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New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011):5-30 MATTHEW CASEY HAITIANS LABOR AND LEISURE ON CUBAN SS UGAR P lL ANTA TIONS: ThTH E LIMITS OF COM pP ANY CONTRO lLA A lejo Carpentier s 1927 novel, cue-Yamba-! (2002:18, 21, 52, 65-66), describes rural Cuba during World War II as a place in which life is organized according to [sugars] will.1 OO ne effect of sugar production was the n ew plague of ragged Haitians or black mercenaries with straw hats and machetes at their belts. When not cutting cane, these immigrants sequestered themselves in their barracones (labor barracks), the stone constructions, long like a hangar, with iron window panes that were originally built for slaves to inhabit. Haitians and other immigrants were the targets of scorn from Carpentiers protagonist, MM enegildo Cue, an AA fro-Cuban individual who drove oxen on the local sugar plantation. He felt strange among so many blacks with other customs and languages. TT he Jamaicans were snobby and animals! TT he Haitians were animals and savages! Cue also complained that Cubans were without work since the braceros from Haiti accepted incredibly low daily wages! AA s Carpentier s text emphasizes, the arrival of Haitian laborers in eastern Cuba in the first half of the twentieth century was part and parcel of massive rural transformations as a result of the rapid growth of sugar production on the island. II n 1 898, the UU n ited SS t ates intervened militarily in Cubas wars for inde pendence, hastening the defeat of SS pain and limiting the victory of the Cuban separatists. RR ather than enjoying full independence from SS pain, Cubans were now subject to a new colonial relationship with the UU ni ted SS t ates. While some sectors of Cuban society questioned the role that sugar should play after independence, a rush of investors and politicians from both Cuba and the UU nited 1. TT he author wishes to thank AA lejandro de la FF uente, OO scar de la TT orre, YY ven DD estin, and three anonymous reviewers from the New West Indian Guide for their helpful comments on previous versions of this essay. RR ese arch for this article was funded by a TT in ker GG rant from the Center for Latin AA merican SS tudies at the UU niversity of Pittsbur gh, a Carolyn Chambers FF ellowship from the UU niversity of Pittsbur gh, and a Library TT ravel RR ese arch GG r ant from the UU n iversity of FF l orida.
6 MATTHEW CASEY States sought to increase production. In 1898, Cuba produced 350,000 short tons of sugar. When U.S. troops left the island in 1902, production had more than doubled to 973,000 short tons. Cuban sugar production peaked in 1929, at 5,775,000 short tons ( A yala 1999:70, Mc Gillivray 2009:36, 75, 86). T his phase of sugar production was distinct from previous periods. At the end of the nineteenth century, new, modernized mills called centrales began replacing the older ingenios (Iglesias Garca 1999). These new mills had an increased capacity to grind cane, which they obtained either from cane fields owned by the company or more often by contract from farmers called colonos. Centrales were especially prevalent in the eastern provinces of Oriente and Camagey, the new regions of production. Whereas in 1901, 15 percent of Cubas sugar was produced in these zones, by the 1920s and 1930s, they were responsible for over half of the sugar crop (A yala 1999:220, Santamara Garcia 2001:419). In Oriente and Camagey, sugar expansion was paired with an influx of individuals from various parts of the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Sugarproducing areas attracted workers of all types from the United States, Spain, the Canary Islands, China, and various parts of the Caribbean and Latin America. During the first years of the twentieth century, planters requested governmental permission to bring in contract laborers from Haiti, the B ritish West Indies, and other neighboring islands. Their petitions revived longstanding, racially charged debates throughout the island about Cubas labor needs and the ideal demographic makeup of the island (Naranjo Orovio & Garca Gonzalez 1996). Despite opposition from Cuban journalists and even individuals within the Cuban government, sugar companies, with the support of the U. S. government, exerted enough political pressure to have Caribbean immigration legalized by 1913 ( McLeod 2000:22-42). As Carpentiers text illustrates, one of the largest sources of labor power behind this sugar expansion came from almost half a million immigrants from other parts of the Caribbean, especially Haiti and the British West Indies. Haitian and British West Indian migrants were heavily concentrated in the provinces of Oriente and Camagey. At the regional and local level, the effects of sugar production and migration were especially noticeable. From 1907 to 1919, the populations of Oriente and Camagey increased by 60.6 percent and 93.6 percent respectively, making them the fastest-growing regions in a country whose overall population increased by 33 percent in the period. By 1919, Orientes population had surpassed that of the province of Havana. T he influence of migration from other parts of the Caribbean is especially appar ent in this process. In 1919, individuals who were not born in Cuba, Spain, the United States, China, or Africa represented 5.86 percent of the population of Oriente province and 4.75 percent in Camagey. T hese immigrants were even more heavily concentrated in areas with large sugar mills. They represented 8.14 percent of the inhabitants of B anes, the site of the United Fruit Company
7 HAITIANS LABOR AND LEISURE ON CUBAN SUGAR PL ANTATIONS plantation in Oriente. In Las T unas, the site of the Chaparra sugar mill, they made up 11 percent of the population (Cuba 1920:286, 290, 434). The last legal arrival of Caribbean immigrants into Cuba occurred in 1931. In the decade that followed, tens of thousands of Afro-Caribbean immi grants were deported from Cuban soil, including 38,000 Haitians. Although diminished by repatriations, Haitians presence remained significant in eastern Cuba (McLeod 2000:2). In 1970, there were still 22,579 Haitians living there ( E spronceda Amor 2001:20-21). Carpentiers assertions about the omnipotence of Cuban sugar companies and their ability to maintain a segregated workforce in which Haitians remained at the bottom reflect commonly held beliefs in 1920s Cuba that have strongly influenced present-day historical accounts. As a result, the exper iences of Haitian migrants are often described in terms of alienation and isolation, victims of a monolithic wall of rejection (Lucassen & Lucassen 1997:21), which obscures their humanity and agency. Haitians integration into Cuban society is either left unexplored as a result of the repatriations or inscribed into contemporary nationalists narratives of Cuban multiculturalism.2This article seeks to provide an analysis of Haitian migrants working and leisure experiences in Cuba that does not assume the complete domination of company and state. I begin by exploring the images that sugar company administrators and Cuban newspapers projected about the labor and social hierarchies in Cuban society in which Haitians were said to inhabit the lowest positions. I will then reconstruct Haitians working lives to show the variety of labor activities they performed in cane fields and sugar centrales as well as the frequency with which they worked alongside people of other nationalities. Building on recent scholarship on labor history and the Cuban sugar industry, the article traces Haitians strategies to improve the conditions in which they lived and labored outside of formal labor unions. Their use of what James C. Scott famously called the weapons of the weak entailed negotiations and confrontations with company managers on worksites over better conditions and wages (Scott 1985:29). Strategies of resistance and adaptation also included participation in social and commercial networks on sugar plantations with individuals of other nationalities. The existence of cross-national networks and communities before, during, and after the decade of deportations suggest that these exchanges are fundamental to understand ing the experiences of Haitian migrants in the island. Furthermore, the existence of these communities and the initiatives of Haitian migrants need to be taken into account in any serious discussion about their integration into Cuban society.2. For an exception to this trend see E spronceda Amor 2001.
8 MATTHEW CASEYHAITIAN WORKERS: NARRATIVES OF CO MP ANY AND STATE DO M INATION During the first decades of the twentieth century, the Cuban press depicted Caribbean migrant workers as impoverished cane cutters who drove down wages for native workers. In 1916, La Poltica Cmica published a satirical column about the tourists of color who were arriving regularly from Haiti and Jamaica. They reportedly came to Cuba to enjoy themselves cutting cane, accepting for sport a lower daily wage than what is paid to Cubans.3 Santiagos Diario de Cuba used a combination of racial and economic logic to explain why Haitians were particularly apt for cane cutting. The cane needs Haitian arms, argued the newspaper, since cane cutting is a work to which races of a superior civilization do not adapt ... Sugar cannot be produced in Cuba by paying a higher salary than the one for which Haitians work.4 In 1928, during a brief emigration ban from Haiti, the Cuban commercial press wondered Who would take the place of the Haitians in the cane fields, since it is well known that Cubans will not cut cane? Cuban sugar growers, they added, could not afford to pay [the] higher wages Cubans would inevitably demand.5The belief that Haitians were ideal only for cutting cane was shared by sugar companies who attempted to segregate their workers. Employing a technique originating in the period of slavery and prevalent in agricultural and industrial settings throughout the Americas into the twentieth century, Cuban plantation managers sought to divide workers along racial, national, or ethnic lines. The goal was to take advantage of the putative abilities of each group and prevent mobilization across labor sectors. Such divisions also played a strong role establishing and reinforcing racial hierarchies on worksites.6 Reports by company administrators seem to confirm manage ment plans and their effects on worker interactions. Frank Garnett, the super intendent of the Cuba Company in Camagey described his decision to house [Chinese laborers] in the batey separate from all other labor. Chinese are particularly suited to [work in the sugar centrifuges], and it should put an end to strikes in this department of the sugar house.7 O ther officials from the 3. T uristas de color: E l sport de tumbar caa, La Poltica Cmica March 16, 1916. 4. El Haitiano es el nico inmigrante necesario en Cuba!: Notas del momento, Diario de Cuba August 23, 1928. 5. Curtis to the Secretary of State, July 26, 1928, United States National Archives Microform Publications no. 610, R ecord Group 59, 837.5538/11, Washington DC. 6. Bourgois 1989:xi, Esch & Roediger 2009:4, Giovannetti 2006b:16-18, McGillivray 2009:105-7, Moreno Fraginals 1978:8. 7. Frank Garnett, Superintendent to George H. Whigham, Vice President, the Cuba Company, New Y ork, October 22, 1913, Cuba Company Papers, Box 9, Folder 4c, University of Maryland, College Park.
9 HAITIANS LABOR AND LEISURE ON CUBAN SUGAR PL ANTATIONS same company describe cartmen who are mostly Cubans and refuse to sleep in the same quarters with Haytians and Jamaicans.8Like Cuban newspapers, company officials contributed to the idea that Haitians, even more than British West Indians, were cane cutters. They employed the word Haitian to signify black cane cutters and usually assumed that other immigrant groups were more upwardly mobile. During the 1905 sugar harvest, a fire broke out in the cane fields near the San Miguel Sugar Mill in Guantnamo. Salvador G. Rodiles y Vilallonga, the Cuban-born mayoral (manager), told officials that it began very close to five black Haitians who were cutting cane, though he did not actually know their origins.9 In 1928, a recruiter in charge of contracting and bringing braceros for the labors of the zafra [sugar harvest] for the Santa Luca Sugar Company was told to hire whomever you can ... as long as they are Haitian. British West I ndians were also mentioned, but unlike Haitians the employer specified that such a worker was to be a Jamaican who is purely a laborer.10 The state ment illustrates the common practice in which British West Indians, despite their different islands of origin, were often called Jamaicans. Unlike Haitians, they were not considered pure laborers and would correspondingly perform tasks other than cane cutting (Chailloux Laffita & Whitney 2005:57, McLeod 2000:82-84, Wynter 2001:240). Haitians, on the other hand, required no contingencies. They were ipso facto cane cutters. Thus, it was believed, Haitians were relegated to cutting sugarcane as other groups refused or moved into other occupations. The ideal plantation labor hierarchy, on which Haitians were said to inhabit the lowest rung, holds strong parallels with slavery in Cuban society. Despite the technological and organizational transformations in the Cuban sugar industry in the period after abolition, the task and organization of cutting cane stalks in the fields did not change noticeably (Dye 1998, Garca Rodrguez 2007, Moreno Fraginals 1964:98). Furthermore, as Carpentiers text shows, Haitians were associated with barracones, the barracks that were built to house slaves during the apex of Cuban slave society. Manuel Moreno Fraginals (1978:74) called them the maximum symbol of slaverys 8. Wm. W. Craib, E xecutive Agent, Jatibonico to George H. Whigham, E sq., President, The Cuba Co., NY June 2, 1916, Cuba Company Papers, Box 29, Folder 3b, leo-139, University of Maryland. 9. Declara Salvador G. Rodiles y Vilallonga, Juzgado de Instruccin de Guantnamo. February 16, 1905, Archivo Nactional de Cuba: Audiencia de Santiago ( Siglo XX) (here after ANC AS) 25/5/4-6. 10. Labor Recruiter Certificate of T imoteo Dixn, signed by Fernando Cuesta y mora, Secretario de la Administracin Provincial de Oriente, March 23, 1928. Archivo Provincial de Santiago de Cuba: Gobierno Provincial, (hereafter APSGP), 311/1/2. Jefe de la Jurada, Central Santa Lucia to T imoteo Dixn, March 14, 1928, APSGP 311/5/1.
10 MATTHEW CASEY barbarism.11 T he association between Haitians and slavery was so strong that some Cubans believe that it was Haitians who had brought the barracones to Cuba. The national press contributed to consolidating this association, referring to Haitians as the only workers who would perform the labor that former slaves had been forced to do.12 Even middle-class Haitians referred to the migratory movement in terms of slavery, such as Haitian writer Llio Lavilles (1933) characterization of it as a 20th Century Slave T rade. Cuban newspapers and sugar companies produced an image of Haitians as ideal cane cutters because they were primitive and lacked the skills that races of a superior civilization possessed.13 T he strong association between cutting cane and slave labor further reinforced the notion that Haitians were twentieth-century slaves subject to managerial domination. As a result, Haitians were thought to be culturally isolated from the rest of Cuban society. Carpentier (2002:66) says it succinctly through his Afro-Cuban protagonist who felt strange among so many blacks with other customs and languages ... T he Haitians were animals and savages! The image of the isolated Haitian cane cutter has survived, albeit in modified form, in contemporary historiography, which has echoed many of the statements produced by Cuban nationalists, the press, and company administrators from the 1910s and 1920s.14 Scholars argue that Haitians low literacy rates, inability to speak E nglish, non-Christian religious practices, and lack of labor-related skills made them less likely than British West Indians to move up in sugar hierarchies or out of sugar work entirely (McLeod 1998:609, Zanetti & Garcia 1976:246). Others argue that cultural differences between Cubans and foreigners, along with ubiquitous racism, kept Haitians apart from other groups. Haitians were segregated in social relations. T o the Haitian immigrant, marginalization was applied with the most crudeness, not just by white components of society, but even Cuban mestizos and blacks who rejected them (Gmez Navia 2005:15).15 Others point to Haitians minimal participation in labor unions as proof of their isolation from other workers (Zanetti & Garcia 1976:248). Indeed, though scholars have studied the labor mobilizations of Afrocubans, British West Indians, and other 11. See Jorge L. Giovannetti (2006b:23-24) for a discussion of the historical legacies of barracones in the Caribbean. 12. E l Haitiano es el nico inmigrante necesario en Cuba!: Notas del momento Diario de Cuba, August 23, 1928. For scholars who describe Haitian migrants in terms of slavery see Alvarez Estvez 1988:40, Gmez Navia 2005:8, Kaussen 2008:xi, Sevillano Andrs 2007:16, 29, Zanetti & Garcia 1976:216. 13. E l Haitiano es el nico inmigrante necesario en Cuba!: Notas del momento Diario de Cuba August 23,1928. 14. B erenguer Cala 2006:9, Gmez Navia 2005:15, Prez de la R iva 1979:27, Zanetti & Garcia 1976:248. 15. See also Sklodowska 2009:66-68.
11 HAITIANS LABOR AND LEISURE ON CUBAN SUGAR PL ANTATIONS immigrant groups (Giovannetti 2006a, Scott 2005), there is considerably less discussion of the organizational efforts of Haitian immigrants.16 HAITIANS LABOR IN THE CUBAN SUGAR INDUSTRY The most recent scholarship on labor history and the Cuban sugar industry illustrates the risks of assuming that the Cuban national press or com pany administrators goals accurately reflect the reality of life on plantations. Historians have argued that many Cuban nationalist statements about the unbridled power of U.S.-owned sugar companies often oversimplified complex negotiations that occurred at the local level between state officials, company representatives, small farmers, and others. T hey also challenge the extent to which sugar com panies were fully able to control or segregate their workers (Carr 1998b:262, Giovannetti 2006b:19, Mc Gillivray 2009:118-21, 161-63). Although the label Haitian carried strong connotations of cane cutters for journalists and company officials, it was not necessarily cotermi nous with a person born in Haiti (or one of their descendants) (McGillivray 2009:113). Company administrators often applied the term to denote any poor, black, seasonal cane cutter regardless of actual birthplace or national identity. In 1919, for instance, Everett C. Brown, a United Fruit Company engineer, wrote to his wife:T here is talk of an insurrection but dont take much stock in it. T here may be some damage done to property in some sections. The Haitian cane cutters will get back from Porto Rico [sic] and South America then and they may start something, but the Cubans are too well off to do it [emphasis added].17Browns statement reduces a complex hemispheric circulation of laborers from different parts of the Americas into a misleading category of Haitian cane cutters.18 B esides reinforcing stereotypes about Haitians poverty, pro pensity to violence, and position as cane cutters, Browns statement clearly differentiates them from Cubans by declaring that unlike Haitians, Cubans are too well off to start something.1916. Among those who note Haitians attempts are Carr 1998a, Gmez Navia 2005, Morciego 1982. 17. Everett C. Brown to Ethel and Susie Brown, October 11, 1919, University of Florida, Gainesville: E verett C. B rown Collection, B ox 1, Folder 2-Cuba. 18. For a description of these labor migrations see for instance Bulmer-Thomas 2003:8790, Petras 1988, Putnam 2002, R ichardson 1989. 19. E verett C. B rown to E thel and Susie B rown, October 11, 1919, University of Florida: E verett C. B rown Collection, B ox 1, Folder 2-Cuba.
12 MATTHEW CASEY In many cases, individuals described as Haitians were not actually of that origin. In 1905, a Cuban mayoral referred to a group of cane cutters as five black Haitians.20 A Cuban capataz (foreman) identified them as Jos Gabriel, O ctavio Posin, Jos F igueroa, Plcido Belen, and Jos Louis, though he added that only the first two and the last one [are] Haitians.21 For those who did not know laborers personally, all seasonal cane cutters could be described as Haitians. The result is that plantation managers control and Haitians marginalization were both frequently overstated. Although most Haitian-born individuals cut cane, they also performed other types of labor on sugar plantations. Haitians served as labor recruiters for sugar firms seeking to attract labor away from other companies. These individuals gathered at railroad stations when cane cutters were being transported to try to bring them to other centrales.22 D. Beauville Ferailler, a Haitian, received a salary from the United Fruit Company to work in this capacity.23 Outside of cutting cane, one of the most common jobs for Haitians on sugar plantations was transporting cane from field to factory. A s early as 1917, Haitian-born Jos Miguel drove oxen on the United Fruit Company plantation in B anes.24 Haitians worked inside the centrales where cane stalks were converted into sugar granules, sites previously considered to have been off limits to Haitians, just as they had been to previous generations of slaves (Knight 1970:71). After cane was brought into the central of the Fidelity Sugar Company, Marcos Santiago lifted and transported it to begin the process of transformation.25 After 20. Declara Salvador G. Rodiles y Vilallonga, Juzgado de Instruccin de Guantnamo, February 16, 1905, ANC AS 25/5/4-6. 21. Declara Enrique Perdomo, Juzgado de Instruccin de Guantnamo, February 6, 1905, ANC AS 25/5/7-8. 22. Letter to Sr. Rafael Aguirre, Administrador del Central Palma, signed by S.S., March 8, 1919, APSGP 307/21/3. 23. Labor Recruiting Certificate for D. Beauville Ferailler signed by Rafael Barcel y Reyes, Gobernador de la Provincia de Oriente, March 14, 1930, APSGP 311/20/1. Other examples include Odelon Placido and Prevenio Laine who recruited cane cutters for the Cuban-Canadian Sugar Company. Sub-administrador, Cuban-Canadian Sugar Company, SA to Gobernador de la Provincia de Oriente, November 25, 1927, APSGP 309/12/1. Labor R ecruiting Certificate for Prevenio Laine signed by Fernando Cuesta y Mora, Secretario de la Administracin Provincial de Oriente, December 3, 1927, APSGP 309/15/2. 24. Accident Report for Jos Miguel, August 27, 1917, Archivo Provincial de Holgun: Juzgado de Primera Instancia de Holgun (hereafter APHJPI) 290/4962/1. Other examples include Eugenio Luis, San Luis, Ramn Alfonso, and Alejandro Sanchez who worked for firms like the United Fruit Company, the Van Horne Agricultural Company and the Antilla Sugar Company. Accident Report for Eugenio Luis, March 11, 1932, APHJPI 302/5577/1, 14. Accident Report for San Luis, March 7, 1930, APHJPI 296/5284/1, 10. Accident Report for Ramon Alfonso, February 18, 1931, APHJPI 300/5453/1, 5. Accident R eport for Alejandro Sanchez, September 3, 1933, APHJPI 303/5625/9, 13. 25. Accident R eport for Marcos Santiago, May 5, 1928, APHJPI 293/5144/2, 5, 7.
13 HAITIANS LABOR AND LEISURE ON CUBAN SUGAR PL ANTATIONS the juice was extracted from cane stalks in the central San German, Enrique Simon worked with the bagasse (leftover parts of cane stalks), which could be burned for fuel.26 In the central T acaj, Estrad A vignon worked in the boiler house where cane juice was heated to eliminate impurities.27 Maeny Sterling and Andres Domingo worked in the centrifuges in the central San German crystallizing the sugar granules and separating them from the honey.28I n these centrales, Haitian-born laborers worked alongside individuals of other nationalities, disproving the notion that companies were able to divide workers strictly along national lines. Jos Salas, a mason in the basculador in the central T acaj, worked alongside Flix Dias, a laborer originally from Venezuela.29 In the same central, Alfredo A yes worked as a carpenter with Jamaican-born Dean Franois.30 Antonio Luis worked with horse s for the Fidelity Sugar Company with a Canary Islander named Antonio Hernandez.31 The aforementioned Estrad A vignon worked in the boilers in the central T acaj with Francisco Weiner, an immigrant from Jamaica.32Although Haitians labor in centrales was more significant than previous historians recognize, the vast majority cut cane. Haitians were not the only nationalities represented in the cane fields. In a discussion of cane cutters, a representative from the Cuban American Sugar Mills Company described Grenada, St. Vincent, St. Kitts, Barbados, and Dominica as our special preserve for labor recruiting, suggesting that cane fields were hardl y mono-ethnic sites.33 They were joined by Cubans as well as individuals from the Dutchand French-speaking islands of the Caribbean ( Mc Gillivray 26. Accident R eport for E nrique Simon, May 13, 1928, APHJPI 290/ 4987/2, 10. 27. Accident R eport for E strad A vignon, August 13, 1922, APHJPI 292/5078/1-5. 28. Accident Report for Maeny Sterling, February 18, 1929, APHJPI 294/5170/1. Accident Report for Andres Domingo, March 13, 1933, APHJPI 303/5657/1. For a full description of converting cut cane into sugar granules see Moreno Fraginals 1964:105-25. Haitians also worked a number of odd jobs inside sugar centrales. Jos Luco was a mason in the central Canarias near Holgun. Jesus Maria cooked and served drinks as a company employee inside the central San German. Accident Report for Jos Luco, October 8, 1919, APHJPI 292/5058/4. Accident Report for Jesus Maria, February 8, 1929, APHJPI 294/5166/1. 29. Declaracin de Jos Salas, and Declaracin de Flix Dias, August 15, 1922, APHJPI 292/5077/5-6. 30. Declaracin de Alfredo A yes, and Declaracin de Dean Franois, July 27, 1922, APHJPI 292/5076/5-6. 31. Declaracin del Obrero: Antonio Luis, April 28, 1931 and Declaracin del testigo: Antonio Hernandez, May 9, 1931, APHJPI 300/5505/8, 12. 32. Accident R eport for E strad A vignon, August 13, 1922, APHJPI 292/5078/1-5. 33. General Manager to Walter S. B artlett, CubanAmerican Sugar Company, New Y ork City, February 15, 1928, Archivo Provincial de Las T unas: Cuban American Sugar Mills Company, 1/43/444/201, 226.
14 MATTHEW CASEY 2009:175). Like their counterparts in centrales, Haitian cane cutters worked alongside individuals of other nationalities. In Guantnamo in 1933, Haitianborn Andres Felix cut cane alongside Julio Maturrell and Fructuoso Mendoza, two Cubans whom he knew personally.34Popular representations of Haitians as unskilled manual laborers fail to recognize the fact that cane cutting is a skill that Haitians had acquired before landing in Cuba.35 H.M. Pilkington, an employee of the American Development Company in Haiti, noted: a very large percentage of the vast number of people ... who migrated from Haiti to Cuba as skilled cane cutters were educated in this line by the HaitianAmerican Sugar Co.36Cane cutters were also divided by formal and informal hierarchies in the cane fields. Haitian-born Luis Agosto, like individuals of other nationalities, served as a capataz in the cane fields.37 In addition to cutting cane, these individuals directed other workers in the field and often served as liaisons between laborers and police. On the colonia San Ramon in 1936, a conflict between two Haitian workers resulted in the wounding of one by a gunshot. Antonio Pie, the Haitian-born capataz, arrived at the scene of the fight before the police and spoke to both workers. Although Pie did not witness the events, he explained the details to the authorities, who accepted his narrative and did not take testimony from the individuals involved.38 Capataces also received higher wages than other cane cutters. The aforementioned capataz Luis Agosto received approximately $2.00 a day during the 1930 harvest. In the same month on the same colonia, Ignacio Cuba, another Haitian cane cutter, received only $1.50.39Alongside company hierarchies were unofficial markers of status recognized by workers themselves. Most notably, experienced cane cutters who achieved relative success in Cuba often called themselves viejos (old men) (Prez de la Riva 1979:51). This nickname also appears in Haitian novels 34. Instructiva del Acusado: Andres Felix y no Pie, April 30, 1932; Declaracin de Julio Maturrell, May 1, 1933; Declaracin de Fructuoso Mendoza. April 1, 1933; Juzgado de Instruccin de Guantnamo, Archivo Provincial de Santiago: Audiencia T erritorial de Oriente (hereafter APSATO), 348/2544/6, 10-1. 35. For a brief description of the process of cutting cane and the skill involved, see Mc Gillivray 2009:3. 36. Inquiry into Occupation and Administration of Haiti and Santo Domingo: Hearing before a Select Committee on Haiti and Santo Domingo United States Senate, 1922, Vol. 1, Washington DC, Government Printing Office, p. 790. 37. Accident R eport for Luis Agosto, April 15, 1930, APHJPI 296/5308/51, 59-60. 38. T estimonio de Alberto Rios y Diego Rodriguez, Soldados de la Guardia Rural February 24, 1936, Archivo Provincial de Camagey: T ribunal de Urgencia (hereafter APC TU) 4/4/1. 39. Accident Report for Luis Agosto, April 15, 1930, APHJPI 296/5308/51, 59-60. Accident R eport for I gnacio Cuba, April 24, 1930, APHJPI 296/5308/66, 75.
15 HAITIANS LABOR AND LEISURE ON CUBAN SUGAR PL ANTATIONS and newspapers in the period to describe return-migrants who wore nice clothes and carried money.40 Haitian workers who self-identified using the Spanish word viejo demanded better treatment and labor conditions, implying that they had achieved a higher status within Cuban society than other cane cutters. For instance, Haitian-born Juan B autista, although only twentyfour years old, declared that he was already very viejo in Cuba to explain his refusal to travel to a distant field and work during his leisure hours.41Despite pervasive accusations in the Cuban press to the contrary, most historians argue that Haitians received the same wages as native workers for similar activities. Alejandro Garcia and Oscar Zanetti support this thesis, although they hypothesize that when the sugar industry declined and anti-immigrant sentiments reached their peak, its possible that the [United Fruit] Company took advantage of the situation by some measure and paid lower salaries to immigrant laborers (Zanetti & Garcia 1976:247). In fact, available individual wage data suggests the merits of their hypothesis and the need for further research on this subject. In periods of stable prices and normal sugar production, Haitians and laborers of other nationalities appear to have received the same wages. During the 1919 zafra, both Haitian and Jamaican cane cutters received $3.00 per day on United Fruit Company fields. During the harvest of 1933, Jamaican laborer Charles Mani received 40 cents for every 100 arrobas of cane cut from the Cuba Company. Haitians working for the same company, however, received only 20 cents.42Although cane cutters received the lowest wages on company pay scales, they worked longer hours than other employees on the plantation. Everett Brown, a United Fruit Company engineer from the United States, explained to his wife that he worked eight hours a day from 7-11 a.m.: 1-5 pm in the office. Mayorales and other field managers began their day at six in the morning and worked for nine hours. T he niggers, he said [work] 10 hours a day.43 In other places, it could be as long as fourteen hours (Guanche & Moreno 1988:28).40. En deux mots, La Garde, June 27, 1937. See also Kaussen 2008:xi, 114, as well as Jean Batiste Cinass Le drame de la terre (2004) or Maurice Casseuss Viejo (1970), originally published in 1933 and 1935, respectively. 41. Republica de Cuba, Acta signed by Aguedo Pea, Jefe Puesto Actuante, Cab Esc 14, G, R, Ier Dto, Militar, E milio Puche, Guara Jurado, Acusador, SU Juan Batista, Marca, Acusado, May 25, 1929. Declaracin de Jos B rown, May 29, 1929, ANC AS 1/1/16. 42. Accident Report for Charles Mani, March 6, 1933, APHJPI 303/5654/1, 15. Accident Report for Santiago Prez, February 20, 1933, APHJPI 303/5643/1, 13. Accident Report for Jos Domingo, February 24, 1933, APHJPI 303/5645/1. Accident Report for Emilio Pol, March 2, 1933, APHJPI 303/5649/1, 12, 15. 43. E verett C. B rown to E thel and Susie B rown, August 17, 1919, University of Florida: E verett C. B rown Collection, B ox 1, Folder 2-Cuba.
