn Cooper has referred to as 'magisterial'. Sekou opens it with the powerful lines:
'When the great slither of evil lumbered out, haunted/from the "empty python in hiding
grass", /over the western river that thunders deep down/ between the volcanic slit of
continents...' and proceeds to tell the story of the Middle Passage to the founding of the
'redgold African' nations in the West. He laments 'my captured angels, o my children' but
holds out the call that they will 'come to nation/new voices and all. One destiny still.'

Sekou writes consistently with this historical edge. In 'The Cubs are in the Filed',
he locates 'S'martin' in time as the new lion about to grow into adulthood:
massa day done
"mother country" molester unmasked
the bitch of uncertainty is barren bread
birth day song done sung
pubescent scent washed away
future-haters phrase the pathology of yesterday
against the new day
but the cubs are in the field
Sekou's poems of pride and passion leap powerfully off the page and make for
exciting reading even though independence calls seem dated to those Caribbeans from the
Anglophone regions, for example. His performances must be even more strong and
focused. The Salt Reaper is a well thought out compilation and a fine substitute for hearing
the poems recited by Sekou himself. It is no wonder that he has received such high
accolades that include, as well as his Dutch knighthood, a James Michener Fellow, Qualichi
Award, and Recognition for literary excellence in the service of Caribbean unity
(Dominican Republic, 2003).

Caribbean Quarterly invites reviews for the following books recently received. Contact
the Managing Editor.
Inna Di Dancehall Popular Culture and the Politics of Identity in Jamaica by Donna P.
Hope. University of the West Indies Press 2006. 167 pages.
Where Men are Wives and Mothers Rule Santeria Ritual Practices and Their Gender
Implications by Mary Ann Clark. University Press of Florida 2005. 185 pages.
Revisiting Caribbean Labour. Edited by Constance Sutton. Ian Randle Publishers 2005.
149 pages.
Blackface Cuba, 1840-1895 by Jill Lane. University of Pennsylvania Press 2005.
Ruins of Absence, Presence of Caribs Post-colonial Representations of Aboriginality in
Trinidad and Tobago by Maximilian Forte. University Press of Florida 2005. 283 pages.
Callaloo Nation Metaphors of Race and Religious and Identity among South Asians in
Trinidad by Aisha Khan. Duke University Press 2004. 264 pages.
Jamaican Volunteers in the First World War Race, masculinity and the development of
national consciousness by Richard Smith. Manchester University Press 2004. 180 pages.
The Power of Words Literature and Society in Later Modernity. Edited by Mauro
Buccheri, Elio Costa, Donald Holoch. 2005. 307 pages.
Santeria Healing. A Journey into the Afro-Cuban World of Divinities, Spirits, and Sorcery
by Johnal Wedel. University Press of Florida 2004. 209 pages.
Introduction to the Pan-Caribbean. Edited by Tracey Skelton. Edward Arnold Publishers
2004. 184 pages.
Enterprising Slaves & Master Pirates. Understanding Economic Life in The Bahamas by
Virgil Henry Storr. Peter Lang Publishing 2004. 147 pages.
The Farmer and the Thief Vantage Press 2004. 95 pages.
Liberty and Equality in Caribbean Colombia 1770-1835 by Aline Helg. The University of
North Carolina Press 2004. 363 pages.
Lydia Cabrera and the Construction of an Afro-Cuban Cultural Identity by Edna M.
Rodriguez-Mangual. The University of North Carolina Press 2004. 199 pages.
The Language of Caribbean Poetry Boundaries of Expression by Lee M.
Jenkins.University Press of Florida 2004. 232 pages.
Born to Slow Horses by Kamau Brathwaite. Wesleyan University Press2005. 145 pages.
Measures of Equality. Social Science, Citizenship, and Race in Cuba 1902-1940 by
Alejandra Bronfman. The University of North Carolina Press 2004. 234 pages.