16 MATTHEW CASEY Cutting cane is a strenuous and onerous activity even in optimal conditions. As groups of men repeatedly swung their machetes for long hours, accidents were common. While cutting or cleaning cane, shards of cane stalk and pieces of wood flew into the air and hit workers faces and bodies. After detaching stalks from the ground, workers grabbed them for further chopping and trimming, sometimes grasping hidden thorns and piercing their hands. At other moments, workers missed their targets, producing painful machete slices on legs, arms, and fingers. Finally, the days sweat was often enough to send the machete flying out of workers hands entirely, causing injury to themselves or others.44The inherent difficulties of cutting cane on a massive scale were compounded for Haitians and workers of other nationalities by company abuse. One of the most notorious examples of sugar company abuse was the payment of workers with vales (vouchers) instead of cash. In 1923, Cuban officials complained that sugar companies were distributing vales instead of daily wages which workers were forced to use to buy merchandise in company stores. Although such practices had been outlawed in 1909, sugar and other companies continued circulating them throughout the Republican period.45 At other moments, company and state officials showed their utter disregard for Haitian laborers. I n 1923, Haitian worker E dgard Zphyr was killed by a train loaded with cane. R ather than reporting the accident, Zphyr was buried during the night by the Police.46 The fact that these abuses were investigated, however, suggests that the control of company and state officials was not unlimited. The life of sugar workers was often marked by poverty, hunger, and harsh conditions. I n 1922, Haitian Julio Pie was without work and hungry, when he tried to drown himself by jumping off a dock into water in Santiago de Cuba.47 In Guantnamo in August 1928 an unknown Haitian worker died of bronchitis because he was without any of the necessary resources for its treatment.48 Haitians were not the only sugar workers to experience such 44. A ll of these injuries appear with frequency among cane cutters of various nationalities in Accident R eports in APHJPI 45. T o Alcalde Municipal de Holgun from Gobernador Provincial de Oriente, October 13, 1923, APSGP 308/9/3. T o Presidente de la Audiencia de Oriente from Juez de Instruccin, Guantnamo, September 22, 1917 ANCAS 1/5/1. Declaracin de T irdo Maraon Vivanco [Las T unas], October 22, 1934, Archivo Provincial de Las T unas: Juzgado de Victoria de Las T unas (hereafter APL TJL T) 103/103/1408/6. La verdadera situacin del personal del ctral. Almeida, Diario de Cuba January 21, 1933. 46. Edmond Laporte to Gobernador Provincial de Oriente, January 12, 1923, APSGP 376/14/1. 47. La ciudad de Santiago al minuto: Un haitiano quiso ahogarse, El Cubano Libre, January 23, 1922. 48. E n la finca Chapala fallece un haitiano sin asistencia mdica, La Voz del Pueblo August 15, 1928.
17 HAITIANS LABOR AND LEISURE ON CUBAN SUGAR PL ANTATIONS hardships. When the central Almeida announced it would only grind limited amounts of cane in 1928, people in the area feared the phantasm of hunger would appear as soon as the mill ceased its labors.49 In the 1930s, when conditions in the sugar industry were depressed throughout the country, a newspaper reported that the central Almeida was not even solvent enough to pay its employees. As a result many workers have died of hunger.50 One U.S. observer noted how poverty hit some groups harder than others. When the valley was filled with hunger. The Americans, we ate well. Those who suffered most were Antilleans and Cubans (Cirules 2003:175-76).51 IMP ROVING WORKING AND LIVING CONDITIONS OUTSIDE FOR M A L LABOR UNIONS Despite difficult work conditions, historians have shown that Haitians only rarely participated in organized labor.52 However, labor historians have locate d forms of everyday resistance outside of the organized, large-scale, protest movements of labor unions or revolutionary movements in other historical contexts (Scott 1985:xv, 27). Although often silenced from the historical record, such actions subverted total company domination and dominant discourses while greatly affecting workers living and laboring conditions.53 I ndeed, although participation in formal labor unions among Haitians seems to have been minimal, they developed individual and collective strategies to navigate the harsh work environment of the Cuban sugar industry and take full advantage of their leisure hours. I n Cuba, one of the primary ways for sugar laborers to exert control over their labor was to burn cane. T his eliminated excess growth and made cutting it much easier. It also created immediate work since burned cane had to be processed quickly (McGillivray 2009:2-3). There is evidence that Haitians resorted to cane burning when it was convenient to them. In Esmeralda, Camagey, during the harvest of 1936, Haitian laborer Alberto Pie, whose nickname Vijuel was probably a derivation of viejo, approached the colono whose land he was working. In representation of his fellow workers, Vijuel 49. Los vecinos del central Almeida temen que aparezca el fantasma del hambre cuando cese sus labores el ingenio, Diario de Cuba March 22, 1928. 50. Salvador Rivas, Si el central Almeida no hace zafra este ao, no es culpa de ningn empleado ni obrero, Diario de Cuba February 10, 1933. 51. See also: Los vecinos del central Almeida temen que aparezca el fantasma del ham bre cuando cese sus labores el ingenio, Diario de Cuba March 22, 1928. 52. R eferences to Haitians participation in organized labor include Gmez Navia 2005: 22, Morciego 1982:9-11. 53. Dorsey 2004:40, French 2006:310-23, Mahase 2008, Rediker 2004:38-39, Scott 2000:473-74.
18 MATTHEW CASEY made a demand to burn the cane, since they were dealing with old cane that had a lot of straw on it. Such cane is cut with difficulty and easier to cut when burned. The request to lighten the workload was denied. Fifteen days later, the colonia went up in flames. The fire quickly spread to neighboring farms and burned approximately 70,000 arrobas of cane. The rural guard was quick to arrest both Vijuel and A vilio Mila, another Haitian.54 Surprisingly, the landowner and manager defended the Haitian workers. Walfredo Abreu Delgado, the administrator of the land, told the R ural Guard that he thought the fire was intentional, but he didnt suspect the detainees since they have worked in said colonia for many years.55 B oth Alberto Pie (Vijuel) and A vilio Mila were later acquitted of all charges.56If some Haitian cane cutters benefited from settling on farms for many years and creating personal relationships with colonos, others sought advantage by moving between farms and arguing for the best wages.57 In the cane fields surrounding the central Cupey in 1918, Haitian-born Julio Poll was accused of creating resistance to the cutting of cane for the quantity of one peso and ten cents [$1.10]. He was demanding an increase to the sum of one peso forty cents [$1.40] and creating an alteration of order amongst the cane cutters.58 Poll denied the charges, claiming that he was singled out because he set out for another colonia where they paid one peso forty cents [$1.40] for every cart of cane one cut.59 Despite marked differences in their narratives of the events, it is clear that the conflict between Poll and the guard centered around issues of workers freedom of movement and wage rates. I n this case, a physical fight broke out between the two. Poll claimed that the companys pri vate guard gave him four slaps with a machete [planazos ] in the back when he tried to leave the cane field.60 Other witnesses declare that Poll seized a rock, throwing it over Captain Charles. Meanwhile, they claimed, Polls Haitian-born companion Javier Santiago pulled out a knife and fell upon [the guard] with it.61 This was one of many cases in which Haitians and other immigrant laborers physically resisted companies efforts to keep them from 54. Diligencias por incendio de caa, February 22, 1936, APC TU 4/5/1. 55. Declaracin de Walfredo Abreu Delgado [en Esmeralda], February 25, 1936, APC TU 4/5/17. 56. Acta del juicio oral y sentencia: T ribunal de urgencia de Camagey, March 3, 1936, APC TU 4/5/52. 57. Sugar workers tendency to move was first studied in detail in Carr 1996b. 58. Declaracin de Leonardo R odriguez y Aguilera, May 3, 1918, ANC AS 48/1/33. 59. Comparacencia del acusado: Julio Poll, April 4, 1918, ANC AS 48/1/4. 60. Comparacencia del acusado: Julio Poll, April 4, 1918, ANC AS 48/1/4. 61. Declaracin de Ricardo Fernandez Valds, May 3, 1918, ANCAS 48/1/32. Declaracin de Leonardo R odriguez y Aguilera, May 3, 1918, ANC AS 48/1/33.
19 HAITIANS LABOR AND LEISURE ON CUBAN SUGAR PL ANTATIONS leaving plantations in the middle of zafras.62 In Jatibonico in March 1925, a group of Haitians and Jamaicans besieged a pair of rural guards in the colonia Victoria, most likely over the right to move between plantations.63Workers movements between plantations were also facilitated by Haitian migrants who became labor recruiters. Though sugar companies hired them to attract field laborers to their plantations, recruiters generally invited scorn from other sugar companies, state officials, and even laborers themselves.64 An administrator for the Palma Sugar Company complained that when their agents bring workers for cane cutting from Santiago de Cuba, they are bothered by elements that congregate in the train station, making a dreadful, calumnious and cruel propaganda that, for example, the workers in this Central are badly treated and hit with machetes.65 State and company officials believed that such individuals were merely trying to steal laborers and bring them to other centrales.66 At other moments labor recruiters penetrated within the limits of distinct farms, conquering the laborers there with promises of higher wages, in order to bring them to other centrales. The Cuban government even passed a law in 1926 requiring recruiters to register with the Cuban state.67Such mobile recruiters could act as a source of information for migrant laborers about work conditions on distant plantations. However, evidence shows their penchant for fraud and migrants disillusionment with their false promises. Haitian-born Cocls Simon was a labor recruiter for the Francisco Sugar Company.68 In addition to attracting Haitians to labor there, Simon falsely claimed to be a delegate of [the Haitian] consulate, in order to exploit the Haitians in the countryside.69 R esentment against labor recruit ers becomes obvious during a fight between a Haitian worker and a rural guardsman at the United Fruit Company. In the middle of the fight, the worker told the guard to fuck your mother and the mother of the labor contractor.70 62. Ramon Cuenca, el guarda jurado agredido en Calabazas, en peligro de muerte, Diario de Cuba February 21, 1928. 63. Grave suceso en Jatibonico, La Voz del Pueblo March 28, 1925. 64. Contra los tratantes de trabajadores, La Voz del Pueblo November 26, 1928. 65. Rafael Aguirre, Administrador de Palma Soriano Sugar Company to Guillermo F Mascaro, Gobernador de Oriente, March 5, 1919, APSGP 307/21/1. 66. Letter to Sr. Rafael Aguirre, Administrador del Central Palma, signed by S.S., March 8, 1919, APSGP 307/21/3. 67. Untitled communiqu by the Governor of Oriente, January 5, 1927, APSGP 310/09/01. 68. T o Sr. Gobernador Provincial, Santiago de Cuba From Segundo Admor. General, The Francisco Sugar Company, February 13, 1927, APSGP 309/13/1. 69. T o: Gobernador Provincial de Oriente, From: Louis Hibbert, Consul Gnral de Haiti, January 5, 1935, APSGP 377/50/1. 70. [que se cagaba en la madre del dicente y en la del Contratista] Declaracin de E milio Puche Suarez, May 29, 1929, ANC AS 29/1/14.
20 MATTHEW CASEY Likewise, when a middle-class Haitian woman who was involved in labor recruiting in Haiti wanted to converse with some migrants in Cuba, one of them responded to her invitation by declaring that he would only meet her if ... she came to visit us and were to eat cane with us (Laville 1933:11). Sugar companies visions of Haitians were defined by the immigrants role as a productive labor force on plantations. The scholarly focus on Haitians as simply workers unwittingly reproduces this logic.71 Haitians lives, however, can hardly be reduced to their labor. Outside of work hours they sought to cre ate their own social worlds. Written documents describing Haitians actions outside of the sites and hours of the workday are proportionally few compared to the psychological, social, and economic significance of such activities. Haitian immigrants overwhelming illiteracy, estimated at 90 percent, explains the dearth of sources written by migrants themselves (Prez de la Riva 1979:table vii). Instead, historians must rely on company records and judicial archives. Although extensive and often detailed, these documents reflect very specific economic and political concerns. Haitians activities appear only when the goals of the company and state were breached, giving a necessarily limited picture of the world migrants created outside of the workday. Notwithstanding their limitations, records of production and repression shed considerable light on migrants social and economic activities on sugar plantations before, during, and after the period of heavy repatriations. They reveal a world in which Haitian men and women relaxed and socialized after work, engaged in small-scale commerce, sold sex, gambled, and engaged in other non-sugar-producing activities on plantations as both providers and consumers. The networks involving Haitians and individuals of other nationalities that emerged out of their extensive interactions dispel the notion that sugar companies were able to divide their workforces effectively or that Haitians were socially isolated. Samuel Martnezs study of material culture on a contemporary sugar plantation in the D ominican Republic explains the importance of leisure time and the consumption of non-utilitarian goods, even for impoverished workers. Leisure, he argues, takes on an importance wholly beyond its utility as a time to recuperate the energy to work again because it is the only time the worker fully possesses him/herself, and becomes fleetingly sovereign. Similarly, consumption of non-essential goods may be used for achieving personal dignity, reclaiming individuality, and gaining momentary relief from monotony and drudgery ( Martnez 2007:12, 52). There is abundant evidence that Haitian workers sought relief from monotony and drudgery through various means. On the evening of March 7, 1919, for instance, Haitian-born Ney Louis Charles was drinking anisette and play-71. The obvious exceptions to this are the many studies of Haitian Vodou in Cuba. See James, Millet & Alarcn 1998.
21 HAITIANS LABOR AND LEISURE ON CUBAN SUGAR PL ANTATIONS ing his violin in a caf on the United Fruit Companys Preston plantation in Cuba. It was payday. During the evening, a Jamaican-born prostitute asked him in English to play a Haitian waltz. This was not a chance encounter; they knew each other very well. In fact, Charles and a Cuban-born member of the rural guard held a rivalry over her affections (Laville 1933:8-10). Charless story is just one example of how Haitian workers relaxed outside of the workday with music, drinking, dancing, and other activities. On an evening in May 1929, Haitian-born Luis Fis met with Jos Samuel, Salvador Pie, and Jos Pol Fisco outside the house of another Haitian, Jos Zayas. They had been paid for their labor earlier that day and drank late into the night.72Ney Louis Charless relationships with the Jamaican prostitute and the Cuban rural guardsman also highlight the way individuals from different nationalities interacted in the hours and spaces outside of sugar production. This is consistent with the findings of other studies of Caribbean migrants, which argue that migrants networks are based on quite another logic than nation-states, with their clearly demarcated borders, exclusive member ships based on birthrights, and strong ideology of shared common identity ( FogOlwig 2007:11). I n a much later example of relationships that were not defined by national divisions, in 1947, Haitians Jos Leyva and R apido Luis coordinated with two Afro-Cubans and a B arbadian to invest their earnings in dances and bachatas they give in the colonia .73What for some was a reprieve from arduous work, others saw as an oppor tunity for economic advancement. In Cuba, as elsewhere in the Americas, the presence of a large agricultural workforce created demand for a range of goods and services readily filled by other inhabitants of plantations and nearby cities (McGillivray 2009:142, Putnam 2002:7). At the beginning of the sugar harvest of 1938, Haitian-born T ertulien Jutilien left his seasonal resi dence in Santiago de Cuba to sell merchandise outside of the city.74 Among his wares were dolls, cornets, toy guns, earrings, gray socks, books, and toothbrushes.75 In 1929, Haitian-born Rosa Pol sold sweets inside a barracn 72. Declaracin de Jos Pol Fisco conocido por Jos Pie, May 7, 1929, Declaracin de Salvador Pie Juzgado de I nstruccin de Mayari, May 7, 1929, Juzgado de Instruccin de Mayari, APSATO 351/2576/37, 39. 73. Guardia R ural, Acta, January 18, 1947, Archivo Provincial de Camagey: Juzgado de Instruccin del Partido Judicial de Camagey (hereafter APCJPI) 317/3919/23. Declaracin de Flix Socarrs Tllez: Juzgado Municipal de Sibanicu, January 27, 1947, APCJPI 317/3919/31. Declaracin de Ignacio Portal Rodriguez, Juzgado Municipal Sibanicu, January 27, 1947, APCJPI 317/3919/30. 74. Declaracin de testigo, Rafael Miller Leon, March 12, 1938, Archivo Provincial de Santiago: Sala de Urgencia (hereafter APSSU) 28/286a/38. 75. Cirilo Rodriguez L. Sgto. Esc. 39 de la Guardia Rural, Jefe del Puesto to Juez Municipal de Alto Songo, January 27, 1938, APSSU 28/286a/63.
22 MATTHEW CASEY on the colonia Buena Vista in Palma Soriano.76 Through the informal commercial networks constituted by buyers and sellers, Haitians had contact with individuals of other nationalities. Jutilien lived with Maria Martinez, a woman originally from the Dominican R epublic, who was also accustomed to work ing in the countryside during the zafras.77 William Stokes, an individual from the United States living in rural Cuba, recalled that one could usually buy boxes of boniato from Haitians (Cirules 2003:176). O n the colonia S an Carlos number 11 in Santa Cruz del Sur, Haitian-born Benito Luis purchased his cigarettes in a store run by a Jamaican-born merchant, I gnacio Montes.78Selling sex on plantations was another economic activity in which Haitianborn men and women engaged. In Palma Soriano in 1928, two Haitian-born individuals, Bertina Nicolasa and Jos Nicols, worked as a prostitute and pimp respectively.79 Like sugar production and petty commerce, the network of prostitutes, their brokers, and their customers cut across national lines. In 1947, on the colonia Pennsylvania, Haitian-born Jos Leyva, along with another Haitian, a Barbadian, and two Cubans supplemented their work by bringing women from other places to exercise prostitution so that they could appropriate the products that said women obtain.80 In Leyvas house there were two Cuban-born women, Clemencia Pimentel Menendez and Marcela Martnez Rosell, who were engaging in prostitution under [his] direction.81 At times, inter-ethnic love triangles occurred, such as the afore mentioned conflict between Ney Louis Charles and the Cuban rural guard over a Jamaican woman (Laville 1933:7-10). I n 1942, Alberto Luis and Juan Cumber, a Haitian and Jamaican respectively, held a rivalry over an AfroCuban woman named Maria, who lived on their colonia and worked during the yearly harvests as a prostitute.82Haitian migrants also gambled in various forms on sugar plantations, including buying and selling lottery tickets. One observer hyperbolically declared that there is no human being with more love for gambling than the Haitian.83 On the colonia Demajagual in Camagey, Haitian-born Antonio Luis was known as an individual who does not work and when he does only 76. Declaracin de R osa Pol, s.o.a., February 4, 1929, APSATO 336/2419/3. 77. Declaracin de testigo, R afael Miller Leon, March 12, 1938, APSSU 28/286a/38. 78. T estimonio del Acta de Denuncia, January 4, 1943, APC TU 33/18/1. 79. Informacin del <
23 HAITIANS LABOR AND LEISURE ON CUBAN SUGAR PL ANTATIONS dedicates himself to selling lottery tickets ... and gambling.84 B esides selling lottery tickets, Haitians also bought them in large numbers. I n 1937, observers blamed the widespread deportation of Haitian laborers for the overwhelming number of unsold lottery tickets in Guantnamo.85 Despite the inevitable drain on the majority of Haitians already low wages, there are reasons gambling could be appealing to workers in such harsh conditions, for gambling suspends compliance not only with the mathematical but also with the political and social orthodoxies governing everyday life (Kavanagh 2005:11). Haitians were not the only individuals on Cuban soil who gambled. Gambling was common among all social classes in all regions of R epublican Cuba (Senz Rovner 2008). In fact, Haitians, Cubans, and individuals of other nationalities gambled together on sugar plantations, buttressing arguments that gambling is a significant social practice, and a form of conviviality both anchored in and revelatory of its broader cultural context (Kavanagh 2005:7). In Ciego de A vila in 1942, Haitian-born rural laborer Alberto Luis bought lottery tickets from Luis Woi T ung, a Chinese-born individual who lived on the same sugar plantation.86 As a result, Luis often borrowed money from Juan Cumber, a Jamaican-born rural worker who had on many occasions ... given him medios y reales so that he could pay his bills.87 Similarly, one day in 1928 in San Germn, Haitians Jos Ramn, Jos Manuel, and Antonio Segundo were gambling with a Dominican named Jos Martnez and Gabino Quial, a Cuban.88 Gambling was so common in sugar barracones that gamblers from the cities ... make incursions in the colonias to play. Among them was Antonio Fadragas, a white middle-class Cuban who gambled with Adolfo Estvez Cardenas, a black of unknown nationality in the colonia Montada in Morn, Camagey.89Haitian men and women also reproduced family structures and divided domestic labor on sugar plantations, though such activities have largely been ignored by previous historians. Haitian families cooperated to prepare food, wash clothes, and perform other domestic duties during leisure hours. In the colonia Fontanales number 3, Lucia Pradela, a married Haitian woman, performed domestic labor in her house.90 Domestic labor was probably not the only work such women performed. In 1929, the aforementioned Rosa Pol 84. [Untitled Statement by R A yala, Augusto Porro, Francisco Garcia, Guardias R urales] February 24, 1936, APC TU 4/15/2. 85. Los Haitianos y la lotera nacional, La Voz del Pueblo May 6, 1937. 86. Acta Num. 1448 de la Polica Nacional, Seccin de Ciego de A vila, July 13, 1942, APC TU 25/1/Pieza no. 1, p. 1. 87. Declaracin de Juan Cumber (soa), July 14, 1942, APC TU 25/1/Pieza no. 1, p. 10. 88. Detencin por juego al prohibido, Diario de Cuba August 23, 1928. 89. Cmo occurri el hecho sangriento de la Colonia Montada, El Camagueyano, June 4, 1925. 90. Declaracin de Lucia Pradela (soa), July 17, 1942, APC TU 25/1/Pieza no. 1, p. 44.
24 MATTHEW CASEY told authorities that she worked in her house, though she also sold food in the barracones.91 Nor was all such labor performed by women. During the dead season of 1926 on the colonia La Isabel, a group of Haitian men cooperated to cook, clean, and gather food. Simon Pie and Jos Luis, two Haitians who worked with oxen, left from the barracn ... where they lived and worked, to the store on the colonia to buy soap. At that point, they separated and divided their work. Pie traveled to the ravine to wash their clothing while Luis returned to the aforementioned barracn to make lunch for both as well as for Luiss father who had gone to look for boniato on a distant colonia Even such close-knit cooperation among Haitians did not prevent them from forming relationships with people of other nationalities. When Simon Pie was injured, Obdulio Celasio, an individual from Curaao, alerted Pies companions and aided them in seeking medical attention.92 In another case, in 1924, Cuban-born Eliodoro Hechavarra cooked in a small restaurant on the colonia B arrancas that was patronized by Haitian workers.93E ncroachments on Haitians efforts to take advantage of their leisure time, exert control over their labor, and diversify their economic activities came from company and state representatives acting in official capacity to maintain the economic interests of the former and enforce the laws of the latter. At times, sugar companies tolerated gambling and prostitution on plantations in order to retain workers, even as state officials cracked down on them, questioning the extent to which Cuban state institutions acted on behalf of sugar companies. Company tolerance evaporated, however, when Haitians labor and leisure strategies conflicted with their economic interests or desire to control their laborers. As a result, conflicts broke out between workers and representatives of companies and the state over the terms of labor and leisure. El Camagueyano declared very bluntly in 1924 that in a colonia in the interior with no women and only a little gambling from time to time you will probably not find any workers.94 In the central Baguanos and elsewhere, rural guardsmen even accepted bribes from known gamblers in exchange for the right to play.95 T he state was less obliging. Undercover police officers arrested men and women from different nationalities for illegal gambling or engaging in prostitution.96 In the realm of gambling, Haitians and other workers often 91. Declaracin de R osa Pol, s.o.a., February 4, 1929, APSATO 336/2419/3. 92. Sub-Inspector de la Policia Judicial to Juez de Instruccion de Victoria de Las T unas, July 24, 1926, APL T JL T 97/1347/19-20. 93. Sucesos de la provincia: R eyerta y lesiones, Diario de Cuba October 17, 1925. 94. Cmo ocurri el hecho sangriento de la Colona Montada,El Camagueyano, June 4, 1925. 95. Declaracin de Manuel Fusalba, March 11, 1913, ANCAS 8/1/1. Juez de Instruccin, Holgun to Presidente de la Audiencia, Santiago de Cuba, June 30, 1922, ANC AS 68/2/1. 96. Soldados vestidos de paisano prestan buen servicio en el Campo, La Voz del Pueblo January 12, 1928.
25 HAITIANS LABOR AND LEISURE ON CUBAN SUGAR PL ANTATIONS opposed police attempts to stop their games, leading to physical confrontations. In 1942, Julian Castillo, a Haitian-born individual who sold lottery ticket s for a living, was approached by a police officer. Rather than surrender his list of numbers, Castillo resisted it, not wanting to accompany [the guard].97 Similarly, undercover agents sought to arrest Haitian-born Antonio Lpez on the assumption that he and another were running an illegal numbers game on the colonia Ambicin. Lpez responded with violence, insults, and assertions of his masculinity. In addition to brandishing the machete he was carrying, he told the guard not to touch him that he was no woman and that if they touched him he would kill one of them. At that moment, agents showed him their identification cards, to which Lpez responded by thrusting his machete in their faces and telling them they could wipe their asses with them.98Rather than physically resisting arrest, the Haitian men and women accused of prostitution responded by claiming other occupations. Cuban-born Marcela Martnez Rosel denied being a prostitute to authorities. Instead, she claimed to work within her house as the cousin sister [prima hermana] of Jos Leiva, the Haitian-born individual accused of making money with her sex.99 Clemencia Pimentel Menendez, another accused, similarly declared that Leiva was a friend of [hers] for a very long time.100 Men and women also asserted that the men only engaged in honorable work and did not need to sell womens sex for money. R ather than depending on the sex work of Victoria Dominguez, Haitian-born Rpido Luis claimed that he maintains her with all of the products of his work, which is cutting cane and other jobs in the colonias.101Despite some employers tolerance of activities like gambling and selling sex, Haitians faced opposition when their efforts to relax or diversify their economic activities conflicted with company goals of productivity. In 1929, Haitian-born Juan Bautista defied United Fruit Company orders to travel to a distant field to cut cane. In his own words, he had drunk some cups of liquor, which made him a little drunk. As a result, he did not want to go and work and was in the barracn looking for a way to go and find food, because the animals or some unknown person ate what he had made.102 As guards approached him, a verbal and physical fight broke out. A Jamaican cook reported that B autista was talking a lot and saying that he wouldnt work in 97. Acta 263-42 de la polica municipal de E smeralda, May 7, 1942, APC TU 17/32/1. 98. T estimonio: Acta por infraccion ley loteria, July 24, 1942. Declaracin de Apolonio R eyna Lazcano, July 27, 1942, APC TU 22/8/1, 15. 99. Declaracin del testigo: Marcela Martnez Rosel, juzgado de instruccin, Camagey, January 19, 1947, APCJPI 317/3919/7. 100. D eclaracin del testigo: Clemencia Pimentel Menendez, juzgado de instruc cin de Camagey, January 19, 1947, APCJPI 317/3919/8. 101. Comparecencia de Rpido Luis, soa, juzgado de instruccin, Camagey, January 19, 1947, APCJPI 317/3919/14. 102. Comparecencia del Acusado Juan B atista s.o.a., May 28, 1929, ANC AS 29/1/13.
26 MATTHEW CASEY the non-company fields.103 The officer claimed that Bautista had reached for his knife while resisting arrest with an aggressive attitude, requiring him to use force.104Wandering merchants were accused by both urban shopkeepers and sugar company officials of undercutting prices of permanent stores.105 They were often physically harassed by rural guards and expelled from sugar plantations. According to a complaint by a group of wandering merchants, companies used the most reprehensible measures to stop them. T ypically the Guarda Jurado [private company guards] arrives at the place where the vendor is, which is always a public place, before telling them that they cannot continue there because it is prohibited by the Company. When vendors asserted their right to sell by pointing out that its not private property ... the guarda jurado scatters the merchandise, mistreats him in words and deeds and then accuses him of disobedience and assault. In 1924 on the central Miranda, Salvador B har, a Cuban-born wandering merchant was attacked brutally by a Guarda Jurado merely for selling goods on company premises.106 CON CL USION In Republican Cuba, Haitians were identified as a homogenous group of cane cutters who remained at the bottom of labor hierarchies and were effectively segregated from other workers by the managerial policies of sugar compa nies. In actuality, Haitian laborers on Cuban sugar plantations were neither relegated to the lowest position on Cubas labor hierarchy nor isolated from individuals of other nationalities. Although most Haitian immigrants cut cane, they also worked as labor recruiters and ox-drivers. T hey even labored in the industrial sectors in sugar centrales. I n all of these activities, they were part of a heterogeneous workforce that was never fully segregated along national lines, despite companies efforts to the contrary. Although Haitians rarely participated in labor unions, they developed individual and collective strategies to resist company control over their labor and leisure. While some of these strategies involved taking actions during work hours, many others occurred during breaks in the workday. Haitians and individuals of other nationalities created social and economic worlds outside the direct gaze of company and state. Despite periodic attempts by state and company offi-103. Declaracin de Jos B rown, May 29, 1929, ANC AS 29/1/16. 104. Declaracin de E milio Puche Suarez, May 29, 1929, ANC AS 29/1/14. 105. El comercio de mayar produjo una queja contra los vendedores ambulantes, Diario de Cuba February 21, 1928; La denuncia de los vendedores ambulantes, Diario de Cuba August 29, 1924. 106. La denuncia de los vendedores ambulantes, Diario de Cuba August 29, 1924.
27 HAITIANS LABOR AND LEISURE ON CUBAN SUGAR PL ANTATIONS cials to stop them, Haitians actively sought to take advantage of their leisure hours and diversify their economic activities. This included drinking, relaxing, playing music, dancing, engaging in prostitution, gambling, petty commerce, and other activities with workers of other nationalities. The picture that emerges as we get closer to the experiences of Haitian migrants themselves is one of multinational exchanges and links, not one of workers rigidly divided according to ethnicity. It suggests that discussions of Haitian integration into Cuban society should begin in the communities they formed with Cubans and other immigrants, not the top-down policies of the Cuban state. REFEREN C ESAL VAREZ ESTVEZ, ROLANDO 1988. Azcar e inmigracin, 1900-1940. Havana: E ditorial de Ciencias Sociales. AYALA, CSAR J. 1999. American Sugar Kingdom: The Plantation Economy of the Spanish Caribbean, 1898-1934 Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. BERENGUER CA L A, JORGE 2006. El Gag de Barrancas: Una comunidad de descendi entes haitianos en el oriente de Cuba Santiago de Cuba: E diciones Santiago. BOURGOIS, PHI L I PP E I 1989. Ethnicity at Work: Divided Labor on a Central American Banana Plantation B altimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. BULMER-THOMAS, VICTOR 2003. The Economic History of Latin Americas since Independ ence Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [ Orig. 1995.] CAR P ENTIER, AL E J O 2002. cue-Yamba-! Madrid: Alianza E ditorial. CARR, BARRY February 1998a. Identity, Class, and Nation: Black Immigrant Workers, Cuban Communism, and the Sugar Insurgency, 1925-1934. Hispanic American Historical Review 78:83-116. , 1998b. Omnipotent and Omnipresent? Labor Shortages, Worker Mobility, and Employer Control in the Cuban Sugar Industry, 1910-1934. In A viva Chomsky & Aldo Lauria-Santiago (eds.), Identity and Struggle at the Margins of the Nation-State: The Laboring Peoples of Central America and the Hispanic Caribbean. Durham NC: Duke University Press, pp. 260-91. CASSEUS, MAURI C E 1970. Viejo Nendeln: Krause R eprint. [ Orig. 1935.] CHAILLOUX LAFFITA, GRACIELA & ROBERT WHITNEY 2005. British subjects y pichones en Cuba. In Graciela Chailloux Laffita (ed.), De dnde son los cubanos? Havana: E ditorial de Ciencias Sociales, pp. 53-116. CHOMSKY, AVIVA 1996. West Indian Workers and the United Fruit Company in Costa Rica, 1870-1940 B aton R ouge: Louisiana State University Press. CINAS, JEANBATISTE 2004. Le drame de la terre Port-au-Prince: Ateliers Fardin.
28 MATTHEW CASEYCIRULES, ENRIQUE 2003. Conversacin con el ltimo norteamericano. Havana: E ditorial Letras Cubanas. CUBA 1920. Census of the Republic of Cuba 1919. Havana: Maza, Arroyo y Caso, S. en C. DORSEY, JOSEPH C ., 2004. Identity, Rebellion, and Social Justice among Chinese Contract Workers in Nineteenth-Century Cuba. Latin American Perspectives 31(3):18-47. DYE, ALAN 1998. Cuban Sugar in the Age of Mass Production: Technology and the Economics of the Sugar Central 1899-1929 Stanford C A: Stanford University Press. ESCH, ELIZABETH & DAVID ROEDIGER 2009. One Symptom of Originality: Race and the Management of Labour in the History of the United States. Historical Materialism 17(4):3-43. ESPRONCEDA AMOR, MARA EUGENIA 2001. Parentesco, inmigracin y comunidad. Guantnamo: E l Mar y la Montaa. FOG OL WIG, KAREN 2007. Caribbean Journeys: An Ethnography of Migration and Home in Three Family Networks. Durham NC: Duke University Press. FREN C H, JOHN D ., 2006. The Laboring and Middle-Class Peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean: Historical T rajectories and New Research Directions. In Jan Lucassen (ed.), Global Labour History: A State of the Art. B ern, Switzerland: Peter Lang, pp. 289-333. GAR C A RODRGUEZ, MER C EDES 2007. Entre haciendas y plantaciones: Orgenes de la manufactura azucarera en La Habana Havana: E ditorial de Ciencias Sociales. GIOVANNETTI, JORGE L., 2006a. T he E lusive Organization of I dentity: R ace, R eligion, and E mpire Among Caribbean Migrants in Cuba. Small Axe 10 (1):1-27. , 2006b. Grounds of Race: Slavery, Racism and the Plantation in the Caribbean. Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies 1(1):5-36. G M EZ NAVIA, RAI M UNDO 2005. Lo haitiano en lo cubano. In Graciela Chailloux Laffita (ed.), De dnde son los cubanos? Havana: E ditorial de Ciencias Sociales, pp. 5-51. GUAN C HE, JESS & DENNIS MORENO 1988. Caidije. Santiago de Cuba: Editorial Oriente. IGLESIAS GARCA, FE 1999. Del ingenio al central. Havana: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales. JAMES, JOEL, JOS MILLET & ALEXIS ALARCN 1998. El Vod en Cuba. Santiago de Cuba: E ditorial Oriente. KAUSSEN, VA L ERIE 2008. Migrant Revolutions: Haitian Literature, Globalization, and U.S. Imperialism. Lanham MD: Lexington B ooks. KAVANAGH, THOMAS M., 2005. Dice, Cards, Wheels: A Different History of French Culture Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. KNIGHT, FRANKLIN W ., 1970. Slave Society in Cuba during the Nineteenth Century. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.
29 HAITIANS LABOR AND LEISURE ON CUBAN SUGAR PL ANTATIONSLAVI LL E, L L IO 1933. La traite des ngres au XXe sicle ou les dessous de lmigration haitienne Cuba Port-au-Prince: I mprimerie Nouvelle. LUCASSEN, JAN & LEO LUCASSEN 1997. Migration, Migration History, History: Old Paradigms and New Perspectives. In Jan Lucassen & Leo Lucassen (eds.), Migration, Migration History, History: Old Paradigms and New Perspectives. Bern, Switzerland: Peter Lang, pp. 9-38. MAHASE, RADICA 2008. Plenty a Dem Run A way: Resistance by Indian Indentured Labourers in T rinidad, 1870-1920. Labor History 49:465-80. MARTNEZ, SAMUEL 2007. Decency and Excess: Global Aspirations and Material Deprivation on a Caribbean Sugar Plantation B oulder C O: Paradigm Publishers. MCGILLIVRAY, GILLIAN 2009. Blazing Cane: Sugar Communities, Class, and State Formation in Cuba, 1868-1959 Durham NC: Duke University Press. MCLEOD, MARC C. 1998. Undesirable Aliens: Race, Ethnicity, and Nationalism in the Comparison of Haitian and British West Indian Immigrant Workers in Cuba, 1912-1939. Journal of Social History 31(3):599-629. , 2000. Undesirable Aliens: Haitian and British West Indian Immigrant Workers in Cuba, 1898 to 1940. Ph D thesis, University of T exas, Austin. MOR C IEGO, EFRAI M 1982. El crimen de cortaderas. Havana: E diciones Union. MORENO FRAGINA L S, MANUE L 1964. El ingenio: El complejo econmico social cuba no del azcar, Tomo 1 (1760-1860) Havana: Comisin Nacional Cubana de la UNESC O. , 1978. El ingenio: Complejo ecnomico social cubano del azcar, Tomo 2. Havana: E ditorial de Ciencias Sociales. NARANJO OROVIO, CONSUELO & ARMANDO GARCA GONZLEZ 1996. Racismo e inmigracin en Cuba en el siglo XIX Madrid: E diciones Doce Calles. PREZ DE LA RIVA, JUAN 1979. Cuba y la migracin antillana, 1900-1931. Anuario de Estudios Cubanos 2:3-75. PETRAS, ELIZABETH MCLEAN 1988. Jamaican Labor Migration: White Capital and Black Labor, 1850-1930 B oulder C O: Westview Press. PUTNAM, LARA 2002. The Company They Kept: Migrants and the Politics of Gender in Caribbean Costa Rica, 1870-1960 Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. REDIKER, MARCUS 2004. The Revenge of Crispus Attucks; or, The Atlantic Challenge to American Labor History. Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas 1(4):35-45. RI C HARDSON, BONHA M 1989. Caribbean Migrations, 1838-1985. In Franklin W. Knight & Colin A. Palmer (eds.), The Modern Caribbean. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, pp. 203-28.
30 MATTHEW CASEYSENZ ROVNER, EDUARDO 2008. The Cuban Connection: Drug Trafficking, Smuggling, and Gambling in Cuba from the 1920s to the Revolution. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. SANTA M ARA GAR C IA, ANTONIO 2001. Sin azcar no hay pais: La industria azucarera y la economa cubana (1919-1939) Sevilla: Consejo Superior de I nvestigaciones Cientificas. SCOTT, JAMES C ., 1985. Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance. New Haven C T : Y ale University Press. SCOTT, REBECCA J. 2000. Small-Scale Dynamics of Large-Scale Processes. American Historical Review 105(2):472-79. , 2005. Degrees of Freedom: Louisiana and Cuba After Slavery. Cambridge: The B elknap Press. SEVILLANO ANDRS, BERNARDA 2007. Trascendencia de una cultura marginada: Presencia haitiana en Guantnamo Guantnamo: E ditorial E l Mar y la Montaa. SK L ODOWSKA, EL ZBIETA 2009. Espectros y espejismos: Hait en el imaginario cubano Madrid: I beroamericano. WYNTER, CADENCE 2001. Jamaican Labor Migration to Cuba, 1885-1930, in the Caribbean Context Ph D Dissertation, University of I llinois at Chicago. ZANETTI, OSCAR & ALEJANDRO GARCIA 1976. United Fruit Company: Un caso de dominio imperialista en Cuba Havana: E ditorial de Ciencias Sociales. MATTHEW CASEY Department of History University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh P A 15260, U. S.A.
New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011):31-52 SSHARIKA CRAWFORD AA TT RANSNATIONA lL W OR lL D FF R A cC TUR ED BUT NN OT FF OR GOTTEN: BB RI TIS hH W EST II NDIAN MM I GRATION TO T hH E CO lL OMBI AN II S lL ANDS OF SS AN AA NDR S AND PRO vV I DEN cC E II n the last decades of the nineteenth century, West II ndians traveled up and down the NN orth and SS outh AA tlantic in search of employment and favorable living conditions.1 BB y the middle of the following century, several hundred thousand BB arbadians, Jamaicans, TT rinidadians, Haitians, and others from smaller islands in the Leeward II sles had left their homes and found work in the expanding tropical export economies and the adjoining railway projects that had been designed to transport commodities in Central AA m erica. OO t hers obtained service-related jobs in the newly discovered oil fields of Venezuela or the Canal Zone in Panama. TT his massive migration exten ded the scope of the Caribbean as laborers formed communities, introduced their folk cultures, and reconstituted families in these new host societies, which were often hostile to black and brown denizens. OO pportunities abroad attracted industrious and erudite men and women seeking to utilize their professional skills and attain favorable living conditions by tapping into a long-estab lished migratory network outside the confines of the agro-export boom in the SS p anish-speaking circum-Caribbean. AA cademic interest in West II ndian migration to Latin AA meric a has been extensive. While scholars have examined the economic impact of migration on migrants home societies, have analyzed the interplay between labor and national politics as SS panish AA merican political elites initially encouraged AA f ro-Caribbean workers to and later restricted them from entering their countries, and have explored the labor organization of NN orth AA merican corporations such as the UU nited FF ruit Company they have paid less attention to the 1. II thank GG eor ge RR eid AA ndrews, Lara Putnam, and DD awn DD uke for their insightful comments on earlier drafts of this essay. Writing was facilitated by the UU nited SS tates NN a val AA c ademy Junior NARNAR C su mmer grant. II a lso thank RR ose marijn Hoefte, and the two anonymous reviewers of NWIG who helped me to clarify my ideas. FF i nally, II gi ve thanks to my husband Kwesi for his critical eye and to my son YY osh ua, for his patience.
32 SHARIKA CRAWFORD fact that many West Indian migrants settled into communities with an already established Anglophone Afro-Caribbean population.2 Locales like Bocas del T oro (Panama), Cahuita and T urtle Bogue (Costa Rica), Pearl Lagoon and Bluefields (Nicaragua), and the islands of San Andrs and Providence (Colombia) may have been known to West Indian newcomers due not only to nearby employment opportunities they offered, but also to longtime contact between these sites and the Eastern Caribbean, particularly Jamaica (T roy 1967:55-57). However, scholars of this migration to Central America have often conflated British West Indians and these Anglophone residents of full and partial African ancestry, treating them as a single group and leaving the impression that the E nglish-speaking black population was relatively new to the area.3 On the contrary, these Anglophone communities with ties to the West Indies have existed since the eighteenth century, becoming the depository for additional emigrants from the Greater and Lesser Antilles from the mid-nineteenth to the early twentieth centuries. This paper focuses on one of these communities the Archipelago of San Andrs and Providence which is culturally and physically wedged between the Anglophone Caribbean and Spanish America. Lying less than one hundred miles from the Atlantic littoral of Central America, the islands are under the jurisdiction of the republic of Colombia nearly four hundred miles away. In an area settled largely by retired Anglo-Dutch buccaneers, itinerant farmers, and enslaved Africans in the late eighteenth century, residents conceded their loyalty first to the Spanish Crown and later to New Granada authorities in the aftermath of the Spanish American independence wars. Notwithstanding their political affiliation to Colombia, the social and economic development of the islands mirrored that of other places in the Greater Caribbean. Island planters sold their cotton, and fishermen peddled their turtle shells and meat mostly to a few Jamaican merchants en route to Central America in exchange for manufactured goods. They also educated their children in Jamaica and traveled throughout the region as seamen. By the 1870s, however, a steady trickle of mostly British West Indians began to relocate to the islands, scouting the area to acquire better livelihoods. By 1912, one census indicated that this group constituted nearly 5 percent of the total population4; however, the profile of these migrants differed from 2. Literature on West Indian migration in Spanish America is vast. For the most recent treatment on the topic, see Opie 2009 and T inker Salas 2009:73-170. For other studies, see Putnam 2001, Chomsky 2000:415-62. Also, refer to the older works of Chomsky 1996, Newton 1984, R ichardson 1985. 3. Notable exceptions are Putnam 2010:278-79, Chambers 2010:74-96, and Gordon 1998:45-50. 4. T he census taker reported 3,123 inhabitants on San Andrs and 208 of them foreign ers, mostly of West Indian extraction. On Providence, the total population was 1,930
33 BRITISH WEST INDIAN MIGRATION TO SAN ANDRS AND PROVIDENCE that of their counterparts elsewhere due to their professions and educational comportment. In this essay, I answer three interrelated questions. Who were these migrants, what attracted them to the Colombian islands, and what is revealed about West Indian migration as well as the scope of the Greater Caribbean in studying this lesser-known case? Drawing on travel accounts, newspapers, port records, and published and unpublished interviews, I examine the migra tory circuit between the B ritish Caribbean and the Archipelago of San Andrs and Providence. In so doing, I put forth a three-part argument. First, British West I ndian migration was an organic result of long-term contact between the inhabitants of these Colombian islands and those of the Greater Antilles, in particular Jamaica. Second, although the migrants to the islands were mostly professionals such as attorneys, pharmacists, teachers, and ministers, there were also a few semi-skilled workers among them. Third and finally, their presence on the islands was less hostile, as local notables actively recruited and encouraged migrants to start businesses or provide services deemed desir able to the entire community. As such, their experiences represent a departure from the master narrative involving racist white American company officers, resentful local Hispanic laborers, and Spanish American political elites concerned about the economic and social future of their nations. BETWEEN THE ANG L O P HONE CARIBBEAN AND SP ANISH AM ERI C A: A CARIBBEAN BORDER L AND T erritorial competition between England and Spain birthed borderlands in the western Caribbean. Although the Spanish claimed San Andrs and Providence islands in 1510, the Spanish empire later abandoned these lands in favor of colonization of the western and Pacific highlands of Central America. A deep desire for gold pushed conquistadores to search for areas rich in resources and human capital, but imperial Spain found colonization difficult along the Caribbean lowlands of Central America due to the areas tricky terrain of swamps, jungles, and mountains as well as the hostile indig enous populations that resided there. By the seventeenth century, European competition for American colonies soared as first Anglo-Dutch buccaneers and then English Puritans came to Providence Island, establishing a settle ment in 1631. Although the colonists initially recruited E uropean indentured servants to grow tobacco, they later turned to enslaved Africans to cultivate cotton when conflicts erupted over land ownership and tobacco prices fell. with 63 foreigners identified. See Santiago Guerrero to Mara Pedro Carreo, July 8, 1912, Ministerio de Gobierno, Seccin Primera, T omo 698, Folio 468, Archivo General de la Nacin (hereafter AGN), B ogot, Colombia.
34 SHARIKA CRAWFORD Despite changes in labor and production, the Puritan colony was doomed. I n addition to insufficient security that left settlers vulnerable to outside inter lopers, slave uprisings, and slave escapes, the Puritans faced competition from the Spanish, who finally succeeded in driving the settlers off the island a decade after their arrival (Kupperman 1995:338). Spain had little interest in colonizing these islands, and Spanish official policy in this area was aimed at warding off further foreign incursion from A nglo-D utch pirates. A s the islands offered few enticing resources, Spanish royal officials found it difficult to populate the islands with loyal subjects and eventually relied on itinerant foreigners. While they attempted to settle some twenty Canary Island families to deter further migration of English woodcutters to San Andrs Island, reports continued to note the presence of English-speaking settlers (Parsons 1956:14, Peralta 1890:66). Reliance on foreign settlers was a Spanish policy that had been used in other borderlands in North America and the Caribbean coastal lands of Central America with little success (Adelman & Aron 1999:825-26, Dawson 1998:69-70). By the late eighteenth century, some 35 settlers of mostly English and some Dutch extraction resided on the island of San Andrs along with 285 slaves after gaining permission to remain loyal subjects of Spain. In exchange for their obedience and conversion to Catholicism, royal officials permitted these set tlers to remain on the islands to pursue cotton cultivation, fishing, and smuggling of B ritish goods to the Central American mainland, leaving them with out a strong government presence or means of communication with Spanish authorities (Cabrera Ortiz 1980:58-59). Existing evidence, mostly from travel accounts, offers a glimpse into the social structure of San Andrs and Providence. The most affluent islanders were sea captains of small trading vessels, large landowners, and a few traders who served as middlemen in the sale of coconuts, oranges, turtle shell, and other goods sent to Jamaica and North America. B roadly speaking, these men and their families were the descendants of the first itinerant white settlers and their black and brown (racially mixed) wives and mistresses. On San Andrs, these families included the Bents, Bowies, Corpuses, Forbeses, Livingstons, and Mays; on Providence, the Archbolds, Newballs, R obinsons, and Howards were among them (Desir 1989:101, Petersen 1989:95). The remainder of the population was composed of smallholders and fishermen who survived on their garden plots, fishing, and occasional work as sailors or day laborers. Insight into the internal dynamics of the group is difficult to develop. It is clear, however, that skin color was one of many factors determining an islande rs social status within the community. Some families married across color lines, while others followed strict codes of color segregation. One American traveler stranded on Providence described the wife of the chief magistrate as black as the aces spade. His further encounters with islanders led him to surmise that Providence was a paradise for free blacks in the United
35 BRITISH WEST INDIAN MIGRATION TO SAN ANDRS AND PROVIDENCE States, as albeit islanders felt blessed to be whitish they do not seem to feel it a degradation to be dark-skinned (Stilman 1877:270, 273). Y et his optimistic portrayal of color relations is tempered by examples of enforced segregation and even strong animosity toward people of color. In the 1810s, American captain and trader Jacob Dunham noted that there were bad feelings between white and free colored residents on San Andrs, observing that white islanders took great pains to keep social events segregated. None of the colored (or brown) families had been invited to a ball except an old man, by the name of Bent, the wealthiest man on the Island, owning about ninety slaves, whom the whites dare not overlook ( Dunham 1850:110).5 Fifty years later, these racial tensions persisted. In 1862, white residents strongly criticized Baptist minister Philip Beekman Livingston, Jr. for mar rying Josephine Pomare, a black woman who had served as a domestic ser vant and caretaker of the pastors first wife until her death three years earlier (Petersen 2001:95). While it is not clear whether these island parishioners objected to the matrimony due to racial chauvinism or moral concerns (i.e., suspicion of an inappropriate relationship during his wifes illness), like the earlier white-only social event, wealth and not skin color appears to have been the decisive factor. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, San Andrs and Providence islanders had joined the republic of Gran Colombia. Colombian officials, like their Spanish predecessors centuries before them, neglected the islands for more critical issues impacting the mainland. The Gran Colombian government initially appointed a military commander to govern the islands, a post he served until 1833, when a civilian jefe politico replaced him. Then the islands became a canton a small administrative entity administered by the government of Cartagena until 1868, when the islands were named one of six national territories to be governed under federal rule (Rausch 1993:89). This designation constituted an acknowledgment of the archipelagos strategic importance. In 1867, Colombian intellectual and journalist Jos Mara Samper argued that the islands are of the greatest importance by virtue of their position in the middle of the Panama Isthmus, the islands of Cuba and Jamaica and the coasts of Central America. They need the presence of the federal authority, making it felt directly and energetically.6Despite such statements regarding the significance of these Caribbean islands to Colombia, the state presence there remained very weak. A small number of federal officials lived in the archipelago to administer the islands 5. Providence islanders informed an anthropologist of similar social divisions at public events into the second half of the twentieth century, see Desir 1989:102. 6. Jos Mara Samper, Divisin T erritorial de Colombia, El Republicano, October 2, 1867, p. 88.
36 SHARIKA CRAWFORD for the national government; islanders filled most local public offices.7 Mainland authorities expressed concern about the governability of a popula tion whose members did not understand Spanish and, as a result, failed to understand Colombian laws and thus could not carry out the demands of citizenship or even local administration (Vergara y Velasco 1888:88). Intense contention erupted between islanders and federal authorities from the mainland, which led to the shooting and murder of federal officials.8The 1880s brought significant changes to the islands administration and relationship to mainland Colombia. The ascent of Rafael Nuez to power meant the replacement of extreme federalism with centralism. The Constitution of 1886 transferred all national territories back to their original departments in the case of San Andrs and Providence, to the Department of Bolvar (Gibson 1951:59). Under this new administrative arrangement, departmental governors appointed prefects and other functionaries to govern the islands. Penury, poor management, and allegations of corruption soon plagued departmental authorities, who struggled to bridge the cultural and linguistic gaps that separated them from islanders. An 1890 report from Juan Ramrez, the prefect of San Andrs and Providence, offers insight into public administration on the islands. Ramrez informed the governor that the 3,000 island inhabitants were English-speaking Protestants and, like Jos Mara Samper three decades earlier, he urged the government to take the necessary steps to incorporate them into the nation. He explained that the islanders were strangers in Colombia, as they shared a language, a culture, and even commercial interests with people in the United States. Ramrez feared islanders organizing to annex themselves to another nation. T he prefect believed these circumstances easily explain the desire they have to belong to that nation and only by force do they accept the title of Colombian.9 Other officials had alarmed the government before about islanders lack of national pride and identification. Cartographer Francisco Javier Vergara y Velasco documented similar attitudes two years earlier in his publication on the archipelago. For nothing more than ambition do islanders call themselves British subjects or American citizens and not Colombians, 7. The prefecture included a circuit judge and his secretary, two municipal judges, two public notaries, two schoolteachers, a fiscal agent, tax collectors, an alcalde and a cor regidor ( Registro de Bolvar, October 10, 1887). 8. Shooting and murder of prefects, Poldoro Martnez to Secretary of Interior and Foreign Relations, March 28, 1870, Ministerio de lo Interior y Relaciones Exteriores, T omo 78, Folios 492-3, AGN, Bogot; South American News, The New York Times, December 5, 1883. 9. Juan Ramrez, Informe del Prefecto de la Provincia de San Andrs, May 8, 1890, Informe del Gobernador de Bolvar a la Asamblea Departamental en sus sesiones ordinarias de 1890 ( B ogot), p. 43.
37 BRITISH WEST INDIAN MIGRATION TO SAN ANDRS AND PROVIDENCE he wrote, since they believe these countries could offer them a more efficient government and better protection (Vergara y Velasco 1888:27). Despite initiatives designed to combat cultural divisions such as opening a primary school, Ramrez urged his superiors to transfer the islands to the Department of Panama. He argued that Panamanians were more familiar with commercial transactions involving the United States and other countries in the Greater Caribbean. The Panamanians, he noted, even used the same money, most likely the United States currency that circulated both in Panama and San Andrs at the same time. Further, he observed, The special laws that govern that department are more in line with the needs of this region (Ramrez 1890:44). The Department of Bolvar, moreover, had difficulties maintaining regular contact with the islands via postal service.10 The province did not have sufficient funds to pay for a jail and therefore leased a small wooden house only ten feet long by five feet wide to serve as a lockup for criminals ( R amrez 1890:44). Given all of these factors, the prefect questioned the departments ability to govern the islands. Ultimately, departmen tal officials did not pursue R amrezs proposal, and the archipelago remained a province of the Department of B olvar until 1913. LINKAGES TO THE GREATER CARIBBEAN B y 1900, San Andrs and Providence had closer economic ties to the Greater Caribbean than to mainland Colombia. Both islands served as way stations in a migratory circuit that linked the ports of Kingston (Jamaica), B luefields (Nicaragua), Coln (Panama), and Bocas del T oro (Colombia) (Parsons 1956:38-39). First, West Indian merchant ships arrived to trade manufac tured goods such as furniture, clothes, shoes, and canned food for the island ers fruit and even turtle meat and shell. At this time, traders came to the islands en route to more bustling commercial centers at Bluefields or Coln on the Caribbean coasts of Central America, attracted by Indian goods such as sarsaparilla ( B ard 1855:39, Dunham 1850:39-51, 116-18). Second, island ers were involved in a more informal trade network of itinerant fishermen who traveled to the Caribbean rimlands in search of hawksbill and green sea turtles, which offered a modest but important source of income for several island families (Lefever 1992:53-55, Reid 1987:127-30). In these two over lapping trading circuits, San Andrs and Providence islanders became better integrated into the Greater Caribbean, which reinforced commercial and familial bonds from earlier decades. 10. A Panamanian reporter begged for improved transport in the port of Coln, too. He noted a trip to San Andrs took between sixteen and eighteen days due to poor weather and slow sail winds. See The Colon Telegram (Panama), March 12, 1893.
38 SHARIKA CRAWFORD A strong seafaring tradition had existed on the islands for centuries. The Miskitu Indians of Nicaragua on the Mosquito Shore were the first fishermen to travel to the archipelago and its adjacent cays in search of turtle eggs. By the eighteenth century, European accounts spoke of roving settlers; later, there were records of English-speaking subjects of the Spanish Crown on San Andrs who followed the migratory journey of turtles to the southern Caribbean seas of Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama (Dampier 2007:96-99). Nineteenth-century travel accounts describe Providence island men leaving behind their wives and children to travel in pairs in search of green flesh in the nearby cays of Serranilla, Quitasueo, and Roncador. In the months of March to June, these men waited patiently for hawksbill turtles to lay their eggs before capturing, killing, and drying them for meat (Bard 1855:39). Green turtles were especially prized for their delicious flesh, whereas the hawksbill was valued for its sturdy shell. While Jamaican and Cayman Islanders dominated the turtle trade in the circum-Caribbean, shell was traded region-wide. For example, turtle fishermen received twenty colo nes, the equivalent of five dollars in the United States, for each shell in Costa R ica in the mid-nineteenth century (Palmer 2005:35). The islanders were also involved in a robust fruit trade primarily involving coconuts and oranges, which brought them regularly into contact with Jamaican and American traders who traveled up and down the Caribbean rims of Central America (Vergara y Velasco 1888:57). The coconut trade between British West Indians and the Atlantic lowland communities in Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa R ica, and Panama began in the early nineteenth century. I n 1817, U. S. trader Captain Jacob Dunham recounted in his travel memoir how he had purchased several thousand coconuts for export from the Kuna on San B las Islands, a province of Panama. I ndigenous and Creole traders on the off shore island of Bocas del T oro near northern Panama also carried on a thriving coconut trade, which peaked in the 1840s. New Granada (Colombia) migrants threatened this trade when, in their eagerness to earn high profits, they started to cut down trees in order to obtain the hard-to-reach nuts. In 1841, it was reported that four or five ships came to San Andrs each year in search of coconuts (Dunham 1850:39, Vergara y Velasco 1888:38). Y et the coconut trade did not increase until after the emancipation of the slaves on San Andrs in the 1850s. T hereafter, newly emancipated slaves and their descendants took a prominent role in this economic activity ( Stillman 1877:272). T he trade in both coconuts and turtle necessitated transportation between ports in the Greater Antilles and the Caribbean littoral of Central America. The Daily Gleaner, the leading Jamaican newspaper, regularly advertised the arrival of ships carrying cargo and passengers to and from San Andrs and Providence. For example, the Atlas Steamship Company traversed among the ports of Kingston, Puerto Limn, Greytown, Bluefields, Rio Grande, Cape Gracias, and the islands of San Andrs and Providence throughout the
39 BRITISH WEST INDIAN MIGRATION TO SAN ANDRS AND PROVIDENCE 1880s.11 The cargo of these vessels included ponies from Old Providence brought for sale to Jamaica.12 A decade later, sloops and schooners like the Elva and Enterprise announced their departures to the islands.13 But these journeys were often dangerous, and news accounts often reported lost schooners, wreckages, and hurricanes.14 T able 1 lists the distances in miles as well as the number of hours between the Colombian archipelago of San Andrs and Providence and various ports in the eastern and western Caribbean via sailboat in the early decades of the twentieth century. These voyages served to connect the Greater Antilles and the far-flung Caribbean communities nestled at the edges of Spanish America. T able 1 Ports Distance in Miles Trip in Days Corn Islands (Nicaragua) 120 1.5 Puerto Limn (Costa Rica) 176 2 Bocas del Toro (Panama) 260 3 Coln (Panama) 280 3 Grand Cayman Island (U.K.) 385 4 Cartagena (Colombia) 391 4-5 Kingston (Jamaica) 410 5 Source: Hazel Robinson, 2006, The Spirit of Persistence: Las goletas en la vida de las islas de San Andrs. E xhibition at the Museo de Arquitectura Leopoldo R other, UNAL.While transport between Jamaica and the Colombian islands never was as frequent as transport between San Andrs island and the nearby Corn I slands or Panama, it dropped off in the early years of the twentieth century. In contrast to the period between 1883 and 1890, shipping advertisements listed in editions of the Daily Gleaner are scant after 1900. Port records for the Colombian archipelago from August to October 1902 indicate that the bulk of the ships entering and departing from the islands were destined for Coln, 11. Emma Bravo, Daily Gleaner (Kingston), March 18, 1883; Atlas Steamship Co., Limited, Daily Gleaner, August 15, 1884; Enterprise, Daily Gleaner, November 24, 1894; E lva, Daily Gleaner, December 9, 1899; E lva, Daily Gleaner, July 22, 1900. 12. Anonymous, Ponies! Ponies! Daily Gleaner, January 16, 1885. 13. Anonymous, For Old Providence & Bocas del T oro, Daily Gleaner, December 9, 1889. 14. Preston Floated, The Gleaner, July 30, 1907, p. 3; Plea for Help, The Gleaner, N ovember 23, 1908, p. 13; Help of Ship, The Gleaner, D ecember 12, 1908, p. 1; Work of Storm, The Gleaner, December 16, 1912, p. 3; Carmen Goring, Grand Cayman News, Daily Gleaner, December 5, 1939, p. 6.