Cuba's Agricultural Sector by Jose Alvarez. University Press of Florida 2004. 306 pages
Culture at the Cutting Edge Tracking Caribbean Popular Music by Curwen Best.
University of the West Indies Press 2004. 240 pages.
The Jewish Community of Early Colonial Nevis A Historical Archaeological Study by
Michelle M. Terrell. University Press of Florida 2005. 174 pages.
Colon Man A Come Mythographies ofPanama Canal Migration by Rhonda D. Frederick.
Lexington Books 2005. 214 pages.
The Myth of Jose Marti. Conflicting Nationalisms in Early Twentieth Century Cuba by
Lillian Guerra. The University of North Carolina Press 2005.
Caribbean Mythology and Modern Life by Paloma Mohamed. The Majority Press 2004.
196 pages.
Postcolonical Cultures by Simon Featherstone. Edinburg University Press 2005. 251
From Garvey to Marley Rastafari Theology by Noel Leo Erskine. University Press of
Florida 2005. 215 pages.
The Pleasures ofExile by George Lamming. Pluto Press 2005. 229 pages.
God and Trujillo Literary and Cultural Representations of the Dominican Dictator by
Ignacio Lopez-Calvo. University Press of Florida 2005. 196 pages.
Puerto Rican Nation-Building Literature Impossible Romance by Zilkia Janer. University
Press of Florida 2005. 119 pages.
Contemporary Caribbean Cultures and Societies in a global Context. Edited by Franklin
W. Knight and Teresita Martinez-Vergne. The University of North Carolina Press 2005.
303 pages.
Toussaint's Clause The Founding Fathers and the Haitian Revolution by Gordon S.
Brown. The University Press of Misssissippi Press 2005. 295 pages.
Negotiating Caribbean Freedom by Michaeine A. Crichlow. Lexington Books 2005. 273
Sugar, Slavery and Freedom in Nineteenth-Century Puerto Rico by Luis A. Figueroa. The
University of North Carolina Press 2005. 290 pages.
US Intervention in British Guiana. A Cold War Story by Stephen G. Rabe. The University
of North Carolina Press 2005. 240 pages.
Writing to Cuba Filibustering and Cuban Exiles in the United States by Rodrigo Lazo.
The University of North Carolina Press 2005. 224 pages.
Ethnicity, Class and Nationalism Caribbean Extra-Caribbean Dimensions. Edited by
Anton Allahar. Rowman and Littlefield Publishing Group 2005. 281 pages.

Rise and Fall ofthe Cosmic Race. The Cult ofMestizaje in Latin America by Marilyn Grace
Miller. University of Texas Press 2004. 196 pages.
Jamaican Folk Medicine A Source of Healing by Arvilla Payne-Jackson and Mervyn C.
Alleyne. University of the West Indies Press 2004. 215 pages.
To Die in Cuba Suicide and Society by Louis A. Perez Jr. The University of North
Carolina Press 2005. 456 pages.
Monsieur Toussaint a play translated by J. Michael Dash and Edouard Glissant. Lynne
Rienner Publishers 2005. 125 pages.
Cannibal Modernities. Postcoloniality and the Advent-Garde in Caribbean and Brazilian
Literature by Luis Madureira. University of Virginia Press 2005. 255 pages
Cuba's Aborted Reform. Socioeconomic Effects, International Comparisons, and
Transition Policies by Carmelo Mesa-LAgo and Jorge F. Perez-Lopez. University Press of
Florida 2005. 223 pages.
Lenguay ritos del Palo Monte Mayombe by Jesus Fuentes Guerra Armin Schwegler. Die
Deutsche Bibliothek 2005. 258 pages.
The Elusive El Dorado Essays on the Indian Experience in Guyana by Basdeo Mangru.
University Press of America 2005. 138 pages.
Written in Blood The Story of the Haitian People 1492-1995 by Robert Debs HeinI and
Nancy Gordon Heinel. University Press of America 2005. 869 pages.
War and genocide in Cuba 1895-1898 by John Lawrence Tone. The University of North
Carolina Press 2006. 338 pages.
The Origins of the Cuban Revolution Reconsidered by Samuel Farber. The University of
North Carolina Press 2006. 212 pages.
Gathering Ground by Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady. The University of Michigan
Press 2006. 210 pages.
Cuba and the Tempest. Literature and Cinema in the Time Diaspora by Eduardo Gonzalez.
The University of North Carolina Press 2006. 246 pages.
Regional Footprints The travels and Travails of Early Caribbean Migrants. Edited by
Annette Insanally, Mark Clifford and Sean Sheriff. Latin American Caribbean Centre
2006, University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Kingston 7. 481 pages.
Reading Erna Brodber. Uniting the Black Diaspora through Folklore and Religion June
E. Roberts. Greenwood Publishing Group 2006. 275 pages.
Performing Cuba. (Re) Writing Gender Identity and Exile Across Genres by Denis Jorge
Berenschot. Peter Lang Publishing 2005. 165 pages.