40 SHARIKA CRAWFORD T urtle B ogue, and the Corn I slands. Only one ship from the Cayman I slands passed through the port at San Andrs.15 R esidents of the T alamanca coast in Costa R ica recalled receiving the bulk of their fruits from San Andrs I sland at the turn of the twentieth century (Palmer 2005:48). The decline in travel between Jamaica and the Colombian archipelago suggests that the export boom and railroad projects in Central America had brought West Indians from the eastern Caribbean into greater contact with the islands. Newspapers offer a glimpse into these connections, as news about San Andrs I sland occasionally emerged in print. Obituaries appeared in memory of beloved family members who had died on San Andrs, like Dr. Thomas Daniel Wilberforce Hemans who spent a quarter of a century living on the island as a physician and serving in various government offices. Even the less prominent like Vida Hall who had resided on the island for twenty-seven years had not yet been forgotten by friends and family in Jamaica.16 News accounts also reported visits from prominent islanders such as Baptist pastor Thomas Livingston, who gave a sermon at a local Jamaican church.17 Other accounts reported islanders as assailants with or victims of Jamaicans in criminal cases in Panama.18 T hese examples of news reporting reflect not only the connections islanders had with Jamaicans but the archipelagos place within the Greater Caribbean and in many ways the press helped to unite disparate migrants into one single transnational community (Putnam 2009:107). MIGRATION T he ongoing and regular contact with the people in the circum-Caribbean led to the arrival of mostly B ritish West I ndian migrants, who came as shopkeep ers, sea captains, merchant-traders, and professionals. Unlike the shores of Panama and Cuba, which tens of thousands of West Indian laborers flooded to between 1890 and 1910, San Andrs and Providence received fewer than 15. Cuadro del movimento de entradas de buques en el puerto de San Andrs de Providencia, agosto 1902, Registro de Bolvar, February 10, 1903; Cuadro del movimento de entradas de buques en el puerto de San Andrs de Providencia, septiembre 1902, Registro de Bolvar, February 21, 1903, p. 36; Cuadro del movimento de entradas de buques en el puerto de San Andrs de Providencia, octubre 1902, Registro de Bolvar, July 4, 1903, p. 216. 16. Death of Miss Vida M. Hall, Isle of San Andrs Rep. de Colombia, The Gleaner, February 6, 1918, p. 2; Hall, The Gleaner, March 20, 1929; Anonymous, Jamaican Doctor in San Andrs Dies, Daily Gleaner, September 9, 1931, p. 11. 17. Fine Sermon, The Gleaner, October 8, 1912, p. 4. 18. Jamaican Held in Colon as Suspect in R obbery, Daily Gleaner, July 7, 1927, p. 2.; Jamaican Held up In Hold-up Robbery, Daily Gleaner, July 13, 1927, p. 9; Held in Connection with Chinamans Death, Daily Gleaner, July 24, 1929, p. 7.
41 BRITISH WEST INDIAN MIGRATION TO SAN ANDRS AND PROVIDENCE a thousand people during the same period. Although historians tend to privilege scale in analyzing migratory patterns, the numbers do not often reveal migrants motivations and the relationships they had with their host society. Several British West Indian migrants held prominent positions in the San Andrs and Providence communities, which allows for insight into their lives. British West Indian migrants used kinship ties, education, and professional skills to obtain employment or open businesses on the islands. I n sev eral cases, marital ties with established families solidified their positions. Alexander Abrahams, a Jamaican Jew, arrived in the 1870s19 and formed an important alliance through his marriage with Catherine Bernard, the daughter of a wealthy Afro-Caribbean landowner in San Andrs. His lit eracy and fluency in Spanish and English enabled him to serve as a local administrator, and later, he accumulated wealth from his wifes property (Laverde 1991:173-75). S imilar marriages occurred elsewhere in the circumCaribbean. One historian suggests that unions between British West Indian migrants and the Anglophone resident Bay islanders helped to protect newcomers from anti-black legislation seeking to deport them from Honduras (Chambers 2010:87). Beginning in the twentieth century, Baptist churches kept marriage regis ters, which contained numerous examples of unions between islanders and spouses originally hailing from the Cayman Islands, Bocas del T oro, T rinidad, and Jamaica. Due to the mobile nature of Caribbean life, the Baptist minister on San Andrs required islanders seeking to marry West Indians to provide witnesses testifying to their knowledge of the attendants single status. On June 27, 1895, Edward Reese of Bocas del T oro and Arteucia B owie of San Andrs asked Pastor B rockholst Livingston to marry them but he declined to do so until the couple furnished proof of Reeses divorce to Enix Britton, his first wife. The fiancs provided two witnesses, Mrs. Agnes McNish and Marselina Hooker who are (both members of our church and former residents of Bocas del T oro) and Mrs. Olimpha Downs also native resident of Bocas del T oro who had come over to pay a visit to this island. Livingston met each witness individually and separately questioned them, having them sign a written declaration.20 B igamy appeared to be a great con -19. He died at 70 years of age on August 23, 1912. See Obituary, The Searchlight ( San Andrs), September 2, 1912, p. 4. 20. Baptist pastor Brockholst Livingston granted a marriage license to Edward Reese of Bocas del T oro and Arteucia Bowie of San Andrs on June 28, 1895. James McCoy of Grand Cayman and Hilda May of San Andrs sought permission to marry on September 20, 1895. B oth required witnesses to attest to no previous marital unions. See First Baptist Church San Andrs Island. Colombia. 1852-1907 Southern B aptist Historical Library and Archives, Nashville, T ennessee, pp. 127-29.
42 SHARIKA CRAWFORD cern as migrants, in particular, frequently followed employment opportunities often leaving behind their families. A number of British West Indian migrants became prominent members of the San Andrs and Providence communities, offering innumerable professional services. Jamaican migrants Jeremiah Lynton and Jeremiah Mitchell became well-known shopkeepers, whereas Thomas Hemans of Jamaica and Phillip Francis of T rinidad served as prominent physicians on San Andrs.21 Lynton, for example, was a shoemaker and once-proprietor of a saloon. He later owned a commercial house called San Andrs Stock Company. Arriving around 1900, the Jamaican shopkeeper spent nearly fifty years on the island until his death in 1949.22 A photo of his gravesite is shown in Figure 1. Hemans and Francis were two of three physicians residing on the island. T he islands also enjoyed the professional services of pharmacists and schoolteachers who originally came from places such as Jamaica and even the Bahamas.23 Others, like Seventh-Day Adventist congregant Agnes Jane Schmidt Duffis, originally came from the island of St. E ustatius in the Dutch Antilles. Duffis spent over thirty years on San Andrs ( Duffis 2000:57). It is not entirely clear how most migrants learned of the tiny Caribbean island, but Phillip Francis and a few others might offer a clue. In 1903, Francis completed his medical studies at Meharry Medical School in Nashville, T ennessee, and met a few San Andrs islanders while passing through the port of Coln in Panama on route to T rinidad. T hey insisted he set up a prac tice there, as the islanders were in desperate need of a physician (Benlloch 1976:115-16). In 1916, Alfred J.C. Browne, a native of Black River, Jamaica, 21. The mayor of San Andrs certified the medical qualifications of Phillip Francis and T homas D.W. Hemans, Ashkelon Francis, and Wilfred Duffis; see R esolucion no. 135, December 5, 1914, Ministerio de Gobierno, Seccion Primera, T omo 734, Folio 220, AGN, B ogot. 22. Star & Herald (Panama City), January 29, 1919, Ministerio de Relaciones E xteriores, Seccin Primera, Diplomtica y Consular, Gobernacin con San Andrs, T omo 10, Caja 71, Carpeta 540, Folios 11314, AGN, B ogot; C. Mallet to Secretary of Colonial Office, B righton, August 27, 1901, Public R ecord Office, C O 137/624, London, E ngland. 23. A Bahamian schoolteacher explained to U.S. travel writer Alfred T remble that the improvement of West Indian blacks in Kingston sent him to instruct island children; see Alfred T remble, 1877, Among the Cocoanuts: A Jaunt through the Island of St. Andrews, Frank Leslies Popular Monthly, p. 467. Jamaican attorney Joseph Dewar offered his services to two island sea captains who were detained at the port of T ortuguero in Costa Rica; see Arthur H. May, Case of Embezzlement: The Mysterious Receipt of 500 Colones, The Searchlight April 27, 1914; Jamaicans Joshua Haynes and Edgar Bonitto gave testimony of their employment as pharmacist and cajista; see En nuestra justificacin, The Searchlight April 27, 1914, p. 38. Jamaican Charles Grandville Forth, an architect, built several homes on the island of San Andrs; see Papi Forth: Presidente del concejo de la isla, El Espectador Dominical ( B ogot), June 12, 1960.
43 BRITISH WEST INDIAN MIGRATION TO SAN ANDRS AND PROVIDENCE relocated to San Andrs from Panama to serve as a pharmacist, or druggist, at the beckoning of the physicians on the island.24 Whereas Josiah Cranston of Jamaica came at the invitation of Baptist minister Brockholst Livingston to give instruction at their religious school (Petersen 2001:96), Noel Gonalves of British Guiana accepted the position to serve as pastor at the First Baptist Church in San Andrs (T urnage 1975:53). As these accounts indicate, entre preneurial opportunities existed for West Indian professionals willing to set up practices and businesses on these Colombian islands. 24. How Black River Man Has Suffered at Hands of Colombia Officials, Daily Gleaner, February 11, 1929, p. 3. Figure 1 T ombstone of Jeremiah Lynton (courtesy of Dwaine Plaza).
44 SHARIKA CRAWFORD Although several British West Indian migrants became notable residents, relations with the locals were occasionally tense. Violent clashes occurred between Jamaicans and islanders. F or example, Jeremiah H. Lynton reported to the British Colonial Office that he had been shot in a drunken fight between Police I nspector B ent and Adrian T aylor, who died at Lyntons saloon on San Andrs. A judge sentenced Bent to six months in prison, but Bent regained his liberty immediately after the trial ended.25 On another occasion, Providence Island merchant and sea captain Cleveland Hawkins accused a B ritish subject, most likely a Jamaican resident, of burning down his store in Providence. Several islanders believed the suspect had exacted revenge on Hawkins because he supported the removal of the intendant from office.26 While these tense interactions had discrete causes, evidence also suggests that national affiliations and interests at times may have superseded kinship ties and shared Anglophone Caribbean culture. For example, islanders disliked rogue B ritish West I ndian fishermen who failed to obtain proper licenses before competing with them for turtle on Roncador and Serranilla cays territory that belonged to Colombia. In 1914, Simon A. Howard state d fishing rights were one of the many challenges facing the archipelago. British Caribbean fleets of vessels all year round, in season and out of sea son, carrying on fishing for the valuable tortoise shell and sponges; extract Guano and gather B ird eggs, without license of payment of any contribution, whatever, detrimental to our territorial sovereignty.27 Fishing rights arose as a significant issue a decade later when Colombian authorities captured and imprisoned thirty-one British West Indians, eighteen from Cayman Brac on the grounds of illegal turtle fishing. This escape eventually resulted in their release but the Jamaican press regularly informed its readership on this diplomatic manner.28 Others, like Francis A. Newball, the editor and founder of the first island newspaper, The Searchlight, chastised West Indian residents 25. C. Mallet to Secretary of Colonial Office, August 27, 1901, Public Record Office, C O 137/624, London, E ngland. 26. See Cleveland H. Hawkins to Minister of Government, April 1, 1924, Ministerio de Gobierno, Seccin Primera, T omo 906, Folio 242, AGN, Bogot; and Petition of Francis A. Newball, Pablo Serrano Plata, Jeremiah M. Mitchell, Roberto A. Pomare, Eduardo de Armas, Jos A. Mara de Arias, Silverman R. Perry, Miliciades P. Martnez, Fidel R. Duffis, Thico Staalman, and Arthur May to Minister of Government Miguel Abada Mndez, April 5, 1924, Ministerio de G obierno, Seccin Primera, T omo 906, Folio 116, AGN, B ogot. 27. Simon A. Howard, Problems of Our Archipelago, The Searchlight, San Andrs, June 29, 1914. 28. Cayman Vessels Seized and the Men Imprisoned, Daily Gleaner, October 24, 1925, p. 1; I mprisonment of Cayman Fishermen, Daily Gleaner, February 9, 1926, p. 1; Cayman Fishermen, Daily Gleaner, May 1, 1926; Fishermen are Claiming Compensation, Daily Gleaner, August 19, 1926, p. 1.
45 BRITISH WEST INDIAN MIGRATION TO SAN ANDRS AND PROVIDENCE for bringing their folk traditions, such as obeah, to impoverished islanders seeking not to repay their debts.29 Similar concerns about recent B ritish West Indian arrivals arose in the Atlantic coast of Nicaragua, where Moravian missionaries complained of the reintroduction of obeahism into the community, which hindered their work (Gordon 1998:67). In both instances, national loyalties and local interests trumped shared language, culture, and even fam ily ties to the B ritish West I ndies. San Andrs and Providence islanders found themselves in the Greater Antilles, too. It was common for well-to-do islanders to send their children to attend secondary schools abroad.30 Until the first quarter of the twentieth century, the Colombian government had poorly run public schools, and affluent islanders who valued formal education sent their children to attend secondary school in Jamaica or, if possible, the United States.31 Pastor Thomas Livingston attended T itchfield High School in Port Antonio, one of the oldest schools in Jamaica, before attending Howard University in Washington DC.32 Colombian Javier Vergara suggested the push had more to do with par ents desire to instill in their children an Anglo cultural experience (Vergara y Velasco 1888:27). Some islanders even sought better opportunities in Jamaica, as was the case of stowaway Alfred Rosendo Bowden, a chauffeur from San Andrs, who took free passage on the Pastores to Kingston after hearing that chauffeuring was flourishing in Jamaica and after a judge had revoked his drivers license in Panama. Bowden and his fellow stowaway Samuel Brown never made it to San Andrs; they were immediately returned to Panama on the steamer Colombia .33 A TRANSNATIONA L WOR L D FRA C TURED In the first decades of the twentieth century, local and supranational factors fractured the long-held linkages between the Colombian archipelago and 29. Francis Newball, Necromancy, The Searchlight, June 1, 1913, p. 21. A Colombian reporter also made similar disparaging remarks about West I ndian migrants infused with disgusting African superstitions. See Las islas de San Andrs y Providencia, La Epoca Cartagena, August 18, 1912, p. 1. 30. Jeremiah H. Lynton sent his two daughters Ina and Violet to attend school in Kingston. Ina fell ill and, soon thereafter, died while away at school. See Oswald L. Robinson, Obituary, The Searchlight, November 1, 1912, p. 2. This was common in other Caribbean borderland communities; see R eid & Gtierrez 1986:56. 31. The West Indian presence in historically black colleges and universities in the United States helped to foster PanAfricanism in black American and African international stud ies in the early to mid-twentieth century. See Parker 2009:727-50. 32. Fine Sermons, The Gleaner, October 8, 1912, p. 4. 33. See Jail Stowaways for T hirty Days, Daily Gleaner, July 25, 1933, p. 10.
46 SHARIKA CRAWFORD the Greater Antilles. Commerce and migrants flowed to mainland Colombia and Panama. I n 1913, central authorities in B ogota removed San Andrs and Providence from the Department of B olvar, which had governed the islands for nearly a quarter of a century. The territory was to be administered directly under the auspices of the ministry of government as an intendancy. While departmental officials in Cartagena met this transfer with resistance, they ultimately failed to circumvent the removal, which had gained popular support from a number of island inhabitants.34 Other peripheral areas such as the Choc and the Llanos also became intendancies, which allowed presidents to appoint officials to govern them as national territories and manage their dayto-day administration. This administrative change signaled a commitment from Bogota officials to correct a century of neglect with a more responsive government. Central authorities in Bogota disliked the cultural and commercial connections between the archipelago and the Anglophone world. These links reflecte d their inability to assert control over the territory and, moreover, incorporate the ethnically distinct population into the larger Colombian nation. In 1912, federal census taker Santiago Guerrero urged the Minister of Government to take action in bridging the cultural gap between the islanders and mainland Colombians. There is much to do on these islands, principally teaching the inhabitants that they are Colombians as many do not know it. The language, religion, customs everything is absolutely contrary to ours.35 Naval officer E milio E itn reached the same conclusion during his brief stint on the island a year later. While noting many patriotic island men interested in closing the gap between the archipelago and the mainland, it was clear that islanders did not have an intimate understanding of Colombia. There is veneration here for Colombia but not because Colombians have fulfilled our brotherly duty, he wrote. Eitn criticized poor government for failing to instruct islanders in Colombian history, Roman Catholicism, and the Spanish language char acteristics that he believed defined a Colombian national. Unlike Guerrero, Eitn downplayed the island connections to the United States and the British Caribbean. He viewed islanders fondness for these nations as natural given that a shared language placed the archipelago into greater contact and greater intimacy with those nations ( E itn 1913:60, 78). 34. For examples of departmental resistance, see Carlos A. Capela, I slas de San Andrs de Providencia, El Caribe: Periodico poltico y de variedades, Cartagena, July 11, 1912; and Gabriel Bustos Villareal, San Andrs y Providencia, La Epoca, Cartagena, July 8, 1912. For islander support of intendancy, see petition of Thomas B. Livingston and 150 signers to President Carlos E Restrepo, January 4, 1912, Ministerio de Gobierno, Seccin Primera, T omo 698, Folios 408-10, AGN, Bogot; and F Newball, National T erritory, The Searchlight June 1, 1911, p. 1. 35. Santiago Guerrero to Minister of Government, July 8, 1912, Ministerio de Gobierno, Seccin Primera, T omo 698, Folio 468, AGN, B ogot.
47 BRITISH WEST INDIAN MIGRATION TO SAN ANDRS AND PROVIDENCE Other state reports insisted upon the dangers of American businessmen and West Indian migrants inhibiting close relations between the islands and mainland Colombia.36 While local officials perceived concerns about the United States as urgent, considering the recent conflict over Panamanian secession and the canal, they equally viewed Afro-Caribbean immigrants as hampering efforts to close the gap between the archipelago and mainland Colombia. They sought to replace Jamaican public school teachers with bilingual mainland or even island Colombians.37 The intendancy offered scholarships to island students interested in pursuing teaching degrees in Bogot, Cartagena, or Medelln, thus competing for children whose par ents considered sending them to study in Jamaica or the United States.38 Moreover, state officials tried to bridge communications between the archipelago and mainland. Islanders obtained government jobs as postal service carriers for transporting mail and official correspondence between the islands and mainland Colombia brought more islanders into contact with these ports, people, and opportunities.39 Colombian efforts to assert control over territorial domains coincided with supranational shifts in West Indian migration in the region. By 1930, a worldwide depression and the fall in commodity prices reduced the need for West Indian laborers. Several Spanish American nations enforced legislation restricting further migration of black workers, such as Panama in 1926, Honduras in 1929, and Guatemala and Nicaragua in 1936 (Putnam 2009:116-17). Caribbean fishermen accustomed to transporting goods and people to communities in the borderlands increasingly confronted fines and even arrest for unlawful entry into ports.40 Even in San Andrs port officials dutifully enforced entry requirements, asking West Indian travelers for passports and visa stamps, which were costly for many seeking to return 36. Santiago Guerrero to Minister of Government, July 8, 1912, Ministerio de Gobierno, Seccin Primera, T omo 698, Folio 472, AGN, B ogot; and Medina 1916:47. 37. Santiago Guerrero to Minister of Government, July 8, 1912, Ministerio de Gobierno, Seccin Primera, T omo 698, Folio 466; Gonzalo Prez to Minister of Public Instruction, November 1913, Ministerio de Gobierno, Seccin Primera, T omo 721, Folio 87, AGN, Bogot; Francis A. Newball, April 23, 1914, Ministerio de Gobierno, Seccin Primera, T omo 732, Folio 477; Antonio Snchez, March 10, 1915, Ministerio de Gobierno, Seccin Primera, T omo 734, Folio 250, AGN, B ogot. 38. Gonzalo Perez, November 1913, Ministerio de Gobierno, Seccin Primera, T omo 713, Folio 87, AGN, B ogot. 39. A collection of oral accounts of seafaring on San Andrs and Providence led to 44 interviews, all mentioning travel to Cartagena in the post-1940s (see R obinson Abrahams 2004). 40. Vessels Seized. Schooners Held by Costa Rican Government, The Gleaner, September 25, 1911, p. 3; T wo Captains Fined $1,000 Each at Colon, Daily Gleaner, April 6, 1932; and Jail Stowaways for T hirty Days, Daily Gleaner, July 25, 1933.
48 SHARIKA CRAWFORD home or to find new employment opportunities.41 And migrants still had dif ficulties even with appropriate documentation and cash. One historian argues that economic factors alone, however, do not explain the virulent anti-black legislation that emerged in the Western Hemisphere, since previous crises in the 1890s through World War I did not lead to such action. An interna tional shift in attitudes toward race, citizenship, and geographic boundar ies better explains this legislation. As the United States enforced immigra tion restrictions on Central and South Americans, as well as West Indians, Latin American nations sought ways to distinguish themselves from their blacker counterparts in the region through a vigorous campaign against A froCaribbean immigrant labor (Putnam 2010:290-303). This meant that West Indian migration to the circum-Caribbean became more difficult and costl y for those without passports and visas, while those remaining in Spanish American republics faced uncertain futures. Debates emerged on issues of citizenship for immigrants and their descendants. CON CL USION San Andrs and Providence islanders have not forgotten their links to the Greater Caribbean. In 2003, eighty-one-year-old San Andrs islander Walwin Petersen fulfilled a long-held dream by traveling to the home of his pater nal family. My great grandfather is from Black River and his name was William James B ent. So I m related, I believe, to all the B ents in Jamaica and this is one of the biggest families we have on San Andrs, he shared with a Jamaican reporter from The Gleaner. Petersen further explained that he had also traced his roots to Curaao, the United States, and Europe but found his closest connections to the B ritish Caribbean. He lamented that diplomatic ties had not led to easier travel and better communication between Colombia and Jamaica. Culturally we are linked with Jamaica but one of the things that I cry shame about, is that our governments have not done nothing to keep this historic and cultural tie between us.42 Petersen is not alone. Other islanders recall these linkages, some even placing them as central to island heritage.43In this essay, I situated San Andrs and Providence islands as part of the Greater Caribbean, stretching from northern Honduras to southern Panama crossing to the Antilles and beyond. In so doing, I have outlined three key ideas about the Caribbean as a region, captured not from the perspective 41. Carlos M. Hernndez to Minister of Government, March 17, 1924, Ministerio de Gobierno, Seccin Primera, T omo 906, Folio 248, AGN, B ogot. 42. Daviet Kelly, Colombian with Jamaican R oots, The Gleaner, July 15, 2003, p. A11. 43. Corpus Sarez 2001 and Daviet Kelly, Back to His Roots, The Gleaner, June 13, 2003, p. D2.
49 BRITISH WEST INDIAN MIGRATION TO SAN ANDRS AND PROVIDENCE of state officials and foreign company owners, but through the purview of the highly mobile Caribbean population. First, mobility of persons, goods, and information in the late-nineteenth to early-twentieth century served to create a transnational region where ports and nearby communities were linked to the larger region. San Andrs Island was more closely connected to Kingston; Bocas del T oro, Panama; and Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, than to Bogot or even Cartagena, in spite of its political affiliation. Migrants crossed, disregarded, and overlooked politicized boundaries. Second, jobs in the oil fields of Venezuela, banana plantations of Costa Rica, sugar planta tions of Cuba, and the canal project of Panama, which attracted thousands of West Indian migrants to Spanish America, were not the only available economic opportunities. Professionals including teachers, pastors, physicians, and itinerant fishermen also relocated to the Caribbean basin to help maintain a link between the core and peripheral edges of the region. Third, and finally, the region was highly fragile and vulnerable to the interests of national elites. T erritorial disputes, shifts in global economies and national politics restricted mobility, which fractured these linkages. REFEREN C ESADELMAN, JEREMY & STEPHEN ARON 1999. From Borderlands to Borders: Empires, Nation-states, and the Peoples in between in North American History. American Historical Review 103:814-41. BARD, SA M UE L 1855. Waikna; or, Adventures on the Mosquito Shore. New Y ork: Harper & B ros. BENLLOCH CASTELAR, MANUEL 1976. San Andrs y Providencia: Cincuenta aos de mission bien cmplida. B ogot: E ditorial Andes. CABRERA ORTIZ, WENCESLAO 1980. San Andrs y Providencia: Historia. Bogot: E ditorial Cosmos. CHAMBERS, GLENN A. 2010. Race, Nation, and West Indian Migration to Honduras, 18901940. B aton R ouge: Louisiana University Press. CHOMSKY, AVIVA 1996. West Indian Workers and the United Fruit Company in Costa Rica, 18701940. B aton R ouge: Louisiana State University Press. , 2000. Barbados or Canada? Race, Immigration, and Nation in Early-T wentiethCentury Cuba. Hispanic American Historical Review 80:415-62. CORPUS SAREZ, FIDEL 2001. Cuadernos del Caribe, no.4: Textos y testimonios del archipilago. Crisis y convivencia en un territorio insular. San Andrs: UNAL.
50 SHARIKA CRAWFORDDA MP IER, WI LL IA M 2007. A Voyage Round the World. Warwick NY : 1500 B ooks. DAWSON, FRANK GRIFFITH 1998. The Evacuation of the Mosquito Shore and the E nglish Who Stayed B ehind, 1786-1800. The Americas 55(1):63-89. DESIR, LUCIA 1989. Between Loyalties: Racial, Ethnic, and National Identity in Providencia, Colombia. Ph D T hesis, Johns Hopkins University, B altimore. DUFFIS, DANIEL A. 2000. A Blessed Heritage: The History of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church on San Andrs and Providence Islands. Medelln, Colombia: Litografa I C OLVEN. DUNHAM, JACOB 1850. Journal of Voyages: Containing an Account of the Authors being Twice Captured by the English and once by Gibs the Pirate. New Y ork: Huestis & Cozans. EITN, EM I L IO 1913. El Archipilago. B arranquilla, Colombia: Mogolln. FLOYD, TROY S ., 1967. The Anglo-Spanish Struggle for the Mosquitia. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. GIBSON, WILLIAM 1951. The Constitution of Colombia. Bogot: Biblioteca Popular de Cultura Colombiana. GORDON, EDMUND T 1998. Disparate Diasporas: Identity and Politics in an African Nicaraguan Community. Austin: University of T exas Press. KU PP ER M AN, KAREN ORDAH L 1993. Providence Island, 1630-1641: The Other Puritan Colony New Y ork: Cambridge University Press. LAVERDE TOSCANO, MARA CRISTINA 1991. La cultura islea en la via de la mujer: Miss Iris Abrahams, smbolo del mestizaje en el archipilago de San Andrs y Providencia. Hojas Universitarias: Revista de la Universidad Central pp. 173-75. LEFEVER, HARRY 1992. Turtle Bogue: Afro-Caribbean Life and Culture in a Costa Rican Village. Susquehanna P A: Susquehanna University Press. MAMBY, EDUARDO 1874. Informe del Prefecto del T erritorio de San Andrs i San Luis de Providencia. Mensaje del Presidente de la Union al Congreso de 1874. Bogot: I mprenta Gaitn, p. 5. MEDINA, ELISIO 1916. El Archipilago de San Andrs y Providencia: Informe del Procurador de Hacienda. B ogot: I mprenta Nacional. NEWTON, VELMA 1984. The Silver Men: West Indian Labour Migration to Panama, 18501914. Mona, Jamaica: I nstitute for Social and E conomic R esearch. OPIE, FREDERICK DOUGLASS 2009. Black Labor Migration in Caribbean Guatemala, 18221923. Gainesville: University Press of Florida. PA LM ER, PAU L A 2005. What Happen: A Folk History of Costa Ricas Talamanca Coast. Miami: Zona T ropical.
51 BRITISH WEST INDIAN MIGRATION TO SAN ANDRS AND PROVIDENCEPARKER, JASON C. 2009. Made-in-America Revolutions? The Black University and the American Role in Decolonization of the Black Atlantic. Journal of American History 96:727-50. PARSONS, JAMES 1956. San Andrs and Providence: English-speaking Islands of the Western Caribbean B erkeley: University of California Press. PERAL TA, MANUEL 1890. Lmites de Costa Rica y Colombia: Nuevos documentos para la historia para su jurisdiccin territorial, con notas, comentarios y un examn de la cartografa de Costa Rica y Veragua por Manuel Mara de Peralta. Madrid: M.G. Hernndez. PETERSEN, WAL WIN G. 1989. Cultura y tradicin de los habitantes de San Andrs y Providencia. In Isabel Clemente (ed.), San Andrs y Providencia: Tradiciones culturales y coyuntura poltica B ogot: E diciones Uniandes, pp. 113-33. 2001. The Province of Providence Nashville TN: R .H. B oyd Publishing Company. PUTNAM, LARA 2002. The Company They Kept: Migrants and the Politics of Gender in Caribbean Costa Rica, 18701960. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. , 2009. Nothing Matters but Color: T ransnational Circuits, the Interwar Caribbean, and the Black International. In Michael D. West & William G. Martin (eds.), From Toussaint to Tupac: The Black International and Struggles for Liberation. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, pp. 107-29. , 2010. Eventually Alien: The Multigenerational Saga of the British West Indians in Central America, 1870. In Lowell Gudmondson & Justin Wolfe (eds), Blacks and Blackness in Central America: Between Race and Place Durham NC: Duke University Press, pp. 278-306. RA M REZ, JUAN C. 1890. I nforme del prefecto de la provincia de San Andrs. I n Informe del gobernador de Bolvar a la asamblea Departamental en sus Sesiones Ordinarias de 1890 B ogot, p. 43. RAMREZ, SOCORRO & LUS ALBERTO RESTREPO (eds.), 2001. Cuadernos del Caribe, No. 4: Textos y testimonios del Archipilago. Crisis y convivencia en un territorio insular. San Andrs, Colombia: UNAL. RAUSCH, JANE 1993. The Llanos Frontier in Colombian History, 1830-1930. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. REID, CARLOS & SAMUEL GTIERREZ 1980. Memoria de un criollo bocatoreo. Panama: Asociacin Panamea de Antropologa. , 1986. Posdata: Memorias de un criollo bocatoreo. Panama: Impresora Universitaria. RICHARDSON, BONHAM C. 1985. Panama Money in Barbados, 1900-1920. Knoxville: University of T ennessee Press. ROBINSON ABRAHAMS, HAZEL 2004. Cuadernos del Caribe No. 6: Relatos de navegantes. The Spirit of Persistence. San Andrs, Colombia: UNAL.
52 SHARIKA CRAWFORDSTI LLM AN, J. B B 1877. Seeking the Golden Fleece, A Record of Pioneer Life in California; To which Annexed Footprints of Early Navigators, Other than Spanish, in California; With an Account of the Schooner Dolphin. San Francisco CA: A. Roman & Co. TINKER SALAS, MIGUEL 2009. The Enduring Legacy: Oil, Culture and Society in Venezuela Durham NC: Duke University Press. TURNAGE, LOREN C. 1975. Island Heritage: A Baptist View of San Andrs and Providencia. Cali, Colombia: Historical Commission of the Colombian B aptist Mission. VERGARA Y VELASCO, JAVIER 1888. El archipilago de San Andrs (las islas de San Andrs y Providence: Una noticia geogrfica). Bogot: Imprenta de Vapor de Zalamea Hs. SHARIKA CRAWFORD History Department United States Naval Academy Annapolis MD 21402, U. S.A.
New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011):53-63 JAY R R MANDl L E ThTH E NN E wW AA RGONAUTS AND BB R IAN MM EE kK SS E nvisioningN VISIONING C aribbeanA RIBBEAN F uturesUTUR ESI I n Envisioning Caribbean Futures: Jamaican Perspectives (2007), B B rian MM eeks writes in sympathy with the new social movements that have evolved in the past decade which assert boldly that another world is possible (p. 2). His effort is to explore the horizons for different approaches to social living in Jamaica and the Caribbean in the twenty-first century (p. 2). I I n this, he seeks to move beyond a statement of general principles to propose specific alternatives in order to stimulate a conversation that looks beyond the horizon of policy confines, yet is not so far removed as to appear hopelessly utopian (p. 3). M M y hope with this essay is to advance that conversation, in the first place by reviewing and assessing M M eekss contribution and then by extending the discussion to the role that Jamaicas diaspora (and by extension that of the regions generally) might play in moving the country, as MM eeks puts it, from its current state of crime and murder, and the broad undermining of the rule of law that pervades the society (p. 71). Central to M M eekss thinking are AA ntonio G G ramscis insights into the mechanisms by which ruling classes generate and retain legitimacy. TT hough a MM arxist, GG ramsci argued that class domination is not simply an economic phenomenon. RR ather a ruling class is most successful when prevailing atti tudes result in most peoples accepting their subordinate status as reasonable and normal. AA functional system of class rule requires a political culture in which elite dominance is thought of as commonsensical. GG wynn Williams summarized GG ramscis concept in the following terms: Hegemony is an order in which a certain way of life and thought is dominant, in which one concept of reality is diffused throughout the society in all its institutional and private manifestations, informing with its spirit all taste, morality, customs, religious and political principles, and all social relations, particularly in their intellectual and moral connotations (quoted in GG enovese 1971:406). II n an article published in 2000, M M eeks argued that Jamaica was in crisis because such an ideological consensus was absent in the country. He wrote that on one hand the social bloc in charge of Jamaican society is no longer
54 JAY R MAND L E ruling over a people convinced of its social superiority and its inherent right to, using the popular Jamaican phrase, run things. But on the other hand though the old hegemonic alliance is unable to rule in the accustomed way alternative and competitive modes of hegemony from below are unable to decisively place their stamp on the new and fluid situation (Meeks 2000:61, 64). Writing a decade later, he believes that the process of dissolution has intensified. Emigration now plays an important role in the continued decline. According to Meeks, the loss of skilled and educated Jamaicans to overseas markets lies at the heart of advanced hegemonic dissolution. He writes, the middle classes have not only withdrawn from their leadership role in shap ing the contours of the respectable Jamaican social order but have departed in massive numbers from the country itself (p. 73). Citing the work of Paget Henry, Obika Gray, and Deborah Thomas, Meeks today sees a widening fissure, originating from below, from the ways and means of official Jamaican society. Manifestations of this widening gap in attitudes between the Jamaican upper class and the rest of the country are to be found in the effort to raise the status of Jamaican patwa to that of an official language, in protests for justice and, as he writes, most of all [in] the rising wave of conscious lyrics that permeate the dancehall (p. 77). The problem for the country is that while the ideological hegemony of the wealthy classes in Jamaica has weakened, a counter-worldview referred to by Meeks as a subaltern insurgency is not well enough developed to undergird the construction of a new social order. The philosophy of the subalterns is more imminent than apparent and their alternative furthermore has failed to forge commensurate institutional structures and processes to carry forward its agenda. I t is true, he writes, that the popular social forces are on the cultural offensive but [they] have not developed an institutional programme. The wealthy are in social and cultural retreat, but nonetheless maintain their grip politically, albeit a grip weakened by the fact their rule is not accorded the respect and deference it received in the past (p. 78). With the breakdown of the rulers ideological authority and the weakness of the subaltern insurgency, Jamaica is in a period of uncertainty and of aimless meandering. It is experiencing intense social frustration and the dangerously postponed birth of a popular alternative (p. 78). The present moment is, as he puts it, fraught when those who can afford it, turn to private security services to secure their homes and property. Those without property turn to the don. T he gun legal or illegal becomes a common possession. Violence, when codes of conduct lose their salience, becomes the first resort in conflict resolution, and that violence when repeated raises its own threshold and constantly re-establishes new benchmarks as to what is permissible (p. 78). In a legitimacy void and with the breakdown of accepte d moral codes, all segments of society look for ways to circumvent
55 BRIAN MEEKS AND THE NEW ARGONAUTS the law. This is the consequence of the melting of social glue, of the erosion of even a paper-thin notion of common consent (p. 116). In a situation in which none of the social classes is able to decisively take charge of the direction of the nation, it is necessary, according to Meeks, to start afresh. What this requires, he thinks, is to find pragmatic forms of col lective mobilization and accompanying institutional arrangements (p. 96). Such an approach necessitates a national strategy based on a critical alliance between those social forces with an interest in the development of the island space of Jamaica, the region and its diaspora (p. 97). In seeking a basis upon which to construct a new social and political consensus, Meeks explicitly rules out an imposition from above. Could Jamaican society cohere using the authoritarianism that has been successfull y employed in Singapore or China? His answer is a decisive no: the historical memory of slavery, the more recent experience of multi-party elections and the relatively easy ability to migrate all militate against the authoritarian option. Freedom, according to him, is a powerful and irrepressible theme in Jamaica and Caribbean reality (p. 117). Meeks proposes three initiatives to build a foundation for a new social consensus. There would have to be a national process of reconciliation in order to exorcise the bitterness associated with the violence the country experienced during the late 1970s when Michael Manley was the prime min ister. Second, an extensive land reform program is needed; a process that he believes would reduce poverty, slow the migration to the cities, and provide the foundation for a new modality of popular democratic development (p. 118). This would involve not merely the reallocation of a productive asset. As well it would deprive the landed class of a source of their privileged status in society. Both would advance the cause of greater equality in the nation. Third, he calls for the convening of an institution he names the Constituent Assembly of the Jamaican People at Home and Abroad. T his would not be a legislative body the House of R epresentatives would remain intact. R ather, as Meeks puts it, the Assembly would meet every ten years to once again debate and discuss the terms of living and the agenda for the future. As such it would constantly reinvigorate the national debate, relegitimize a new responsive political order and bring new generations of active citizens into the centre of a broad and inclusive national discourse (p. 130). Meekss suggested agenda items for the first Assembly would include deepening democracy, linking the economy to popular culture, the pursuit of a closer Caribbean union beyond the Caribbean Single Market and Economy, and a discussion of a new ethos for the nation (pp. 118-19). Though Meeks presents reconciliation, land reform, and the convening of the Assembly as three equally important elements in a foundation for a new beginning, he nevertheless argues that the work of the national reconciliation commission would precede everything else, and further progress in the build-
56 JAY R MAND L E ing of national consensus would be contingent on its success (p. 118). In this regard he refers to the South African T ruth and R econciliation Commission as the model to be followed to create a template for truth and honesty in political behavior in further stages of the new national consensus (p. 118). Meekss discussion is insightful on two levels. His is the single best assessment of the conundrums that face Jamaican society that I know of. Much of its value derives from his skillful use of Gramscian concepts and his demonstration of the power that this form of revisionist Marxism possesses. The concepts of hegemony, counter-hegemony, and in this case failed hegemony allow Meeks to identify the inability of both the traditional elite and would-be alternatives to move the country forward. It is that dual inability that lies at the root of the problems that confront present-day Jamaica. Reservations arise not with Meekss analysis of why Jamaica has failed to move forward. Instead, questions emerge concerning the suggestions that he offers to overcome that immobility. Specifically, there is only a low probability that his proposals will be adopted. Furthermore even if they were instituted, they are unlikely to possess the reconstructive impact that Meeks suggests they would have. I n each case his anticipations are likely to be disappointed. With regard to the first issue, the Jamaican political context is not one in which it is likely that a truth and reconciliation effort will achieve significant results. As Rupert Lewis has noted, when that process was employed in South Africa it acted as a vehicle by which the incoming government of Nelson Mandela ensured that it would, in Lewiss formulation, not be sabotaged by elements in the military in particular and white extremists who wanted to create a separate white state.1 I n this it was successful. I t allowed whites who had committed human rights violations to admit their violations and in turn be accorded amnesty. The Jamaican context however does not provide a comparable opportunity. T o be sure, both major political parties in Jamaica should purge themselves of their ties to gangs and organized crime and thereby undertake a sea change in the political process. But as Lewis writes, both of the countrys major parties have become compromised to such a large extent that they lack the capability for internal regulation or party cleansing.2 With that the case, truth and reconciliation cannot play the role that Meeks hopes for it. Meekss discussion of land reform raises similar doubts. There is no question that the ownership of land in Jamaica is grossly unequal. Providing land to landless farmers would result in greater equity and might, contingent upon the competence of the recipients, also result in enhanced output. But 1. R upert Lewis, Notes on the West Kingston Crisis and Party Politics, paper presented at States of Freedom: Freedom of States Symposium, University of the West Indies, June 16-18, 2010, pp. 26-27. 2. Lewis, Notes on the West Kingston Crisis and Party Politics, pp. 26-27, 29.
57 BRIAN MEEKS AND THE NEW ARGONAUTS while this is true, an effort to achieve land redistribution is certain to gener ate formidable opposition by the countrys still powerful land-owning class. This raises the question of whether the proponents of redistribution can be expected to generate a sufficient level of political support to overcome what almost certainly will be fierce landowner hostility. Unfortunately, the nature and strength of the resistance and what would be required to beat it back is a set of problems that makes success unlikely. T his omission of an assessment of how such a reforming coalition could be constructed is particularly troublesome because only 17 percent of the countrys labor force works in its agricultural sector.3 In order to be successful, land reform advocates therefore will have to find political backing from urban Jamaicans. There are grounds to believe that such a rural/urban alliance is possible. As Meeks puts it, not only would the rural poor benefit from land reform, but all city dwellers would gain from a prosperous coun tryside, as urban drift would be radically reduced (p. 173). This may well be true. But the fact that such a potential outcome can be identified is not sufficient to make the case that people in the cities will join politically with rural reformers. T here is a great deal of history that suggests such a coalition is quite difficult to construct, and the Jamaican experience is no exception in this regard. This is all the more the case since given Jamaicas history of partisanship and patronage, any extensive land reform might simply evolve into a corrupt exercise to give land to the cronies and supporters of the domi nant party (p. 125). In short, more than a statement of potential common interests is needed to be convincing that land reform can be put on Jamaicas agenda. What is required is evidence that the process of coalition-building is underway and that the resulting bloc no matter how embryonic shows some signs of viability. T his Meeks does not do. The obstacles to implementing land reform constitute only one instance of the difficulties that will undoubtedly be encountered in the effort to reduce upper-class privilege in Jamaica and achieve an alternative hegemony. T hough Meekss discussion of this issue is quite brief, he does offer grounds for optimism. He thinks there will be at least some upper-class Jamaicans who will stay in the country and forego their dispensations. They will do so because for all social classes, an economy in which windows of possibility were opening rather than slamming shut would engender social peace. He writes, the Jamaican wealthy and middle classes, who increasingly live in gated communities and spend large fractions of the day ferrying their chil dren in air-conditioned cars to and from school, would once again be able to walk in public spaces (p. 173). In addition, Meeks is hopeful that the mass emigration of middle-class and well-educated Jamaicans that disrupted 3. United States Central Intelligence Agency, The WorldFactbook < https://www.cia. gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/jm.html>.
58 JAY R MAND L E Democratic Socialism in the 1970s will not be repeated. He cites the fact that even wealthy migrs to the United States are likely to find in the North a disconnection from community, absence of recognition and prominence of race, and joins that with his view that in the United States national chauvinism and racism are waxing. Meekss anticipation is that the Jamaican upper class, in calculating the profound psychic benefits of a reinstated social freedom against the inevitable loss of some hierarchical privileges may refrain from a mass exodus (pp. 173-74). Whatever might be said about the probability of the Jamaican upper class joining in the effort to achieve greater equality, there is an obvious difficulty with the claim that those remaining in the country will be reform supporters. It is only too easy to turn his argument around and arrive at a conclusion opposite from Meekss. On the grounds that Meeks cites namely that the United States will not welcome wealthy Jamaicans as much in the future as it has in the past those individuals, denied a safe harbor, would more likely join the opposition to reform at home than support a new hegemony. T o be sure, the loss of human capital associated with the migration is socially dam aging. But an elitist population that remains home with a strong incentive to resist egalitarian change would be likely to substantially strengthen the forces opposed to reform. Third and finally, Meeks does not grapple sufficiently with the question of whether a broadly representative segment of the Jamaican population will find his suggestions for a Constituent Assembly attractive. For such an insti tution to be effective, Meeks believes that there will have to be a global conversation on the future of Jamaica and Jamaicans, which can only take place through a series of encounters by representatives and as many people as possible within the island and the diaspora (p. 118). But it is not at all certain that the subaltern worldview that is present in the country today is consistent with the kind of deliberative body that Meeks has in mind. David Scotts assessment of Zeeks, one of the inner-city dons who dominate urban life, points to doubts in that regard. Scott writes that in dealing with such dons it will be necessary to give up the idea that consensus can be underwritten by a universalist and rationalist moral-politics of improvement. Damagingly for this dimension of Meekss project, Scott reports that it is not likely that the indigestible and inassimilable identities Zeeks and his supporters embody are to be re-educated for middle class civility (Scott 2000:298). The difficulty here is that it is just that kind civility that will be required if an Assembly is to serve its deliberative function. Indeed Meeks seems to acknowledge the incompatibility between the deliberation that he advocates and the author itarian nature of garrison community culture. Though he believes that an accommodation is possible between the state with its systems of debate and the dons unilateral power, he acknowledges that such an agreement could be implemented only while ruling certain forms of behavior [on the part of
59 BRIAN MEEKS AND THE NEW ARGONAUTS the dons] entirely out of court. For Meekss vision to be implemented, the leaders of the garrison communities will have to change in ways that Scott warns are unlikely. Near the end of his study, Meeks asks can such a project of social and political renewal gain traction and support in the world of Jamaican real politik? (p. 174). His answer is a tentative affirmative. His hope is that the impetus for building an egalitarian democracy will come from among the community residents who demonstrate for justice and fairness, the new middle-class recruits who join the political parties to initiate constitutional change and the organized working class, who have never been happy with globalizations race to the bottom (p. 175). Perhaps. But the dynamic of contemporary Jamaican society suggests that such an outcome is a long shot at best. Notwithstanding its weaknesses, the Jamaican elites dominance will not be downsized without a struggle. At the same time, those who might someday be in position to dismantle the countrys structure of wealth and power posses a worldview that is more likely to result in a populist authori tarianism than in the deliberative democracy that is Meekss goal. The sad fact is that neither of the two contending forces present in Jamaica today is likely to undertake the kind of social reconstruction that the country so badly needs. The wealthy elite is in decline, eroded from within by migration, while its nationalist mandate has been tarnished by slow economic growth, a growing drugs culture, and criminal violence. At the same time, however the subordinate classes do not possess a cultural apparatus that would allow them to lead a country that can succeed in the information age. Though there is little reason to believe that positive change will find a domestic source, a basis for hope lies in Jamaicas expatriate community. The possibility that Jamaican migrs could become transformative agents of change exists because of the size and composition of the outflow of people that has occurred in recent years. The United States Bureau of the Census reported that in 2006 there were 622,748 people living in the United States who were born in Jamaica.4 With Jamaicas population estimated at about 2,700,000, this means that almost one-fourth of the people who reasonably can be called Jamaican were resident in the United States. But what is even more remarkable than the size of this migration is its composition. Frdric Docquier and Abdselam Marfouk (2005:T ables A.1-1, A.1-2) estimate that 85.1 percent of Jamaicans with a college education were resident outside of the country between 1990 and 2000. Even by Caribbean standards this is a remarkably high rate of loss of human capital. 4. United States Census Bureau, 2006-2008, American Community Survey, SO201, Selected Population Profile in the United States, Country of Birth: Jamaica,
60 JAY R MAND L E There are of course compensating resource flows resulting from this migration. Meeks himself writes of their remittances, investments, barrels of goods and regular visits home. And he adds that overseas Jamaicans continue to play a key role in national life through the financial support of thou sands of young people who are able to go to school and university because of the funds provided by overseas-based relatives (p. 142). B ut when Prachi Mishra (2006) estimated the losses associated with the emigration and compared them to the gains that resulted from resource flows back to the country, her results were unambiguously negative. Between 1980 and 2002 she calculated that while remittances as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product came to 7.4 percent, the countrys losses came to 20.4 percent. Migration, Mishra (2006:17) estimates, cost Jamaica 13.0 percent of its GDP over this period. And Meeks is concerned that these costs might actually increase in the future. He writes that unless there is an attempt to forge a more structured, organic link between those at home and those abroad, the full potential of this relationship will be squandered in the short-run and the salience of the diaspora may dissipate with time (p. 142). However, Meeks makes very little attempt to identify that full potential. His discussion is confined to the suggestion that an organized diaspora might more actively lobby on behalf of its home constituency in the Caribbean in exchange for which the Jamaican government might more actively defend the overseas interests of its migrants, thereby gaining their greater loyalty (p. 143). One possibility that Meeks does not take up is that overseas-based Jamaican managers and entrepreneurs might become active participants in the domestic Jamaican economy. Jamaicas economic growth between 1990 and 2008 was unsatisfactorily slow, averaging 1.7 percent annually, only about half the rate of growth of the other upper-middle income countries.5 Since Jamaicas doldrums, at least in part, can be traced to its relative economic stagnation, one strategy that should be considered to accelerate the countrys economic growth is to gain access to and employ the human capital resident in the diaspora. According to estimates prepared by the United States Census Bureau, 21.3 percent of native Jamaicans resident in the United States have earned a Bachelors Degree or higher with 27.7 percent classified as working in management, professional, and related occupations.6 What is at issue here is whether Jamaica can gain access to the entrepreneur ship present among migrs and thereby substantially accelerate its process of economic modernization. T here is a growing scholarly literature concerning the promotion of eco nomic growth in this way. Thus Andres Solimano (2008) writes that in contrast to the past when there was widespread concern about a brain drain only 5. Computed from T he World B ank, World Development Indicators 2010 T able 4.1. 6. United States Census B ureau, 2006-2008,
61 BRIAN MEEKS AND THE NEW ARGONAUTS somewhat offset by remittances, today we think more in terms of brain cir culation, a two-way (or multiple directional) movement of talented individu als ... What is now highlighted is the way that there can be a beneficial brain drain ( Solimano 2008:2). Similarly, AnnaLee Saxenian (2006) reports that enhanced opportunities have emerged for countries once considered to be on the periphery to be the sources of technological innovation. In this she writes, the key actors are neither policymakers nor multinational corporations acting in isolation, although both certainly play a role, but rather communities of technically skilled immigrants with work experience and connections to Silicon Valley and related American technology centers (Saxenian 2006:4). These are the new Argonauts. They are people who, once part of the brain drain, became successful in a country like the United States and then transplanted their expertise to their home country ( Saxenian 2006:14). Countries that have been most successful in reversing the outflow of human capital are China, India, South Korea, and Israel. Success in this project requires, among other things, that a nation invest heavily in tertiary education, something which as Saxenian notes most poor countries have not done. She reports further that countries that focus their development efforts on either attracting foreign direct investment as opposed to building up domestic human capital, or those that lack political stability are unlikely to attract high-level returnees. But when emigrants find that the institutional structure in their country of origin provides adequate incentives for them to fill an entrepreneurial role and that there is an adequate educational and institutional base to support such efforts, then the return of well-educated migrants becomes a realistic possibility ( Saxenian 2006:6-7). This has not occurred in Jamaica or the Caribbean. A substantial return flow of technologically sophisticated entrepreneurs has not materialized and the region has not become a hub from which new products or new production processes have emerged. Y et given the human capital that is present abroad, it is not difficult to imagine that the region could be the beneficiary of the return of its own Argonauts. In such a process the University of the West Indies could both provide the location where technologically sophisticated entrepreneurs could set up as researchers and act as an incubator for global market-penetrating start up firms. T o date, however, though the Jamaican government has reached out to its overseas citizens, it has not focused on an Argonaut strategy. I ts vision for the role of the diaspora has been confined to attracting funds rather than entrepreneurial talent. Over the long term, the presence of Caribbean Argonauts would mean that the dynamic of the Jamaican economy could be greatly enhanced. Business initiatives could move the country closer to the global technological frontier than it is at present. Their potential profitability would be enhanced because the large Caribbean population in the United States could provide a favorable market environment. Jamaican-based businesses could test-market to poten
62 JAY R MAND L E tial consumers whose tastes and preferences they know well. On this basis, it is not unreasonable to project that Jamaica could become an exporting hub for the region as a whole. But what would be just as important as the Argonauts economic impact would be their providing an impetus for a breakdown of the logjam that has stymied the country. If the New Argonauts were successful, their very success would be the foundation from which a new ideological hegemony could emerge. Their presence and voice would make the inadequacy of the traditional elite clear, while the paternalism of the garrison culture would be revealed as deeply dysfunctional in a changing world. It is not possible to specify in any detail the content of a new worldview that would emerge in such a setting. Issues such as the extent to which the new entrepreneurs should or should be allowed to ensconce themselves as powers in the electoral system as well as economic and cultural leaders will become a contentious issue. It is one thing to say that a new constitu ency can be expected to vie for influence. I t is entirely another issue to allow returning migrants to use their wealth to try to seize disproportionate elec toral influence. The kinds of democratic reforms that Meeks advocates in particular the control of money in political campaigns would have to be adopted to constrain the reach of the new entrepreneurs (pp. 139-40). Left unanswered in this discussion is who will promote the policy initiatives that can tap into and unleash the potential residing in the diaspora. Such initiatives can be expected to be forthcoming from neither the urban disposessed and their leaders nor the retreating elite. It is true, as Meeks reports, that the economic recession has pressured the government to move in directions different from the neo-liberalism of the International Monetary Fund (p. 94). But to date this rethinking has not resulted in a strategic reformulation. The group upon whom the burden rests to persuade the country of the necessity of encouraging diaspora-initiated growth is the countrys intellec tuals, particularly those at the university. They are best positioned to envision such a future and, both as citizens and members of the university community, are best located to work to delineate and achieve the policy innovations that are required. But for them to do so they must shed the long-held view that in the global system of capitalism countries like Jamaica are assigned per manently to dependency. Meeks comes close to breaking with that tradition when he comments that scholars such as Immanuel Wallerstein and Robert Brenner have not seriously enough considered the international impact of Chinas economic growth (p. 88). This statement however is at a high level of generalization, and it is not clear how thoroughly he thinks that world systems theory has to be laid aside in order for Jamaica to shape its own niche in that international economy. T he diaspora strategy represents a policy departure that could be deployed to thrust Jamaica into economic modernity. However, the mobilizing of New
63 BRIAN MEEKS AND THE NEW ARGONAUTS Argonauts will not occur unless there are opinion leaders who identify doing so as a way to break Jamaicas ideological logjam. It is true that if such an approach were adopted, the countrys politics and culture would change. Such a path of change is risky. The new strategy might not work. And even if it did, it could well have negative unintended consequences. But the risks associated with the status quo for Jamaica and the region are much greater than those that come with innovation and change. REFEREN C ESDOCQUIER, FRDRIC & ABDSELAM MARFOUK 2005. International Migration by Education Attainment (1990-2000) Release 1.1 Washington DC: T he World B ank. GENOVESE, EUGENE D 1971. In Red and Black: Marxian Explorations in Southern and Afro-American History New Y ork: Vintage B ooks. MEEKS, BRIAN 2000. T he Political Moment in Jamaica: T he Dimensions of Hegemonic Dissolution. In Manning Marable (ed.) Dispatches from the Ebony Tower: Intellectuals Confront the African American Experience New Y ork: Columbia University Press, pp. 52-74. , 2007. Envisioning Caribbean Futures: Jamaican Perspectives. Mona, Jamaica: University of the West I ndies Press. MISHRA, PRACHI 2006. Emigration and Brain Drain: Evidence from the Caribbean, Working Paper WP/06/25 Washington DC: I nternational Monetary Fund. SAXENIAN, ANNALEE 2006. The New Argonauts: Regional Advantage in a Global Economy Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press. SOLIMANO, ANDRES 2008. Causes and Consequences of T alent Mobility. In Andres Solimano (ed.), The International Mobility of Talent: Types, Causes and Development Impact Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 1-18. JAY R MAND L E W. B radford Wiley Professor of E conomics Colgate University Hamilton NY 13346, U. S.A.