Indigenous Resurgence in the Contemporary Caribbean. Amerindian Survival and Revival
by Maximilian C. Forte. Peter Lang Publishing 2006. 298 pages.
I been there, sort of- New & Selected Poems by Mervyn Morris. Carcanet Press Ltd. 2006.
92 pages.
Golden Grove: New and Selected Poems by Lora Goodison. Carcanet Press Ltd. 2006.
124 pages.
V.S. Naipaul. Man and Writer by Gillian Dooley. University of South Carolina Press 2006.
159 pages.
Race, Culture and Identity. Francophone West African and Caribbean Literature and
Theory from Negritude to Creolite by Shireen K. Lewis. Lexington Books 2006. 166
Tim Hector A Caribbean Radical's Story Paul Buhle. University Press of Mississippi
2006, 259 pages.
Writing Rhumba The Afrocubanista Movement in Poetry by Miguel Aredo-Gomez.
University of Virginia Press 2006. 217 pages.
Plunging into Haiti Clinton, Aristide and the Defeat of Diplomacy by Ralph Pezzullo.
University Press of Mississippi. 312 pages.


Mary Hanna is a literary critic, Jamaica, WI.

Phyllis MacPherson Russell is Honorary Consultant to the Vice Chancellor,, Human
Resources, School of Continuing Studies, UWI, Mona

Earl McKenzie is a philosophy lecturer and a published poet, Dept. of
Language, Linguistics and Philosophy, UWI, Mona.

Joan Meade is the Training Officer, Advanced Fertility Management Unit,
Faculty of Medicine, UWI, Mona

James Robertson is Lecturer, Dept. of History and Archeology, UWI, Mona.

Hazel Simmnns-McDonald is Professor, Dept. of Language and Linguistics, and Dean,
Faculty of Arts, UWI, Cave Hill

Claudette Williams is Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Modem Languages and
Literatures, UWI, Mona.

Hugh Wynter is Professor Emeritus, Obstetrics ands Gynaecology, Faculty
of Medicine, UWI, Mona

We invite readers to submit manuscripts or recommend subjects which they would
like to see discussed in Caribbean Quarterly. Articles of Caribbean relevance will be
gratefully received.
Manuscripts can be submitted on 3.5 diskette in a named word processing format. All
formatting should be kept to a minimum. A hard copy should accompany the diskette. The
manuscript (hard copy) should be typed on one side only, double-spaced, leaving ample
margin for editorial purposes. Two copies thoroughly revised with no corrections should be
sent. As a general principle, articles should not exceed 7,500 words. Authors are advised to
keep an exact copy of the version submitted. Manuscripts should be presented with only the
title and the author's name and address on a cover page. The title without the author's name
should be repeated on page I of the article. With their articles, contributors should also
include information on themselves, of their positions and affiliations at the time of writing.
An Abstract should also accompany the article.
Sub-titles (cross-heads) should be used to divide the text in such a way that they indicate to
the reader the structure of the article. Sub-titles should be typed in initial upper and
lower-case letters.
Notes: Notes should be kept to a minimum, but where they are included, contributors are
requested to comply with the system used in Caribbean Quarterly. (A.PA) Notes are to be
numbered consecutively by means of superior figure 1 onwards ( not renumbered on every
page). Notes should appear at the end of the article instead of on the page on which they
occur. Authors, should provide, in a first reference to a given publication, the full name of
the author, the complete main title of the work, place and date of publication and the
relevant page numbers. Subsequent references to the same work can be given in a short-
ened form.
Tables, Charts, Mathematical Copy: If tables are typed on separate pages their preferred
position in the text must be indicated. Mathematical copy must be clearly set out and
correctly alligned. All illustrations(no colours) should be provided in camera-ready form.
Book review headings should appear as follows: authorss, title, publisher, place
and date of publication, also the number of pages and price if possible. Book reviews
(except review articles) should not exceed 2,500 words.
Contributions to Caribbean Quarterly (or publications for review) should be
addressed to: The Editor, Caribbean Quarterly, CSI, UWI, PO Box 130, Mona, Kingston 7,
Jamaica, W.I.
Caribbean Quarterly is a review journal, all material submittedfor publication is
read by editorial advisors prior to selection and editing.

4038 4 214504
03/'0/511768 ".i