New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011):65-68 BRIAN MEEKS R ESPONSE TO THE NE W ARGONAUTS AND B RIAN MEE KSS E NVISIONING C ARIBBEAN F UTURES I am thankful to Jay Mandle for his careful and very generous response to my book. It is perhaps an indicator of the depth of hegemonic dissolution in Jamaica and its attendant atmosphere of multiple distractions that more than three years after its publication there has been no major national or even university-wide discussion surrounding its content and extensive list of proposals. That aside and to avoid unnecessary repetition of points with which we both agree, I think that Mandle is absolutely right in his main argument that there is a lacuna in the book on the potential economic role of the diaspora. Envisioning certainly makes an energetic case for the importance of over seas Jamaicans at the political levels and in the formulating of new terms of engagement through the Constituent Assembly of Jamaican People at Home and Abroad. However, the critical notion of Jamaicans and other Caribbean nationals actually investing and returning to play central entrepreneurial, technical, and administrative roles in the reconstruction of Jamaica, while hinted at, is insufficiently elaborated. In a context as he correctly asserts, where 27 percent of overseas Jamaican nationals are employed in professional or managerial capacities and where some 85 percent of all Jamaicans with tertiary education live overseas and particularly where there are vivid examples in India, China, and elsewhere of their diasporas playing crucial economic roles in national development, it is important that we should consider and reflect on Mandles Argonaut strategy. My problem therefore is not at all with the strategy itself but rather the steps required in establishing the foundation for its implementation. Mandle, in developing his diaspora-led strategy eliminates both the truth commis sion and land reform on the basis that the alliance of social forces necessary to bring these two into being is neither manifest nor likely to develop in the short run. Therefore, he proposes that we need to shift from a political strategy of attempting to accumulate forces to a frontally economic one of encouraging the investment of diaspora capital and the return of skilled and
66 BRIAN MEEKS capable citizens. This approach, he argues, is to be advocated and encour aged by university academics who, presumably, have the voice and influence to shift policy decisively in this new direction. T here seem to be two very serious problems with this approach. T he first is that I think he vastly overestimates the influence of the university with its disparate and often contradictory voices. University academics have been severely battered by the economic and ideological winds of neoliberalism and are less of a consistent and coherent voice than at any time in postindependence history. While individual academics may very well have a role to play in any advocacy of a policy of renewal, I am pessimistic that they possess the coherency and sense of common purpose to act as a group. More profoundly, however, I suggest that Mandle has provided nothing new that would entice and encourage overseas nationals to invest in, much less return to Jamaica. If there is anything to be garnered from the notion of advanced hegemonic dissolution it is that the country is an unstable place for investment and a relatively insecure environment for someone accustomed to the much lower murder and crime rates of London, Boston, or New Y ork. Beyond the advocacy of the strategy, there is a prior action that seems to be required to build trust and lay some foundation of greater social peace that along with the appropriate (and justly administered) forensic and security measures would provide a minimal set of conditions under which the Argonauts might feel comfortable to set sail for home. It is the necessity for this prior action that is the main thrust of Envisioning and derives directly from the initial discussion that Mandle supports, which argues that the country is in a moment of unprecedented socioeconomic crisis and political stasis. I f hegemonic dissolution is indeed the case, then the answer cannot be simply located in a set of new policy proposals, but in an unprecedented political move that might release the proverbial logjam and allow the new policies to work. Where Envisioning decisively falls short is that it does not sufficiently describe and elaborate on the nature of the social forces that will push for and implement this programme of prior action. T his however, is an acknowl edged weakness which is stated up front, recognizing that in the past the failure to see immediate political solutions has been used as a roadblock to altogether postpone the imagining of alternative futures. I suspect that it is precisely this shortfall that leads Mandle to the pessimistic conclusion that there are no coalitions capable of leading such a renewal (whether initiated via truth commission, land reform, advocacy of a constituent assembly or all the above) and that the way forward is through administrative decisions coming from enlightened university-based intellectuals and implemented by (presumably) enlightened government officials. Let us for a moment then return to the substantial though limited refer ence in the conclusion which discusses the potential constituent elements in a new social coalition. In denying that change will come primarily from the
67 RES P ONSE TO THE NEW ARGONAUTS AND BRIAN MEEKS political parties whose members are too compromised from their entangle ments with the old system, I go on to propose:The impetus for change is unlikely to come from this source but from the ranks of the population at large. I t is from among the community residents who demonstrate for justice and fairness, the new middle class recruits who join the political parties to initiate constitutional change and the organised working class, who have never been happy with globalizations race to the bottom, that the call for change is likely to emerge. (p. 175)If there is a substantial pivot around which there are differences with Mandles analysis, it is here. He essentially has a pessimistic view of the possibilities of a progressive coalition, while mine are far more optimistic. Where Mandle seems to be in error is in his simplification of the nature of the social forces in Jamaica. On the one side of his analysis are the wealthy classes, which remain powerful and retain a keen interest in keeping things the way they are. On the other side are the garrison communities which, using David Scotts assessment, are seen as so profoundly disconnected from middle-class morals and civility that they would not be able to function in a system of deliberative democracy as advocated in the book. Little reference is made to any of the social categories mentioned in my above quote, with the inevitable implication that they have largely migrated to various points in the diaspora, leaving behind two irreconcilable social forces. This is, I think, clearly not the case. It is the existence of a stable if historically shrunken class of employed workers deeply affected by and hostile to the violence and extortion emanating from garrison communi ties that was a decisive feature of the coalition against the T ivoli Gardens gangster Christopher Dudus Coke in May 2010.1 It was this stratas alliance with lower-middle-class nurses, civil servants, and teachers and uppermiddle-class professionals, together with reformist elements in the Chamber of Commerce and Manufacturers Association that tipped the balance and demanded that the JLP government sever its support for Coke and allow extradition requests from the United States to follow their course. The coalition proved to be temporary and, despite promising initiatives, has not yet coalesced into a new, vibrant political movement. I t does however suggest that the ground is not as infertile as Mandle proposes. R eal possibili ties exist to form a coalition of the stable that would include these elements, draw on the less compromised and tribalistic cadres within both political parties and reach into the garrison communities to win over those inhabitants 1. See Rupert Lewis, Notes on the West Kingston Crisis and Party Politics, paper presented at States of Freedom: Freedom of States symposium, University of the West I ndies, June 16-18, 2010.
68 BRIAN MEEKS who fear the untrammelled power of the local dons. Such a coalition, if oper ating in the context of a program of social (including land) reform and deeper democracy, might in the right circumstances, outflank both the dons and those among the recalcitrant wealthy who guard the status quo jealously. In such a framework, Jamaican Argonauts arriving on the beaches of their long lost homeland might actually encounter welcoming embraces rather than the echo of gunfire and the smell of burning tyres. BRIAN MEEKS Sir Arthur Lewis I nstitute of Social and E conomic Studies University of the West I ndies Mona, Jamaica
New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011):69-76 RIVKE JAFFE NOTES ON T HE STATE OF C HRONI C : DEMOC RAC Y AND DIFFERENC E AFTER DUDUS Brian Meekss Envisioning Caribbean Futures is an urgently necessary attempt to reclaim the connection between social theory and real-world social change, following the decline of the Caribbean Left and the displace ment of Marxian prescriptions. Meeks balances utopianism and pragmatism in his take on Jamaicas futures, drawing on a broad range of recent critical work to posit what could be termed a post-structuralist political economy for the Caribbean. He uses this theoretical framework to put forth an incisive analysis of Jamaicas state of chronic (as entrepreneur Ezroy Millwood has called it), and to make a number of concrete policy recommendations in search of a way out of this state. In his essay, Jay Mandle reviews Envisioning Caribbean Futures and critically assesses the three main initiatives Meeks proposes, concentrating most closely on the possible role of the Jamaican diaspora in fomenting social and economic change. I n this brief essay, I engage with Meekss work and Mandles response. I respond to their Jamaican futuriography, and specifically Meekss analysis of Jamaicas social divisions, focusing most closely on urban inequalities and the system of donmanship. I start by commenting briefly on the three policy initiatives set out in the book and reviewed in Mandles essay. This is followed by a discussion of the way Meeks, and many others, have approached the fragmentation of urban and larger society, the two Jamaicas that have been the topic of debate for so long. Reflecting on the role of dons in the wake of the Dudus crisis of 2010 can shed new light on this fragmentation. Reading Meekss emphasis on national consensus in relation to the politi cal order of donmanship, I suggest other possibilities for thinking through social difference and the political. I support his well-informed aspirations for Jamaicas future, and hope to contribute a number of critical observations to this goal.
70 RIVKE JAFFERE C I P ES FOR SO C IA L LIVING Mandle recaps Meekss main recommendations concisely and assesses their feasibility. I want to add a number of reflections to this. T he first regards the process of national reconciliation Meeks proposes but does not elaborate on extensively. Under the guidance of a national reconciliation commission, such a process would address the violence of the 1970s and the associated partisan rifts that have caused and continue to cause so much damage to Jamaican social living. While a number of Jamaicas current problems can indeed be traced back to that period, and its memory is still traumatic to those who suffered through it, its salience for many Jamaicans today might be less than Meeks anticipates. In 2009, 61 percent of Jamaicans were under 35,1 meaning that the majority of the population does not have any conscious memory of the period (although its traumatic memory may be passed on across generations). Written in 2007, Meekss book could not engage with more recent instance s of political and state violence, but to many of Jamaicas younger inner-city residents this bloodshed may be more relevant. During the T ivoli massacre of May 2010 (known in polite circles as the T ivoli incursion) that took place as state security forces sought to arrest Christopher Dudus Coke, at least 73 civilians were killed, although there are persistent rumors that the body count was much higher. During the state of emergency that laste d from May to July 2010, curfews were held in dozens of innercity communities, in which hundreds of young men were detained, questioned, and fingerprinted without any formal grounds other than their area of residence. I n addition, in 2010, the number of police killings (309 deaths, excludin g the T ivoli killings) was the highest recorded in any year. What state actors call a war on organized crime is interpreted by many of those who reside in these areas as a war on the poor. Of course, the political violence of the 1970s set the stage for these events in various complex ways. T o my mind, the more recent acts of officially sanctioned violence and disrespect and the rifts they cause are equally in need of reconciliation, perhaps in conjunction with the acts of the 1970s. At the time of writing, an official Commission of E nquiry is looking into the Manatt Phelps Philips affair in which the U.S. law firm was hired in an attempt to block Duduss extradi tion. While formal and informal commentators agree that the enquiry makes great daytime television, it is a poppy-show, an entertaining farce that is not likely to bring about any change in politicians integrity or accountability. The second of Meekss recommendations that Mandle addresses is that of land reform. These suggestions are valuable and might well be implemented, at least in part. While Mandle expects formidable opposition by the countrys 1. See < http://statinja.gov.jm/ E ndof Y earPopulationby Ageand Sex2008.aspx >.
71 NOTES ON THE STATE OF CHRONI C still powerful land-owning class, Meekss proposal is to redistribute government land rather than resort to expropriation of privately owned land. This moderate version of land reform suggests that elite opposition might be much less fierce than the hostility Michael Manleys attempts at nationalization provoked in the 1970s. The impact of a redistribution of land, however, is likely to be limited. As Mandle points out, a minority of the labor force is involved in agricultural production. More importantly, the hegemonic dissolution that Meeks describes, and the Caribbean subaltern with which he concerns him self, are rooted largely in Jamaicas urban areas. I see no reason for major polit ical opposition to land reform from the urban poor, many of whom have family in country. However, there is no indication that a back-to-the-land movement would find many adherents amongst inner-city residents, nor is it certain that lack of land is the principal driver for urban drift. While land reform may slow down rural-to-urban migration, it will not solve the pressing issues of urban poverty or social exclusion. Meekss (2007:172-73) statement that all city dwellers would gain from a prosperous countryside, as urban drift would be radically reduced might risk overestimating the contemporary significance of rural migrants to urban crises, as well as the appeal of rural alternatives to those considering a move to the city. The final proposal with which Mandle engages is Meekss idea of a National Constituent Assembly of Jamaicans at Home and Abroad. This idea and the various associated suggestions for democratic and economic reform are sensible plans to effect a shift of power from politicians to the people (if not all of them are immediately feasible, the processes of constitutional reform in divided countries such as Brazil and Colombia are cause for some optimism). Here, I want to comment briefly on the role Meeks and Mandle ascribe to the Jamaican diaspora. I wonder to what extent Jamaicans at home are willing to accept political and economic involvement or interference of those who left. T he recent debates over the dual citizenship of MPs and the frustrations many return migrants face2 demonstrate an unwillingness to let Jamaican-Americans (or Jamaican-Canadians, Jamaican Brits, etc.) have their cake and eat it. Are Jamaicans in Jamaica interested in being saved by the transformative agents of change from the diaspora, who Mandle believes must thrust Jamaica into economic modernity? Or would they consider this unwelcome interference from those who turned their backs on their country when the going got tough? The fact that Jamaicans Abroad have something to offer does not necessarily mean Jamaicans at Home are interested in accepting it. Nevertheless, there are various examples of attempts to develop mutually beneficial relations with diaspora communi ties such as the Person of Indian Origin (PIO) status developed by India, or Ghanas Joseph project and it is certainly worthwhile to explore which 2. See, for example, Potter et al (2005).
72 RIVKE JAFFE economic and political possibilities are acceptable to Jamaicans both in and outside Jamaica. JA M AI C AN DISSENSUS Meeks, in his response to Mandle, is correct to point out that Mandles focus on economic strategy disregards the necessity of a prior action that seems to be required to build trust and lay some foundation of greater social peace. He suggests that Mandle oversimplifies Jamaicas social categories, representing them as limited to two irreconcilable social forces. While there is certainly substance for this charge, I suggest that Meekss analysis is open to the same critique. In the conclusion to Envisioning he points to the possibility of a progressive coalition based on solidarity between the working poor, segments of the middle classes, and fed-up members of (presumably innercity) communities. Y et in his elaboration of hegemonic dissolution, his take on Jamaicas social fracture seems to follow the two Jamaicas narrative, a bipolar split between the wealthy and middle classes on the one hand, and the disenfranchised, socially alienated (urban) poor on the other. Obviously social realities are much more complex, but it is this classed and raced dichotomy expressed most clearly, perhaps, in the social distance between uptown and downtown Kingston that is dominant in both academic and popular narratives. Meeks (2007:62) adopts it when he speaks of inequality sharply demarcating the upper middle and upper classes from the rest of the society. He alludes to it when he quotes Bob Marleys lyrics from the 1970s: we nuh know how we and dem a go work this out ( Meeks 2000:52). More recently, dancehall artist Vybz Kartel captured the acrimoni ous class divide in the track Dem Nuh Like We (they dont like us): Poor people / dem nuh like we me granny follow the system / dem treat her like garbage ghetto yute life dont mean nutten to dem / five [murders] a day ah the average. Such narratives draw on what I call bipolar antagonism, a specific dualist rhetoric in which social categories are constructed as discrete and antagonistically either/or, rather than both/and. Notwithstanding the reality of multiple gradations, this bipolar rhetoric may complicate the formation of coalitions. It seems to me that it is this rift between a largely dual, almost irreconcilable we and them that Meeks refers to in his book. His emphases on the Caribbean subaltern and the declining power of the dominant social bloc imply a contrast between two broad, culturally distinct classes, of oppressors and oppressed. Similarly, his elaboration of hegemonic dissolution evokes this split, as it is characterized by a popular, subaltern insurgency and a widen ing fissure, from below, from the ways and means of official Jamaican society (Meeks 2007:77). In seeking to bridge this fissure in his search for national
73 NOTES ON THE STATE OF CHRONI C consensus, Meeks cannot escape becoming entangled in the long tradition of plural society theories that have been debated in relation to the Caribbean. T he underlying question in such debates is always: how can social difference be reconciled with national unity? Meekss emphasis on national consensus is reminiscent of what David Scott (2000:287) calls the B andung project of the national-modern in which difference (religious, ethnic, cultura l) is at best a distraction, and at worst a hindrance to the progressive, improving objectives of nation-state building. Difference, on this view, is essentially to be over come (assimilated, regulated, marginalized, eradicated). While the national consensus Meeks seeks to envision does not appear to entail a new hegemony, his proposals can be seen as an attempt to imagine a progressive convergence on a consensualist ideal (Scott 2000:296). Envisioning can be understood as an effort to revive the nationalist modern ization project that Scott (2000:294), using a discussion of the prominent don Zeeks, argues has been subject to dissolution. In a way, both Meekss and Scotts approaches to Jamaicas crisis echo older discussions on ideology and culture (see Austin 1983). Meeks, as he tries to imagine a replacement for a middle-class Creole hegemony, suggests that a new consensus might be reached through state-sanctioned committees and other reformist measures. While I support these proposals to achieve a more equitable Jamaica, the form of these measures does not necessarily depart from traditional middle-class norms or procedures. R esolving conflict and negotiat ing (bipolar) antagonism along these lines might risk enforcing a new type of ideological domination. Scott, on the other hand, argues for an understanding of cultural difference and opposition that disregards the integration of different social groups, even if the integrative system is one of inequality and exclusion. I s there a way of conceptualizing (Caribbean) social difference that finds a middle ground between, on the one hand, the unassimilable, antagonistic divi sions posited in Scotts permanence of pluralism, and, on the other, Meekss Creolesque insistence on national unity, which has historically proved problematic in its emphasis on acculturation and assimilation? Is it possible to conceive of a situation in which the absence of consensus between different social segments does not necessarily indicate crisis or insurgency, nor does it imply permanent, unbridgeable divides? Without offering any immediate resolutions to these enduring dilemmas, I suggest that the case of Jamaicas dons presents a compelling metaphor for thinking through difference. DONS AND DIFFEREN C E The tendency has been to conceive of donmanship as incompatible and competitive with the formal system of democratic statehood. The garrisons over which dons rule have been characterized as states within a state. Duduss
74 RIVKE JAFFE Republic of T ivoli was generally seen as the most developed example of such a parallel or shadow state. The most established dons preside over governance structures that offer alternative, competing forms of justice, security, and welfare, an alternative system of taxation, and alternative political ritu als such as those evidenced in street dances commemorating or celebrating dons. T hese state-like entities often violent, always undemocratic encroach on the terrain of the formal Jamaican state. They compete with it in terms of service provision, taxation, conscription, and, importantly, a monopoly of the means of coercion. They adopt state-like discourses, for instance when extortion fees are referred to as taxes. Dudus was popularly known as T he President or Presi, and his common-law wife went by the moniker of First Lady. Ricardo Wynter, the reputed leader of the Stinger Gang in Kingstons Maxfield A venue community, went by the nickname of Government. However, the entanglement of the dons power structures with the formal political system and state bureaucracy suggests that we should think beyond parallel states that engage in competition. R ather, the two systems exist in collaboration. Dons continue to function as important inner-city gatekeep ers, not only for politicians, but for government agencies and bureaucrats as well. Various MPs and government officials (as well as businesspeople and NGO workers) spoke to me of the pragmatic necessity and even efficiency of working with dons. Conversely, dons rely on politicians and state bureau cracies for the government contracts that provide a significant portion of their income. I n these aspects, the system of donmanship does not engage in competition with the formal state. It has become increasingly difficult to understand Jamaicas formal and informal systems of rule and belonging as distinct. Urban governance is achieved through a hybrid, composite system of actors and mechanisms of maintaining order, with various shifting yet enduring coalitions between state actors and criminal organizations. Politicians and state actors use dons to pursue public goods as well as private interests, while dons use them in return with the same objectives. I nner-city residents may access certain pub lic goods through this system of order, but ultimately they suffer. Meanwhile, the formal state and the dons informal state have come to form a mutually expedient symbiosis in which sovereignty is shared and capital accumulate d. I suggest that we can understand these compound governance structures as hybrid states, in which criminal organizations and the formal state are entangled in a relationship of collusion and divestment, sharing control over urban spaces and populations. Might we take this phenomenon of symbiotic entanglement at the level of governance as a metaphor for the way Jamaicas different classed and cultural segments are organized? I would never endorse this hybrid state as a positive model of governance and, as outlined above, its benefits to innercity residents are few. R ather than positing this hybrid form of governance as
75 NOTES ON THE STATE OF CHRONI C a suggestion for reform, I suggest it might be useful as a metaphor for how diversity is organized, offering a slightly different way of conceptualizing the articulation of multiple cultural-political orders within one nation-state. Like these different forms of governance, Jamaicas various social catego ries (uptown, downtown, and their gradations and variations) are distinct yet entangled, separate yet mutually constitutive, competitive yet interdependent. These different class/cultural/ethnic/geographical categories can shape-shift rhetorically, expanding, contracting, and splintering over time, with actors within one category aligning with actors from another at one moment, only to oppose them in the next instance. The antagonisms need not be permanent, nor the fractures insuperable. Y et the coalitions will most likely not be stable either, and strategic temporary unity will not result in cultural assimilation. CON CL UDING THOUGHTS Perhaps the social glue that Meeks seeks is to be found not so much in the consensus itself, but in the existing interlinkages and ongoing dialogue between Jamaicas different social categories, those links and encounters that a rhetoric of bipolar antagonism studiously disregards. Dissensus within a nation-state need not be the main cause of crisis indeed, it is inevitable. Rather than focusing on which specific consensual coalition is capable of emerging, it might be more important to emphasize and cultivate the fora for working through different opinions, values, and (economic) interests. Such possibilities agonistic rather than antagonistic are in fact most evident in Meekss proposal of a constituent assembly. For Jamaica, such an assembly would be a new forum for such meetings and debates, a new mode of working through difference without denying it. As Maeckelbergh (2009) shows for the alterglobalization movement, attention to the process of organization and decision-making itself rather than to specific goals or ideas can entail a productive democratic shift. Moving from the question who rules? to the question how do we rule? means that common processes and practices (of practical decision-making) rather than common values can create a basis for collective action in contexts of diversity. Is it possible to focus on (or at least start out by) limiting consensus to specific, practical situations (as in effect Meeks advocates when he proposes that the constituent assembly start with adjudicating land reform), rather than demanding consensus for larger abstractions such as a vision for the future of Jamaica? Grounding Caribbean futures in very concrete and pragmatic forms of productive conflict starting small, but dreaming big as Meeks has begun to do in Envisioning Caribbean Futures, is perhaps the best hope we have for dismantling the state of chronic.
76 RIVKE JAFFEREFEREN C ESAUSTIN, DIANE 1983. Culture and I deology in the E nglish-speaking Caribbean: A View from Jamaica. American Ethnologist 10:223-40. MAECKELBERGH, MARIANNE 2009. The Will of the Many: How the Alterglobalisation Movement is Changing the Face of Democracy. London: Pluto Press. MEEKS, BRIAN 2000. The Political Moment in Jamaica: The Dimension of Hegemonic Dissolution. In Manning Marable (ed.), Dispatches from the Ebony Tower: Intellectuals Confront the African American Experience New Y ork: Colombia University Press, pp. 52-74. , 2007. Envisioning Caribbean Futures: Jamaican Perspectives Kingston: U niversity of the West I ndies Press. POTTER, ROBERT B ., DENNIS CONWAY & JOAN PHI LL I P S (eds.), 2005. The Experience of Return Migration: Caribbean Perspectives. Aldershot, U.K.: Ashgate. SC OTT, DAVID 2000. T he Permanence of Pluralism. In Paul Gilroy, Lawrence Grossberg & Angela McRobbie (eds.), Without Guarantees: In Honour of Stuart Hall. New Y ork: Verso, pp. 282-301. RIVKE JAFFE I nstitute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology Leiden University 2300 RB Leiden, the Netherlands
New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011):77-78 JAY R MAND L E R ESPONSE TO B RIAN MEE KS AND R I VKE JAFFE Rivke Jaffe believes discussion of what to do in Jamaica should move from the question of who rules (the analytic foundation of Meekss essay) to that of how do we rule. Doing so, she writes, would make it possible to focus on (or at least start out by) limiting consensus to specific practical situations rather than demanding consensus for large abstractions such as a vision for the future of Jamaica. Citing Maeckelbergh, Jaffe believes that atten tion to the process of organization and decision-making itself rather than to specific goals or ideas can entail a productive democratic shift (emphasis in original). In this she seeks a middle ground between the view traceable back to M.G. Smiths conception of a plural society that posits an unbridgeable gap between classes and groups and Meekss Creolesque insistence on national unity. The disagreement between Meeks and Jaffe is crystallized in their atti tudes towards urban dons. Meeks finds hope and the basis for Jamaican renewal in the alliance of the countrys employed workers, deeply affected by and hostile to the violence and extortion emanating from garrison communities and lower-middle-class nurses, civil servants, and teachers and upper-middle-class professionals together with reformist elements in the Chamber of Commerce and Manufacturers Association. T hat coalition, he writes, tipped the balance and demanded that the JLP government sever its support of [Christopher Dudus] Coke. Jaffe in contrast argues that criminal organizations and the formal state are entangled in a relationship of collusion and divestment, sharing control over urban spaces and populations. While making clear that she would never endorse this hybrid state as a positive model of governance, Jaffe nevertheless argues that the social glue that Meeks seeks is not to be found in a new consensus formed by a reforming coalition, a project that risks enforcing a new type of ideological domination. Instead Jaffe believes that emphasis should be placed on cultivating the fora for working through different opinions, values, and (economic) interests that result from the hybrid governing structure.
78 JAY R MAND L E Only experience will allow a judgment to be made between these contrast ing views. Both possess deep vulnerabilities. Jaffes position depends on the good will of urban bosses who have not revealed any particular interest in dia logue and discussion. B ut at the same time, the reforming coalition that Meeks pins his hopes upon is at best fragile, not having as he puts it, yet coalesced into a new vibrant political movement. Meeks takes the coalitions presence in the Coke conflict as indicating that the political ground is not as infertile as I suggest, but at this moment in time his optimism is more hope than reality. The fact remains that if Jamaica is to become anything other than an insular backwater in the globalizing world order, it is Meekss hypothesis that should command the efforts of political organizers. It might be true that the hybrid politics described by Jaffe could sustain itself in a long-term equi librium. But it is very unlikely that the tradeoffs between the official and unofficial world of politics required by that model will serve the country well. Contrary to Jaffes view, a vision of the future is essential for Jamaica to develop the productive dexterity that will determine its degree of success in a world no longer dominated by a single superpower and in which previously poor countries become masters of modern technology. It is in this regard that the human capital and entrepreneurial capacities present in the Jamaican diaspora have an important, perhaps even central, role to play. Meeks of course is right that my paper does not elaborate the steps needed for the implementation of the Argonauts Strategy. And certainly Jaffe makes a valid point in questioning whether Jamaicans At Home will have much interest in initiatives undertaken by Jamaicans Abroad. But neither of these reservations should be thought of as determinant. I n 1977 no one believed that China would reach out successfully to Overseas Chinese for assistance in the countrys economic development. Y et a few short years after the ending of the Cultural Revolution that is precisely what occurred. T he same can happen in Jamaica. Much has changed in the Caribbean since M.G. Smith and R.T Smith waged their epic struggles over the nature of Caribbean societies. Growth has been slow, but it has occurred. T here are many more well-educated indi viduals constituting a middle stratum of society than in the 1960s. As a result there is more coherence to these societies than M.G. envisioned, though regretfully, not as much as R.T thought he observed. Part of this grouping found opportunities abroad but would, under the right circumstances, return home. The task for domestic activists is to work to create the conditions that would encourage such a return. In this, Meekss approach to reform has much more to commend it than does Jaffes. JAY R MAND L E W. B radford Wiley Professor of E conomics Colgate University Hamilton NY 13346, U. S.A.
JEAN S STUBBS AA N II S l L AND CA ll LL E D CUBA An Island Called Home: Returning to Jewish Cuba. RRUTH B BEHAR photographs by HHUmMBERTO MAYOlL NN ew BB runswick NN J: RR utgers UU niversity Pre ss, 2007. xiii + 297 pp. (Cloth USUS $ 29.95) Fidel Castro: My Life: A Spoken Autobiography. FFIDEl L CASTRO & I IGNAc C IO R RAmMONET NN ew YY ork: S S cribner/ S S imon & SS chuster, 2008. vii + 724 pp. (Paper USUS $ 22.00, e-book USUS $ 14.99) Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know. JUlLIA E E. S SWEIG NN ew YY ork: O O xford UU niversity Press, 2009. xiv + 279 pp. (Paper USUS $ 16.95) TT hese three ostensibly very different books tell a compelling story of each authors approach, as much as the subject matter itself. Fidel Castro: My Life: A Spoken Autobiography is based on a series of long interviews granted by the then-president of Cuba, F F idel Castro, to S S panishF F ranco journalist I I gnacio RR amonet. Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know, by U U S S political analyst Julia SS weig, is one of a set country series, and, like R R amonets, presented in question/answer format. An Island Called Home: Returning to Jewish Cuba with a narrative by CubanA A merican anthropologist RR uth BB ehar and photographs by Cuban photographer Humberto M M ayol, is a retrospective/introspective account of the Jewish presence in Cuba. While from RR amonet and SS weig we learn much about the revolutionary project, B B ehar and M M ayol convey the lived experience of the small Jewish community against that backdrop. II gnacio RR amonet begins his introduction to Fidel Castro by describing the setting of Castros personal office in the Palacio de la R R evolucin, in the early hours of the morning, with the aging but pre-illness leader tireless amidst revered icons: Latin AA merican independence leaders S S imn B B olvar and AA ntonio Jos de S S ucre, Cubas independence leader Jos M M art and N N orth AA mericas AA braham Lincoln, along with Cervantess fictional DD on Quixote astride his steed RR ocinante, co-revolutionary Camilo Cienfuegos (tragi cally killed soon after the 1959 triumph of the RR evolution), writer EE rnest
New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011) 80Hemingway, and his Galician-born father Angel Castro. T he scene is set for the books depiction of Castro as liberator of the Americas, fighter for ideals, a man of culture, a son. Ramonet had the idea for the book in 2002, when he was in Cuba for the Havana Book Fair, after publishing his (shorter) conversations with Mexicos Zapatista Subcomandante Marcos. Joseph Stiglitz, the winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize for Economics, was also there, and the two of them engaged in conversation with El Comandante over the alternative globalization movement. Among his reasons for wishing to do the book was making known to younger generations the Fidel Castro who had erupted onto the global stage over half a century ago, lived through and been protagonist of some of the most convulsive moments of those years, and led Cubas continuing defence of socialism and noncapitulation to the neoliberal T hird Way conventional wisdom of the post-1989 world. I n R amonets view, Whether his detractors like it or not, Fidel Castro has a place in the pantheon of world figures who have struggled most fiercely for social justice and with greatest solidarity come to the aid of the oppressed (p. 11). Ramonet knew Castro was unlikely to write his own autobiography, so proposed the long interview format, giving him full control over the final text, to amend and add where he saw fit. He had no intention of interrogating, inquisitorial fashion, but rather of eliciting a personal interpretation (p. 17). Long sessions in January-March 2003 produced a first draft, already longer by far than four previous works, but new events, including the I raq war, occa sioned the need to fill in gaps and more sessions in late 2004 and again in late 2005. Finally, notes were added. The first edition came out in Spain in April 2006, and in Cuba a month later, before Castro, due to obligations of state, had personally read it. Then he started reading with a fine eye, completing it after his August 2006 surgery and temporary secession of power to his brother R al subsequently to become permanent in February 2008. There have been various iterations and titles of the book. It appeared in Spanish as Cien horas con Fidel (o Fidel Castro: biografa a dos voces) ( A Hundred Hours with Fidel [or Fidel Castro: A Biography in T wo Voices]), and in French as Fidel Castro: biografie deux voix titles that perhaps more aptly capture a book which is neither biography nor autobiography, but rather a series of questions and answers around key topics, from childhood up to the present, but omitting any reference to Castros adult personal life. Most informative is translator Andrew Hurleys note in the E nglish-language edition (pp. 627-30), in which he recounts how he originally worked from the proof pages for the first Spanish edition, supplemented by corrections as it went to press. Then a new set of proofs was sent him for a completely revised and restructured Spanish edition, some one hundred pages longer, to be used for the English-language version. So began the gargantuan task of tallying all the changes Castro had made. For those interested in comparing the finer points, all editions are in the public domain.
81 REVIEW ARTI CL ES Much ground has been covered in previous studies, as also the voluminous speeches given and various accounts and books penned by Castro. However, there are new facets and nuances, from the vantage point of hindsight, some occasioning further questions in this reader. In the context of Cubas contem porary emphasis on health and its humanitarian involvement in neighboring Haiti, how formative was the Haitian black presence in Castros early life, in Birn and in Santiago de Cuba, and his early experience of the Santiago Spanish communitys cooperative medical facilities? And what of his assessment that there was no class consciousness in 1950s Cuba, except among those in the Popular Socialist Party, whom he describes as having more of a class instinct than class consciousness? Critical moments in history are glossed over, such as slavery, worker struggles, and the revolutions treatment of homosexuals. Ambivalence over the death penalty contrasts with vociferous condemnation of U.S. covert fifth column tactics to bring down the Revolution. Y et, Ramonets final introductory words hold: In the winter of his life and now, due to health concerns, a little distanced from power, he is still driven to defend the energy revolution, the environment, against neoliberal globalization and internal corruption. He is still down in the trenches, on the front line, leading the battle for the ideas he believes in ideas which, apparently, nothing and no one will ever make him give up (p. 21). F or Julia S weig, Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know was a personal jour ney of a different kind. She, too, opens her introduction with images: of a first visit to Cuba in 1984 as a student, sitting in a Havana park beside the imposing, modernist sculpture of Don Quixote and his R ocinante, watching youths in the park and reflecting on the lack of branding in Cuba at the time except for the brand name of Fidel Castro, whose presence she describes as ubiquitous. Many trips later, in 2008, she reflected on how, while in some ways unchanged, in others Cuba had become almost unrecognizable, most notably for the absence of Castro. It wasnt that he had evaporated, but she saw and felt a Cuba that was moving on. She returned to the park and found it filled with an open-air market of vendors selling food, clothing, books, and jewelry an urban scene that could easily have been plucked from any city in Latin America (p. xxi). The emphasis of her book is on the U.S.-Cuba relationship and explain ing why Cuba under Ral and its next leaders will in all likelihood continue defying imperial power. The fundamental question she sets out to answer is why the revolution has endured beyond the cold war and the half-century in which Castro was in power. Some of the answers, she states, might seem obvious to those outside the United States, who have had more contact with Cuba, but contrast with the prevailing U.S. belief that Washington should somehow manage regime change on this island just 90 miles away. Patently not a book about the personality of one man, or one man and his brother, this is rather an attempt to explain Cubas trajectory, domestically and on the
New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011) 82world stage, which has both shaped and been shaped by them. Her goal is to paint a Cuba that is far more textured and complex than the romanticized myth still resonating from that sculpture in Havana (p. xxii). Sweig has crafted an excellent and well-written overview with the U.S. reader in mind, highlighting some of the betterand lesser-known episodes in both historical and contemporary periods. The pre-1959 chapter is brief, dominated by the late nineteenth-century overthrow of Spanish colonial rule in what came to be known as the Spanish-American war (a term that with the stroke of a pen obliterated thirty years of Cubans struggle for independence) followed by U.S. military occupation and the then overwhelming U.S. presence in Cuba up until the 1959 revolution. The reference to jingoist impulses of Manifest Destiny shaping U.S. opinion is salutary: Y ou furnish the pictures, and Ill furnish the war, was Randolph Hearsts famous comment to one of his cartoonists covering the Spanish-[Cuban]American conflict (p. 10). For the non-U.S. reader what perhaps stands out most is not only the attempt to demystify the U.S.-Cuba axis but what tends to get left out. Omissions in coverage of the pre-1959 period include the role played by reinvigorated Spanish investment and immigration after independence, the continuing economic presence of other powers such as Great Britain, class analysis to match that of race, and attention to how intertwined Cuban and U.S. culture had become by the 1950s. There are some cavalier journalistic turns of phrase, no doubt designed to enliven the reading, but which can be read as somewhat derogatory: references, for example, to the nineteenthcentury rag-tag rebel army (p. 6) and the revolt of members of the rogue I ndependent Party of Color (p. 13), or the remark that the 26th of July was not the only game in town (p. 22). The bulk of the book is on the post-1959 period, divided chronologically into three periods: between the 1959 revolution and the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union; the years 1991-2006; and the post-2006, postFidel (if not post-Castro) era. Each is subdivided into domestic, U.S.-Cuba and Cuba in the World sections. The books strengths lie in the informed and even-handed coverage of the domestic and U.S.-Cuba axis, yet there are again omissions: examples are the role of western Europe in the earlier period, and the Caribbean, in the ear lier period when newly independent former British territories began to break the blockade and in the 1990s when they crucially stood up to their powerful northern neighbor over Cuba policy. There are also more occasional sleights of the pen, as in Castro on his triumphal march into Havana kissing babies, tussling hair accompanied by his rabble rebel clan (p. 36). In An Island Called Home, Ruth Behar steers us away from the metanarrative to the very particular lived experience of Cubas small Jewish community. As in much of Behars work, intertwined in this account is a very personal journey to the island of which she states she has no first-hand memories (having been taken away as a child of five), only old family photographs and stories. T he island, however, has haunted her adult life.
83 REVIEW ARTI CL ES T he opening sentence of her first overview chapter R unning A way From Home to R un T oward Home reads: Y oure going to Cuba again? What did you lose in Cuba? T hat was what her grandmother E sther, her B aba, would say when she stayed over to see her in Miami en route to Havana. She would say it in Spanish, although her mother tongue was Y iddish. She was from Poland and had immigrated to Cuba in 1927, aged 19. There she married and worked to get the rest of the family to safety from the Nazi Holocaust. After Castro came to power, she left Cuba for the United States; and there her granddaughter grew up, wondering about the home from which shed been taken. Behars first visit was in 1979, but it was in the 1990s that she compulsively kept going back, able to go as an academic when family visits were not allowed. It was losing Baba, who died in 2000, that was the impetus for the book. In Behars words: What began as a vague desire to find my lost home in Cuba gradually became a more concrete search for the Jews who make their homes in Cuba today (p. 3). The history of the Jewish presence in Cuba dates back at least to 1492 and conversos Spanish Jewish converts to Catholicism otherwise facing banishment who travelled with Columbus to the New World. Little is known about these and other early Sephardic immigrants from Spain, but in the early twentieth century practising Jews came from the United States, along with Sephardic Jews who had fled to T urkey and were subsequently fleeing the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, and then Ashkenazic Jews, largely from Poland, escaping the pogroms and rising anti-Semitism hence the term polaco Pole, used by Cubans to refer to Jews. Many went to Cuba seeing the island as a stepping stone to the United States, which a quota system placed out of bounds. In Y iddish, the island was called Asksanie Kuba, Hotel Cuba, a temporary lodging; but for many, like B ehars B aba and R ussian grandfather, the hotel became home; they became peddlers, selling their wares for credit; and their situation was precarious, as they were not allowed to become Cuban citizens. It is misleading for Behar to state: Black workers from Jamaica and Haiti also tried to immigrate to Cuba as agricultural laborers, but most were turned away (p. 6). T he reference is presumably to the 1930s deportations with the Cuban nationality act, but many did stay, and in far greater numbers than the Jewish community at any point. After the creation of the I sraeli state in 1948, some left to build Kibbutz Gaash, but the majority stayed. Assistance from U.S. Jewish organizations, especially the Hebrew Immigrant Aid society (HIAS) and Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) became important to these Jewish R obinson Crusoes who had to make their America in Cuba (p. 8). By the late 1950s, there were an estimated 15,000-16,500 out of a population of six million, including some wealthy merchant enterprises and many small-time businesses (Jewish synagogues, media, associations, kosher cafs and stores), and, in B ehars words, Jewish-Communist ideals had given way
New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011) 84to solid middle-class Jewish values. This came almost to an end with the exodus of an estimated 90-96 percent to the United States by 1965. T hey left with only a suitcase and no valuables, but invariably their fam ily photographs. Behar intersperses her own in the book, along with those of Cuban photographer Humberto Mayol, whom she asked to accompany her in search of what remains of the Jewish presence today. As they were to discover, what remains does not exactly capture what has been essentially a reconstruction and reinvention of the Jewish community since the 1990s. The unfolding presence/absence of the Jewish community in Cuba is above all framed by cataclysmic events in global history from Spains discovery for Europe of the New World, through the rise and fall of the Ottoman Empire, Nazi Germany, and the Soviet bloc. What began as a search for a past came to document a post-1989 Jewish revival, with the removed stigma of religion and flow of U.S. dollars from Canadian and U.S. Jewish organizations (including the JDC). An old tallit (prayer shawl), long hidden away, was brought out; a torah was restored to its rightful place; synagogues and Jewish cemeteries were repaired; grown men were circumcised; and Operation Cigar enabled immigration to I srael, in itself a new stepping stone to the United States. What Behar and Mayol portray is a poignant new Jewish-Cuban fusion geared to economic survival with political and religious beliefs such that men can wear the tallit over t-shirts bearing the image of Che Guevara. Castro, in answer to one of Ramonets questions, refers to having as a child been called the Jew. T hat was what people who hadnt been baptized were called, but he reflected on it as anti-Semitic religious prejudice of the time. Sweig recounts how it was President Ronald Reagans first national security advisor Richard Allen who recommended that Jorge Mas Canosa and his Cuban American National Foundation closely study the AmericanIsraeli Political Action Committee, whereby Cuban Americans could exert their legitimate citizen rights in shaping U.S. Cuba policy. It is Behar, however, an anthropologist with an aching heart, feeling like her two Jewish grandfathers that she had a bundle on her shoulders, in her self-ascribed role to carry these memories back and forth, (p. 34) who punches home the ramifications for being Jewish on the island. JEAN STUBBS I nstitute for the Study of the Americas University of London London WC1 E 7HU, U.K. < Jean. Stubbs@sas.ac.uk >
RRIc C HARD PRIc C E & S SAll LL Y PRIc C E BB OO kK S hH E lL F 20 10 OO ur greatest frustration, as longtime book review editors, is silence lack of any sort of reply when we ask a colleague to consider reviewing a book. OO ur favorite response, of course, is an acceptance (sometimes beautifully phrased, as in II t would be an honor once again to review a book in the N WIG) OO u r next favorite is a polite demurral accompanied by a suggestion or two for who else to ask (including contact information). BB ut silence, followed some weeks later when we repeat the request by further silence, really slows up the process of getting information about books to NWIG readers. FF ortunately once people agree to review a book, almost all do a terrific job and turn in their reviews more or less on time. ( EE ac h year, we receive letters asking for a several-week extension from a reviews due date thats something were always happy to grant.) TT o a ll these cooperative, even enthusiastic reviewers, we offer our heartfelt thanks. BB ut there are always a few people who agree to write a review and then, despite multiple reminders, cannot seem to get the job done. TT herefore, it is once again our solemn duty to induct this select group of scholars into the Caribbeanist Hall of SS hame. DD espite cordial reminders over a period of many months, these colleagues have neither produced the reviews that they promised nor returned the books so that someone else could take on the task. AA s i s our custom, and in an attempt to exercise discretion and protect the reputa tion of innocent Caribbeanists, we follow the eighteenth-century convention in identifying delinquent reviewers by first and last initials. Cuban Zarzuela: Performing Race and Gender on Havanas Lyric Stage by SS u san TT hom as ( UU r bana: UU n iversity of II ll inois Press, 2008. xii + 264 pp., cloth USUS $ 40.00) (Jl Le) Puerto Rico: Inside and Out, Changes and Continuities by FF ernando Pic (Princeton NN J: MM arkus Wiener, 2008. xii + 202 pp., paper USUS $ 22.95) ( Ls FF a) The African-Caribbean Worldview and the Making of Caribbean Society edited by Horace Levy (Kingston: UU n iversity of the West II nd ies Press, 2009. viii + 248 pp., paper USUS $ 35.00) (Cn Cl)
New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011) 86The African Diaspora: A History through Culture, by Patrick Manning (New Y ork: Columbia University Press, 2009. xxi + 394 pp., paper US$ 24.50) (Jh C. Mr) As usual, we begin our annual review of books that are not otherwise reviewed in the New West Indian Guide with fiction. Shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction, Monique R offeys The White Woman on the Green Bicycle (London: Simon & Schuster U.K., 2009, paper .99) spans the half-century following T rinidads independence, seen through the experiences of a British expat couple. Imaginative, sensual, compelling, and doused in local color, it chronicles politics, race relations, and much else and is a fine read. In How to Escape from a Leper Colony: A Novella and Stories (Minneapolis MN: Greywolf Press, 2010, paper US$ 15.00), T iphanie Y anique who comes from St. Thomas offers a magical, imaginative, often astonishing, pan-Caribbean dbut collection that includes several prize-winning pieces. Gore: Point of Departure (Leeds, U.K.: Peepal T ree Press, 2010, paper .99), by Bermudian Angela Berry, is a stunning debut novel set largely in Dakar but centering on a St. Lucian mother-daughter relationship, links between the New World and Africa, and the Middle Passage beautifully written, a cosmopolitan pleasure. Bivouac (Leeds, U.K.: Peepal T ree Press, 2010, paper US$ 18.95) is Kwame Dawess dark novel about death, politics, family, and sex in a Jamaica that has a scarcely understood sense of temporariness and dislocation, with dialogue that puts you right onto the streets of Kingston. E rna B rodbers fourth novel, The Rainmakers Mistake (London: New Beacon Books, 2007, paper .99), mixes genres, times, and places in a murky exploration of the meaning of slavery and freedom, past and present, in the Caribbean at once intriguing and rather hard going. The Long Song ( New Y ork: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010, cloth US$ 26.00), Andrea Levys fifth novel, is a tale of slavery, resistance, and love set during the B aptist War in Jamaica and told with her char acteristic wit and insight. Velma Pollards Considering Woman I & II (Leeds, U.K.: Peepal T ree Press, 2010, paper .99), combines short stories about Jamaica, originally published in 1989, with a more recent set, engagingly chronicling island life, from the persistent sexual predation of older men upon young and often innocent girls to the vagaries of international travel in the Caribbean. Jan Lowe Shinebournes Chinese Women (Leeds, U.K.: Peepal T ree Press, 2010, paper .99) is narrated by a Guyanese East Indian Muslim man, reflecting on his early life in what he sees as a hyper-racist plantation society (the strongest part of the book) and his later attempts to hold the pieces of his now prosperous expatriate life (including his unrequite d love for a Chinese woman) together. Ruins (New Y ork: Akashic Books, 2009, paper US$ 15.95), by Achy Obejas, is set in 1994 Havana, as a middleaged man named Usnavy struggles with loyalty to the fading Revolution and to his family, while neighbors build rafts for their escape.
87 REVIEW ARTI CL ES Myriam J. A. Chancys The Loneliness of Angels (Leeds, U.K.: Peepal T ree Press, 2010, paper US$ 22.95) is a gripping second novel by this HaitianCanadian author, exploring spirituality and memory in Ptionville and Portau-Prince, as well as in the diaspora in Montreal, Miami, and Paris, with the everyday horrors of Duvalierism transmogrified through dreams, Vaudou, and escape, as an extended family comes alive in this nonlinear narrative that con tinues to grow on the reader. Aunt Rsia and the Spirits and Other Stories (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010, cloth US$ 55.00) brings Haitian modernist Y anick Lahenss first short story collection, lauded here by Edwige Danticat in a Foreword and Marie-Agns Sourieau in an Afterword, and which was published in French in 1994, to an Anglophone audience. Lahiny Pierres General Authority (T okyo: Blue Ocean Press, 2010, paper US$ 16.95), written in wobbly E nglish, appears to be a first novel by a Haitian woman living in the U nited S tates, and deals with political violence, migration, and other familiar Haitian realities. I n En attendant la monte des eaux (Paris: Editions Jean-Claude Latts, 2010, paper 19.00), Maryse Cond marshals her storytelling art to spin a tale that weaves between some of her favorite place s Mali, where the main character is born, Guadeloupe, where he lives, and Haiti, his adopted daughters homeland. Drive: Lerrance ensorcele (Paris: HC Editions, 2009, paper 14.50), edited by anthropologist Gerry LEtang, presents more than a dozen brief fictions (some in French, some in Creole) by as many authors, all concerning that peculiar Martiniquan malady, la drive, which haunts local crackheads, alcoholics, and people suffering from a variety of social/family ills. Candace Ward and T im Watson have produced a definitive critical edition of Cynric R. Williamss 1827 Jamaican novel Hamel, the Obeah Man (Peterborough, Canada: Broadview Editions, 2010, paper US$ 21.95), with a brief foreword by Kamau B rathwaite. Finally, Peepal T ree Press (Leeds, U.K.) has started publishing an outstanding series called Caribbean Modern Classics fiction from the 1950s and 1960s. Weve received Andrew Salkeys Escape to an Autumn Pavement (2009, paper .99), originally published in 1960 a strong novel about a Jamaican making his way in 1950s London as he questions his sexual orientation. Other authors (some with multiple titles) in this very welcome series include: Austin Clarke, Jan Carew, O. R Dathorne, Neville Dawes, Wilson Harris, Marion Patrick Jones, Earl Lovelace, Edgar Mittelholzer, Denis Williams, Roger Mais, Elma Napier, Orlando Patterson, V. S. R eid, and Garth St. Omer. T urning to poetry, two from the masters. White Egrets: Poems (New Y ork: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010, cloth US$ 24.00) is Derek Walcotts fourteenth collection, published in his eightieth year. Soaring pentameter s, elegia c reflections on growing old, and the physicality of St. Lucia are everpresent, with bannered breakers rolling in toward ochre and shadowplunged valleys, fishing villages, flocks of impeccable egrets (which become the bleached regrets of an old mans memoirs) its all here. There
New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011) 88are long moments traveling in Spain and Italy, many goodbyes to friends, explicit disappointment at his own long-practiced skills in painting, and reflections quietly on how soon I will be going, along with the wish to paint and write well in what could be my last year. If its not Omeros, its still a wondrous thing. As Walcott insists here: T he perpetual ideal is aston ishment. Meanwhile, Kamau Brathwaite unveils Elegguas [spelled with a snake spiraling up between the two gs] (Middletown CT : Wesleyan University Press, 2010, cloth US$ 22.95), a series of elegiac offerings to the dead (Those who i hold most dear / are nvr dead ... / mixed with my sand and mortar / they walk in me with the world), including love letters to his wife Zea Mexican (And you my love? Can you see me? / Hear me? Are you close by? ... What is it like & / how is it w/you across the water/or is / there nothing nothing nothing at all / as I think you xpected as I think yu / sometimes say tho I not too too sure / about that), a poem for Walter R odney (to be blown into fragments, your flesh / like the islands that you love / like the seawall that you wish to heal), and much more, all in his inimitable tidelectic nation language printed in SycoraX Video Style font. Deeply affecting poems. Running the Dusk, by Christian Campbell (Leeds, U.K.: Peepal T ree Press, 2010, paper .99) is an ambitious and wide-ranging dbut collec tion moving among the Bahamas, T rinidad, London, and North America and from dancehall to Csaire and beyond erudite, folksy, and astonishing. Far District: Poems (Leeds, U.K.: Peepal T ree Press, 2010, paper .99) is Ishion Hutchinsons debut collection of memorable poems whose Jamaican experience engages Walcott and the classics, in a voice firmly grounded both locally and in far-off lands. A Leaf in his Ear: Collected Poems (Leeds, U.K.: Peepal T ree Press, 2010, paper US$ 22.95), presents generous selections of poems both unpublished and from the previous three collections of the late Mahadai Das. I ts direct and often beautiful poems trace the life of this ruralborn Indo-Guyanese, from her early nationalist fervor, her disillusionment with Burnham-era politics, and her enduring love of the Guyanese landscape, including the fabled interior of the country. London-born Guyanese novelist and poet Fred DAguiar offers a new collection of poems, Continental Shelf ( Manchester, U.K.: Carcanet, 2009, paper 9.95), which ranges from evoca tions of his childhood in D emerara to elegies for the thirty-three people killed at Virginia T ech, where he now teaches. Christine Craigs collection, Poems: All Things Bright & Quadrille for Tigers (Leeds, U.K.: Peepal T ree Press, 2010, paper .99), combines new work (the first part of the title) that evinces what she calls a Caribbean metaphysical poetics with her first volume of poetry (the Quadrille ) originally published in 1984 together, they constitute literary, thoughtful reflections about the Jamaica of her childhood from the perspective of Fort Lauderdale, where she now lives. In Looking Out, Looking In: New and Selected Poems
89 REVIEW ARTI CL ES (London: Anvil Press Poetry, 2010, paper .95), Montserratian man-ofletters E.A. Markham presents the rich and rewarding selection from his published collections and unpublished poems that he made shortly before his death in Paris in 2008. Gully (Leeds, U.K.: Peepal T ree Press, 2010, paper .99), by T rinidadian-born New Y orker Roger Bonair-Agard, is largely cricket-inflected poetry strong, masculine, and with a sense of humor best cherished (as Kwame Dawes, who wrote the introduction, argues) by those who grew up in the islands during the 1970s-1980s world dominance of the sport by the West Indies team. In Corazn de Pelicno: Antologa potica de Lasana M. Sekou / Pelican Heart: An Anthology of Poems by Lasana M. Sekou (Philipsburg, St. Martin: House of Nehesi, 2010, paper US$ 20.00), Cuban literary critic Emilio Jorge Rodrguez selects and annotates a representative selection from ten of Sekous published collections between 1978 and the present, with the anthology divided in two, first Spanish, then English, and weighing in at 420 pages. The Whole Island: Six Decades of Cuban Poetry (A Bilingual Anthology) (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009, paper US$ 29.95), edited by Mark Weiss and printed in en face Spanish and English, is simply the finest collection ever published of the poetry of Cuba in the modern period some fifty-five poets (from Nicols Guilln, born 1902, to Javier Marimn, born 1975). Beyond Borders: Cross-Culturalism and the Caribbean Canon (Kingston: University of the West Indies Press, 2009, paper US$ 35.00), edited by Jennifer Rahim & Barbara Lalla, includes essays that originated at a 2004 cultural studies conference at UWI St. Augustine and features contributions by various Caribbean luminaries, including a rewarding essay on language and the politics of ethnicity by George Lamming. T wo on Caribbean art, broadly conceived. Anne Walmsley and Stanley Greaves introduce their edited book, Art in the Caribbean: An Introduction (London: New Beacon Books, 2010, paper .00), as a virtual art gallery, enabling a selection of artworks made in the region to be widely seen and studied (p. vii). I n fact, its much more. One artwork by each of forty artists (weighted toward the Anglophone Caribbean, but also including Dutch, French, and Hispanic representation) is reproduced in color, with helpful commentary on both the work and the artist on a facing page. This richly contextualized gallery is followed by Historical Background, 85 densely packed pages covering 1500 through 2009, organized chronologically and by region (particular islands, Dutch Caribbean, etc.). In short, an excel lent introduction to Caribbean art by two veteran participants in the regions cultural life. Imaging the Caribbean: Culture and Visual Translation, by Patricia Mohammed (Oxford, U.K.: Macmillan Caribbean, 2009, paper .75), heavily illustrated, is a laudable but overambitious attempt to analyze Caribbean iconography created both within and beyond the region, over a 500-year period. Its selectivity and omissions suggest how much authorial
New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011) 90and editorial effort a more complete such project would entail. And accu racy would help. For example, the famous engraving made by William Blake after a watercolor by John Gabriel Stedman (one of the rare non-insular images in the text), which was originally published as A Surinam Planter in his Morning Dress, is here captioned Illustration from John Steadman, Narrative ... Unknown artist, pen and ink drawing. Antonio Martorell has once again shared his explosive creativity, this time taking off from El Velorio ( The Wake ), the best known painting of the famous nineteenth-century Puerto Rican Realist artist, Francisco Oller y Cestero. In El Velorio/Martorells Wake (2010, spiral-bound, with a CD included, US$ 59.95, mischievously listed as published by Ediciones R.I.P and available from email@example.com), we see (on versos) the paintin g over and over in color, black-and-white, faded, darkened, lightene d, inverte d, upended, scrawled over, washed out, crumpled up, invaded by other images, reduced to a series of hats, and cropped down to any number of details. Each incarnation inspires a text (both Spanish and English, on rectos) from Martorells boundless imagination and inventive intellect. The voices behind these first-person narratives vary from the painting itself (who addresses the author) and various objects depicted therein, to the canvas, the title, the museu m guard, particular colors, and even the dead child whose wake is being celebrated offering a sancocho of ruminations on Puerto R ican history, tradition, art criticism, reality, illusion, cuisine, arrogance, fame, religion, race, class, sex, hypocrisy, music, life, death, ... need we go on? Fern Hunting among These Picturesque Mountains: Frederic Edwin Church in Jamaica (The Olana Collection), by Elizabeth Mankin Kornhauser & Katherine E. Manthorne (Ithaca NY : Cornell University Press, 2010, cloth US$ 24.95), is the beautiful catalogue for an exhibition at Olana, the great Hudson R iver School painters home, exhibiting both his remarkable paintings (many of the Blue Mountains) based on an 1865 visit and his wifes collection of dried and pressed Jamaican ferns. Urban Vodou: Politics and Popular Street Art in Haiti photos by Pablo B utcher, text by Carl-Hermann Middelanis (Oxford, U.K.: Signal Books, 2010, paper US$ 22.95), features striking image s, mainly from Port-au-Prince during the 1980s and 1990s, of political wall murals a remarkable tour through the popular Haitian political imagination. Kanaval: Vodou, Politics and Revolution on the Streets of Haiti (London: Soul Jazz Publishing, 2010, paper US$ 39.99) features extraordinary art photography and oral histories by Leah Gordon, and brief essays by Madison Smartt Bell, Don Cosentino, Richard Fleming, Kathy Smith, and Myron B easley. Its a disturbing, beautiful, intellectually and emotionally fascinating look at car nival in Jacmel, and a book that Caribbeanists will want to know. The Reggae Scrapbook (San Rafael CA: Insight Editions, 2007, cloth US$ 45.00), with text by Roger Steffens and photos by Peter Simon, is a delight from first to last stunning images, interviews with the greats, highly imaginative page
91 REVIEW ARTI CL ES design featuring postcards and party invitations you can remove from their envelopes, a C D, and other memorabilia documenting the whole history of this remarkable cultural phenomenon. Martinique Ltd: Photographies prsentes Kryol factory du 7 avril au 5 juillet 2009. Une exposition dart contemporain sur la diversit des mondes croles au coeur de la Grande Hall, Parc de la Villette (Gros Morne, Martinique: T race ditions, 2009, paper 20.00) is a striking collection of images by Martiniques premier photographer, Jean-Luc de Laguarigue. In the words of preface writer Guillaume Pigeard de Gurbert, the project was intended to photograph in their very invisibility the global forces which are destroying Martinique. Haunting, memorable, and disturbing, it is a resounding success. Rock Art of the Caribbean (T uscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2009, paper US$ 30.95), edited by Michele Hayward, Lesley-Gail Atkinson & Michael Cinquino, includes surveys by diverse scholars on the phenomenon in Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and the U.S Virgin Islands, as well as useful bibliography and an overview of the field. A number of Suriname books deserve mention. In Alles voor de vrede: De brieven van Boston Band tussen 1757 en 1763 (Amsterdam: NINsee/Amrit, 2009, paper 15.00), Frank Dragtenstein analyzes the extraordinary life of the man whom present-day Ndyukas call Adyko Benti Basiton, who was (possibly) born in Africa, served as a slave in Jamaica where he became literate in English, was brought to Suriname in about 1749, marooned to the Ndyukas, served between 1757 and 1763 as Ndyuka scribe and leader during the events surrounding the 1760 Ndyuka treaty-signing with the Dutch, and died in 1766. The book is weakened by its inexplicable refusal to engage non-written traces of the past as Michiel van Kempen pointed out in his own review (in Siboga 20, 2010:40-42), Dragtenstein engages neither Andr Pakosies work on the period nor Alabis World, which covers the same period and some of the exact same events. In appendices, the book presents contemporary Dutch translations of Bostons eighteen known letters (none of the original English letters have survived). There is some irony that in a work purporting to show the perspective of the victims of Suriname slavery, in this case a recent maroon the analysis is based solely on archival data. Given the methodological significance of developments in Suriname Maroon historiography for the study of Atlantic slavery over the past few decades, this books exclusive attention to colonial documents seems a wasted opportunity. The newest large-format glossy from members of the Libi Na Wan cooperative (based in Kourou, French Guiana) is Karol B arthelemys Den taki foe a Tembe: Les paroles du tembe (Garis, France: ditions Roger Le Guen, 2009, paper 29). Like other L NW publications, it has stunning photographic repro ductions of scenery and art objects, but a text that opts largely for popular myths rather than serious scholarship. It begins by proposing that maroon art began in the seventeenth century as a system of symbols designed to show
New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011) 92runaway slaves the paths through the forest to safety (p. 21). Artists names are sometimes indicated and sometimes ignored (even when readily accessible, for example, in museum documentation); vine-grown gourds are identified as tree-grown calabashes (see NWIG 56:69-82 for clarification of this misunder standing); and the reading of motifs as communicative devices continues the L NW tradition of presenting Maroon art as a symbolic language. Schaafijs & wilde bussen: Straatkunst in Suriname by T ammo Schuringa, Paul Faber & Chandra van Binnendijk (Amsterdam: KIT Publishers, 2010, paper 19.50) presents wonderful color images and intelligent text about Surinames lively street art wall painting but also, and particularly, the pictures painted on the ubiquitous shaved-ice carts and on mini-buses. Special attention is paid to certain areas: rear mudguards and the flip-lids that hide buses fuel tanks. The book coincides with a 2010 exhibition in the Centrum voor Beeldende Kunst in Amsterdam Zuid-Oost. Paramaribo Span: Contemporary Art in Suriname (Amsterdam: KIT Publishers, 2010, paper 25.00), edited by Thomas Meijer zu Schlochtern & Christopher Cozier, is a wide-ranging, illustrated compilation, with varied art and cultural criticism by a number of authors, offering a good sense of the vibrant cultural scene. I t doesnt shy away from controversy, e.g. in the debate about culture houses (museums run by Maroons or Indigenous peoples), and is somewhat relaxed about ethnographic/historical details (e.g., it claims that Afaka [was] once the language of the Ndyuka Maroons, rather than being a literally dreamed-up syllabic script dating from 1908 that was learned by two or three dozen Ndyukas and more recently resuscitated by the talented Ndyuka artist Marcel Pinas). T he book is available in Dutch and Portuguese editions from the same publisher. Paramaribo in Pictures, by T oon Fey with photos by Hijn Bijnen, Hedwig Plu de la Fuente & others (Paramaribo: V ACO, 2010, cloth 16.00 [outside Suriname, 19.90]) is 16 x 16cm, with seven pages of English/Dutch text followed by more than 250 single-page, unidentified color images of the city people, buildings, festivals, and street scenes. I ts audience or purpose remains a mystery to us. Kijkkasten uit Suriname: De dioramas van Gerrit Schouten, by Clazien Medendorp (Amsterdam: KIT Publishers, 2008, paper 19.50) is a detailed, color-illustrated presentation of the twenty-seven dioramas made by Surinames most important artist of the nineteenth century depicting Paramaribo, sugar plantations, slave dances, Amerindian life, and more in the first three decades of the century, and comes complete with a set of 3-D glasses. The 98-page De Marronvrouw in de stad: Een historische analyse van de gevolgen van de urbanisatie voor de Marronvrouwen in Suriname, by Martina Amoksi (Amsterdam: NINsee/Amrit, 2009, paper 15.00), is a pioneer publication by a Ndyuka Maroon woman and seems to be a revised masters thesis from the Anton de Kom University. On its cover it claims to be the first systematic research centered on the Maroon woman but how
93 REVIEW ARTI CL ES about Co-Wives and Calabashes (1984, second edition 1993)? Well-meaning but in every sense thin, the book summarizes Maroon history from the beginning, before discussing urbanization since the mid-twentieth century. Kind aan de ketting: Opgroeien in slavernij toen en nu, edited by Aspha Bijnaar (Amsterdam: KIT Publishers, 2010, paper 26.50) complements an exhibition at NINsee in Amsterdam designed to show the prominence of children in slavery. Chapters by well-known scholars, such as Alex van Stipriaan and Wim R utgers, cover Suriname and Netherlands Antilles slavery, with shorter sections on Dutch painting and current child slavery in the world. A serious, nicely illustrated work. Rosemarijn Hoefte has kindly offered information on several Dutch publications that wont otherwise be reviewed in NWIG. Atlantisch avontuur: De Lage Landen, Frankrijk en de expansie naar het westen, 15001800 (Zutphen, the Netherlands: Walburg Pers, 2010, cloth 39.50) is a lavishly illustrated volume on French-Dutch connections in the Atlantic world; edited by historians Piet Emmer, Henk den Heijer & Louis Sicking, it is intended for non-academic readers. Another beautifully produced book is Dromers, doemdenkers en doorzetters: Verhalen van mensen en gebouwen in Coronie, by Fineke van der Veen, Dick ter Steege & Chandra van Binnendijk (Amsterdam: KIT Publishers, 2010, cloth 24.50), devoted to people and buildings in the lesser-known Suriname district of Coronie; the second section on plantations, architecture and housing, often with obvious influences from the British Caribbean, will be of interest to Caribbeanists in general. I n the seven essays that constitute Oorlogserfgoed overzee: De erfe nis van de Tweede Wereldoorlog in Aruba, Curaao, Indonesi en Suriname (Amsterdam: Bert Bakker, 2010, paper 24.95) Esther Captain & Guno Jones explore the heritage of World War II, in the form of monuments or remembrances, in the former Dutch colonies. Paramaribo brasa!, compiled by Ko van Geemert ( Amsterdam: B as Lubberhuizen, 2010, paper 22.50) is an entertaining literary walk through Paramaribo that also includes articles by Michiel van Kempen on Suriname literature, Els Moor on the December murders of 1982 as depicted in Surinamese prose, theatre, and poetry, and Patrick Meershoek on his visit with poet Michael Slory. Migratie en cultureel erfgoed: Verhalen van Javanen in Suriname, Indonesi en Nederland (Migration and Cultural Heritage: Stories of Javanese in Suriname, Indonesia and the Netherlands Migrasi dan Warisan Budaya: Ceritacerita orang Jawa di Suriname, Indonesia dan di negeri Belanda), edited by Lisa Djasmadi, Rosemarijn Hoefte & Haritte Mingoen (Leiden, the Netherlands: KITLV Press, 2010, cloth 19.95) presents twelve life stories told by Surinamese Javanese from I ndonesia, Suriname, and the Netherlands linking processes of migration, memories, and the formation of cultural heri tage, and includes summaries in B ahasa I ndonesia and E nglish.
New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011) 94In Edward Seaga and the Challenges of Modern Jamaica (Kingston: University of the West Indies Press, 2009, cloth US$ 50.00), based on archives and a slew of interviews, Patrick E. Bryan offers a scholarly, balanced, and engaging political biography of this JLP stalwart who led the nation as prime minister for the whole of the 1980s. Versos e cacetes: O jogo do pau na cultura afre-fluminense (Verses and Cudgels: Stick Playing in the Afro-Brazilian Culture of the Paraiba Valley [Rio de Janeiro, Brazil]), written and directed by Matthias Rhrig Assunao & Hebe Mattos, is a captivating DVD in Portuguese with English subtitles, featuring interviews and demonstrations of this rural martial art with a num ber of charming older men talking about (and doing) something they love; it begs comparison not only with its better-known cousin, capoeiera, but with stick fighting traditions throughout the Caribbean. Les traites et les esclavages: Perspectives historiques et contemporaines, edited by Myriam Cottias, Elisabeth Cunin & Antnio Almeida Mendes (Paris: Karthala, 2010, paper 32.00) is the first in a new series of Karthala books entitled Esclavages, under the direction of Myriam Cottias. T wo dozen brief chapters highlight recent Francophone research in this domain and its embeddedness in contemporary French politics. Historically underde veloped compared to studies in other countries that were marked by slavery and the slave trade, French research is now in a period of growth, and this volume, based on a conference attended by 300 people in 2006, is probably the best single starting point for readers to get a sense of these developments. T he introduction as well as many chapters of the book make it clear that, for this new generation of French scholars, current politics (particularly government policies about immigration and national identity) are closely tied to broadening the populations understandings of the Atlantic slave trade and its legacies. Three recent books about the Caribbean experience in England. Building Britannia: Life Experience with Britain, edited by Roxy Harris & S arah White (London: New B eacon B ooks and the George Padmore I nstitute, 2009, paper .99) emerged from a series of talks at the George Padmore Institute in 1999 by West I ndians who belonged to what John La R ose called the Heroic Generation people who migrated from the West I ndies from the end of the 1940s into the 1960s and established new lives in B ritain. I n Faith for a Glad Fool: The Church of Englands First Black Bishop Speaks on Racial Justice, Christian Faith, Love and Sacrifice (London: New Beacon Book, 2010, paper .99), Wilfred Wood gathers reminiscences of growing up in Barbados, participation in the civil rights movement, numerous sermons, and reflections on Barack Obamas election. Home Again: Stories of Migration and Return (London, U.K. and Roseau, Dominica: Papillote Press, 2009, paper .99), compiled by Celia Sorhaindo & Polly Pattullo, brings together twenty-two oral histories of Dominicans who migrated the great majority to the United Kingdom but others to the United States or other Caribbean islands and
95 REVIEW ARTI CL ES then returned, reflecting with frankness and insight on both their experiences abroad and the difficulties of readjusting after years away from home. An excellent work of literary criticism that somehow slipped through the cracks of our review process, T im Watsons Caribbean Culture and British Fiction in the Atlantic World, 1780-1870 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008, cloth US$ 90.00) is scheduled for paperback publication in early 2011. Another important work that slipped through the cracks: Reproducing Inequities: Poverty and the Politics of Population in Haiti (New Brunswick NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2006, paper US$ 26.95), by M. Catherine Maternowska, which adopts a political economy of fertility perspective to analyze the failure of family planning initiatives in Cit Soleil. HIV-AIDS and Social Work Practice in the Caribbean: Theory, Issues and Innovation (Kingston: Ian Randle Publishers, 2009, paper US$ 25.00, edited by Adele D. Jones, Jacqueline Padmore & Priya E. Maharaj, presents brief essays that, taken together, argue for the importance of social work alongside medical practice in dealing with HIV-AIDS in T rinidad and T obago. In her sensible and theoretically informed work, Caribbean Childhoods: Outside, Adopted or Left Behind: Good Enough Parenting and Moral Families (Kingston: Ian Randle Publishers, 2010, paper US$ 19.95), Christine Barrow explores childhood in B arbados largely through retrospective oral narratives. Recent Themes in the History of Africa and the Atlantic World: Historians in Conversation (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2008, paper US$ 18.95), edited by Donald A. Y erxa, brings together a series of provocative essays previously published in the journal Historically Speaking and is intended for use in undergraduate courses. Myths and Realities of Caribbean History, by Basil A. Reid (T uscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2009, paper US$ 19.95) is an archaeologically informed debunking of commonly held ideas about the peoples who inhabited the Caribbean before the arrival of Columbus lively and stimulating. If youve ever been a baseball fan as well as a Caribbeanist, Mark Kurlanskys The Eastern Stars: How Baseball Changed the Dominican Town of San Pedro de Macors (New Y ork: Riverhead Books, 2010, cloth US$ 25.95) should please and inform. Deftly combining the history of San Pedro (and the D.R.) and its immigrant caneworkers from the Anglophone West Indies, it shows how sugar production and baseball have been intertwined for more than a century. E conomics, international relations, and local history are melded into a story that spans U.S. interventions into the D.R., labor migrations across the whole of the Caribbean, the business of sports, American racism, and more. A good read. The Quality of Home Runs: The Passion, Politics, and Language of Cuban Baseball (Durham NC: Duke University Press, 2008, paper US$ 22.95), by Thomas F Carter, is a less journalistic, more scholarly ethnographic exploration of the interconnections between baseball and identity in Cuba.
New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011) 96Three more on Cuba. The Long Night of Dark Intent: A Half Century of Cuban Communism ( New B runswick NJ: T ransaction Publishers, 2008, cloth US$ 49.95) gathers together a generous selection of a half century of Irving Louis Horowitzs essays, articles, and speeches about Cuba and Castro. Our reviewer for Cuba in Revolution: A History Since the Fifties, by A ntoni Kapcia that he couldnt complete his task, telling us that, in his view, the work was not up to the standards of the authors previous writings and that there are several well-known books that do a better job of covering the period. In Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security in an Era of Oil Scarcity: Lessons from Cuba (Sterling V A: Earthscan, 2009, cloth US$ 117.00), agriculture and development expert Julia Wright analyzes the lessons that industrialized countries might glean from Cubas experience during the 1990s. We next mention several books that include some coverage of Caribbean subjects: Romance, Diaspora, and Black Atlantic Literature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010, cloth US$ 85.00), by Y ogita Goyal, ranges widely over U.S. and African literatures, with a final chapter on Caryl Phillips. The Politics of Sexuality in Latin America: A Reader on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights, edited by Javier Corrales & Mario Pecheny (Pittsburg: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010, paper US$ 29.95) includes several short pieces on Cuba and Puerto Rico. Extending the Diaspora: New Histories of Black People (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2009, paper US$ 30.00), edited by Dawne Y Curry, E ric D. Duke & Marshanda A. Smith, includes two chapters relating to Haiti and one on the eighteenth-century British Caribbean. The Afro-Latin@ Reader: History and Culture in the United States (Durham NC: Duke University Press, 2010, paper US$ 29.95), edited by Miriam Jimnez Romn & Juan Flores, presents a selection of excerpts from major writings about Afro-Latinos from Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic in the United States. Womens Activism in Latin America and the Caribbean: Engendering Social Justice, Democratizing Citizenship (New Brunswick NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2010, paper US$ 29.95), edited by Elizabeth Maier & Nathalie Lebon, includes studies on Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti as well as essays that generalize about the broader region. And Magical Sites: Women Travelers in 19th century Latin America (Fredonia NY : White Pine Press, 2010, paper US$ 17.00), edited by Marjorie Agosn & Julie H. Levison, includes two brief chapters depicting mid-century voyages through Cuba and Jamaica, respectively. We next list some titles that we have decided not to have reviewed in the journal but which deserve mention for informational purposes. Global Circuits of Blackness: Interrogating the African Diaspora, edited by Jean Muteba Rahier, Percy C. Hintzen & Felipe Smith (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2010, paper US$ 30.00); Color Struck: Essays on Race and Ethnicity in Global Perspective edited by Julius O. Adekunle & Hettie V.
97 REVIEW ARTI CL ES Williams (Lanham MD : University Press of America, 2010, paper US$ 59.95); The Changing Face of Afro-Caribbean Cultural Identity: Negrismo and Ngritude, by Mamadou Badiane (Lanham MD: Lexington Books, 2010, cloth US$ 65.00); Activating the Past: History and Memory in the Black Atlantic World, edited by A ndrew A pter & Lauren D erby (N ewcastle, U.K.: Cambridge Scholars, 2010, cloth US$ 74.99); Gender, Mastery and Slavery: From European to Atlantic World Frontiers, by William Henry Foster (Basingstoke, U.K.: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010, paper US$ 28.95); A History of Money and Banking in Barbados, 1627-1973, by Eric Armstrong (Kingston: University of West I ndies Press, 2010, paper US$ 25.00); and On the Treatment and Management of the More Common West-India Diseases, 1750-1802, edited by J. Edward Hutson (Kingston: University Of West I ndies Press, 2010, paper US$ 20.00). We welcome the second edition of Seymour Dreschers 1977 revisionist classic, Econocide: British Slavery in the Era of Abolition (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010, paper US$ 24.95), with a new preface by the author and a new foreword by David Brion Davis. Amy Wilentz has added an evocative post-earthquake introduction to the new edition of her 1989 journalistic classic The Rainy Season now retitled The Rainy Season: Haiti Then and Now (New Y ork: Simon & Schuster, 2010, paper US$ 16.00). The textbook Understanding the Contemporary Caribbean (Boulder CO: Lynne R ienner Publishers, 2009, paper US$ 26.50), edited by R ichard S. Hillman & Thomas J. DAgostino, has also been published in a second edition. Another textbook appears for the first time: Philip W. Schers edited Perspective on the Caribbean: A Reader in Culture, History, and Representation ( Oxford, U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010, paper, US$ 39.95), which brings together already published articles by (mostly) well-known Caribbeanists. And we end with a list of books that will (probably) not be reviewed in NWIG, not because of their lack of interest but because of potential reviewers silences (lack of response, despite prodding), alluded to in our first paragraph. We tend to give up out of weariness, after trying several reviewers for a book. (If there are interested reviewers out there for any of these titles, please do not hesitate to email us!) T his years list includes (alphabetized by author): Sugar: A Bittersweet History, by Elizabeth Abbot (New Y ork: Overlook Press, 2010, cloth US$ 29.95); Island Enclaves: Offshoring Strategies, Creative Governance, and Subnational Island Jurisdictions, by Godfrey Baldacchino (Montreal, Canada: McGill-Queens University Press, 2010, paper US$ 32.95); Christian Ritual and the Creation of British Slave Societies, 16501780, by Nicholas Beasley (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2009, cloth US$ 44.95); Policing the Caribbean: Transnational Security Cooperation in Practice, by Ben Bowling (Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 2010, cloth US$ 120.00); Matanzas: The Cuba Nobody Knows, by Miguel A. B retos (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2010, cloth US$ 27.50); The Cuba
New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011) 98Wars: Fidel Castro, The United States, and The Next Revolution, by Daniel P. Erikson (New Y ork: Bloomsbury Press, 2009, paper US$ 18.00); In a New Land: A Comparative View of Immigration, by Nancy Foner (New Y ork: N ew Y ork University Press, 2008, paper US$ 22.00); Sugar and Power in the Caribbean: The South Porto Rico Sugar Company in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic 1900-1921, by Umberto Garca Muiz (San Juan: La Editorial, Universidad de Puerto Rico and Kingston: Ian Randle, 2010, paper n.p.); Afro-Caribbean Music, by Katherine J. Hagedorn (London: Routledge, 2010, paper US$ 44.95); Health, Politics, and Revolution in Cuba since 1898 by Katherine Hirchfeld (New Brunswick NJ: T ransaction Publishers, 2009, paper US$ 29.95); Soon Come: Jamaican Spirituality, Jamaican Poetics, by Hugh Hodges (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 2008, cloth US$ 59.50); Democratic Insecurities: Violence, Trauma, and Intervention in Haiti, by Erica Caple James (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010, paper US$ 24.95); The Struggles of John Brown Russwurm: The Life and Writings of a Pan-Africanist Pioneer, 1799, by Winston James (Kingston: University of the West Indies Press, 2010, paper US$ 30.00); Social Relations and the Cuban Health Miracle, by Elizabeth Kath (Piscataway NJ: T ransaction Publishers, 2010, cloth US$ 49.95); Talking Taino: Essays on Caribbean Natural History from a Native Perspective, by William F Keegan & Lisabeth A. Carlson (T uscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008, paper US$ 29.95); Atlantic Creoles in the Age of Revolutions, by Jane G. Landers (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 2010, cloth US$ 29.95); West Indian Immigrants: A Black Success Story?, by Suzanne Model (New Y ork: Russell Sage Foundation, 2008, cloth US$ 35.00); The Politics of Acknowledgement: Truth Commissions in Uganda and Haiti, by Joanna R. Quinn (Vancouver, Canada: University of British Columbia Press, 2010, cloth US$ 94.00); Hidden Powers of State in the Cuban Imagination, by Kenneth Routon (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2010, cloth US$ 69.95); Les Noirs Cuba au dbut du XXe sicle 1898-1933: Marginalisation et lutte pour lgalit, by Marc Sefil (Paris: LHarmattan, 2010, paper 27.00 ); and Making Caribbean Dance: Continuity and Creativity in Island Cultures, edited by Susanna Sloat ( Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2010, cloth US$ 34.95). RI C HARD PRI C E & SA LL Y PRI C E Anse Chaudire 97217 Anses d Arlet Martinique
BB OO k K RE vV IE wW S Globalization and the Post-Creole Imagination: Notes on Fleeing the Plantation MIcCHAElLINE A A. CRIcCHlLOW with PATRIcCIA N NORTHOVER DD urham N N C: D D uke U U niversity Press, 2009. xvi + 305 pp. (Paper US US $ 23.95) RRAQUEl L R ROm M BERG DD epartment of AA nthropology TT e mple UU niversity Philadelphia P AA 19122, UU SS AA
100 New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011)globalization forces. How else are we to understand the statement, global ization refurbished and undermined creolization projects (p. 201)? Among the many conceptual frameworks proposed in this book, I find those related to spatial metaphors and performative contexts of power to be the most convincing and empirically supported. Fleeing the plantation seeks to capture a sense of an ongoing journey, or crossing, that one sought to make in the pursuit and homing of modern freedoms (p. xiv). Through the paradoxes of rooting and routing, staying and fleeing, remembering and forgetting, Crichlow seeks to illuminate the multivalent nature of creolization process itself (p. xiv) and to promote novel and distinct ways of generating a per spective on the imagination of Caribbeans and those in the world who, like Caribbeans, find themselves grappling with modern powers projects (pp. xiv, xv). Such spatial metaphors and performative contexts are used to examine the spatial politics of mapping the present, and liminal acts of re-making selves and places through processes of fleeing and homing. Some of the other conceptual frameworks emphasized in the book are relational poetics; the decentering of culture, nationalism, the global, the local, and modern governmentality; masking and masquerade; critical mimesis; the politics of the cross; and liminality. I n effect, these are used in addressing forms of creoliza tion that challenge, play with, appropriate and subvert the older localized cre ole givens, by detour, evasion, mimicry, by subverting the cultural forms from below, by appropriation, translation, and expropriation (p. 213). Chapters 1 and 2 address theoretical and methodological issues, focusing on creolization processes beyond the plantation and the dynamic processes of making place and the creation of spaces for the expression of particular forms of agency. Chapter 3 discusses how economic, social, cultural, and political forms of resistance intertwine in ethnohistorical examples, such as St. Lucias sharecropping system, styles of dress and fashion, and flower festivals. T he performance of postcolonial Creole imaginations is the subject of Chapter 4, which explores the parodic performance of Lucians, an urban, middle-class youth group in St. Lucia that draws on parodic devices devel oped elsewhere in the A mericas to critique state postdevelopmental projects and elite knowledge. Chapter 5 centers on transnational forms of making place and examines the routes and experiences of a couple of rural Creole St. Lucians who first migrated to England and then returned to St. Lucia. Chapter 6 builds on a vignette about an informal horticulturalist and caretake r of a small green section of a PNP inner-city constituency to illustrate how individual cosmopolitan, chaotic, and fluid consumption practices provide individuals with a sense of personal sovereignty in making place. Although it raises questions both thought-provoking and challenging, there are aspects of Globalization and the Post-Creole Imagination (some more important than others) that make the reading confusing and the argument problematic. On the front and back jacket, Michaeline Crichlow appears
101 BOOK REVIEWS as the author, but Patricia Northover is listed on the title page and in the preface as a co-author. Concepts and dichotomies respectability/reputation; liminality, limboing (in reference to the idea of between and betwixt, and to limbo dancing); carnivalesque, masking and masquerade, critical mimesis are used descriptively, with no mention of their potentially problematic role as gate-keeping concepts in Caribbean studies (T rouillot 1992). I n addi tion, although differences within the Caribbean are mentioned, generalized statements based on empirical cases from St. Lucia are then made for the Caribbean as a whole. Similarly, readers may well wonder whose struggles, citizenship, and subjectivity lie behind expressions such as Creole nationstates struggle (p. 116), Creole citizenship (p. 131), and Creole subjects. Are they Cuban, Puerto Rican, T rinidadian, Jamaican, or St. Lucian? Shouldnt a new model of creolization take into consideration the historical specificities of creole and criollo, as well as creolization processes and the various theories that they informed ( Stewart 2007)? The book suffers from a writing style that is unnecessarily wordy and cumbersome, particularly in the overuse of neologisms and the breaking and hyphenating of whole words. Initially used by philosophers, literary critics, and artists in the last three or four decades as performatives, as criti cal moves of diffrance these writing tactics have ceased, in my view, to have a revelatory deconstructive effect. Rather than evoke or clarify, they act as smoke screens that end up obfuscating the important, timely questions posed by this book. I am afraid that these latter reservations might be seen as doing injustice to the scholarly and interdisciplinary scope of this project. As a social scientist, however, I expect the theoretical sophistication of an oeuvre to be matched by the analytical import of the evidence, and theoretical discussions to be grounded in empirical evidence. For readers who are less concerned with these shortcomings, Globalization and the Post-Creole Imagination may offer an exciting addition to the literature on creolization and the Caribbean. REFEREN C ESSTEWART, CHARLES (ed.), 2007. Creolization: History, Ethnography, Theory. Walnut Creek C A: Left Coast Press. TROUILLOT, MICHEL-ROLPH, 1992. The Caribbean Region: An Open Frontier in Anthropological T heory. Annual Review of Anthropology 21:19-42.
102 New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011)Afro-Caribbean Religions: An Introduction to their Historical, Cultural, and Sacred Traditions. NATHANIEL SAMUEL MURRELL. Philadelphia P A: T emple University Press, 2009. viii + 431 pp. (Paper US$ 39.95) JA M ES HOUK Department of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Our Lady of the Lake College B aton R ouge L A 70808, U. S. A.
103 BOOK REVIEWS forms. This becomes apparent in Murrells fascinating ethnographic reportage where he draws not only on his own extensive fieldwork in Jamaica, Haiti, T rinidad, and Grenada but also on virtually everything of note that has been written on African-derived religions in the New World (with a bibliography of approximately 400 references). This coherence, for example, is seen in the presence of prominent African gods, including E shu (Legba, E leggua, Exu, Elegba), Ogun (Ogou, Oggun), Oshun (Osun, Oschun), and Shango (Xango), in virtually the same form from Cuba to Haiti to T rinidad to B razil. On the other hand, however, Murrell is careful to point out the fact that these African-derived religions are creolized versions of their indigenous counterparts and necessarily and unavoidably so, given the often hostile and unaccommodating cultural contexts in which transplanted Africans found themselves in the New World. They are not African religions, per se. One never gets the impression that Murrell is making an argument, but his informed and data-based treatment of this sometimes contentious issue is nevertheless subtly effective. T he book consists of five parts. Part One covers the cultural history of the important African ethnic groups that were transported to the New World as slaves and the African religions they brought with them. Part T wo explores Vodou, perhaps the oldest Afro-Caribbean religion in the New World. Part Three focuses on the African-derived religions of Cuba with an emphasis on Santera. Part Four, which Murrell refers to as a special feature of this book, looks at Candombl and Umbanda in Brazil and the Orisha religion in T rinidad. And Part Five, the most extensive section of the book, examines the African influenced religious life of Jamaica including the Myal, Kumina, Poco, Convince, and R evival Zion religions. T here is also what I would refer to as bonus coverage in the book (a discussion of topics that are generally not included in works of this type) on Obeah as it is practiced throughout the Caribbean cultural area, Palo Monte (a Cuban religion that, while being creolized and African-derived, possesses no African/Catholic syncretism and traces its origins to central Africa the western Congo rather than West Africa as is the case for most of the prominent African-derived religions in the New World), R astafarianism, and topics of ethnomedical interest. Murrell should be commended for addressing the ignorance and discrimi nation that has been directed toward African-derived religious beliefs and practices in the New World. Noteworthy here is his discussion of the sinister heritage of Vodou in Haiti which includes his interesting comment that Voodoo dolls have their provenience in E urope, not Haiti. Murrells work will, I hope, establish once and for all the religious bona fides of these New World religions. They are not a hodge-podge of this and that thrown together haphazardly or simple cults that can be dismissed as having little cultural relevance. Indeed, they are unique religious expressions that deserve to stand on their own. He writes, These traditions have
104 New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011)their own cosmological reality and ethos that do not fit neatly into theologi cal Weltanschauung and preunderstandings whether Christian, Jewish, or Muslim (p. 322). Afro-Caribbean Religions is a welcome addition to the literature on African-derived religions in the New World and should prove to be an invaluable resource for anyone who has an interest in this area. Encyclopedic and scholarly, it will no doubt become the definitive source on Afro-Caribbean religions. Africas of the Americas: Beyond the Search for Origins in the Study of AfroAtlantic Religions STEPHAN PALMI (ed.). Leiden, the Netherlands: Brill, 2008. vi + 388 pp. (Cloth 85.00) AISHA KHAN Department of Anthropology New Y ork University New Y ork NY 10003, U. S.A.
105 BOOK REVIEWS (p. 4). In calling for reorienting the study of Africa in the Americas from a foregone conclusion (p. 32) to an on-going theoretical construction whose premises are transparent, the volume examines the diverse, sometimes contradictory ways that representations of Africa and Africanity are socially deployed (p. 14). Particularly apt is Palmis point that scholarly attention to the meaning of Africa and Africanity in diaspora has paled in comparison to examination of the category religion; i.e., Herskovitss African retentions do not question what constitutes an Africanism in the first place (p. 8). As the volume makes clear, Africa cannot be an independent variable in the deconstruction of African diasporic religions. T en chapters take up different aspects of this mission. Paul Christopher Johnson charts the diverse influences contributing to the identity of Garifuna (Black Caribs) as a diasporic people, in terms of three centuries of their inter pretation of religious practice and, more recently, racial identification in the United States. In contrast to other African diasporic religions, Garifuna religion represents both ethnic pride and a gateway to a global black identity (p. 72) rather than being a means of ethnic resistance to U.S. racialization. Arguing that Olaudah Equianos Narrative represents the journey he took to ultimately see himself as an African, James Sidbury analyzes the texts movement between first and third person, from ethnic to racial identity, from Igbo Israeli of the Old T estament to New T estament African Christian, and from freedom to slavery to a renewed and greater freedom rooted in reli gious awakening (p. 81). And he shows how Equianos view of himself as African rested in part on his interpretation of Christianity as a universal rather than E uropean religion. Reinaldo Roman continues this complication of the directionality and significance of knowledge by examining Cubas early twentieth-century Spiritist man-gods, Juan Manso and Hilario Mustelier. He asks why one was endorsed as a healer fit for the new century (p. 108) and the other vili fied and jailed. D isputing the idea inherent in the concept of syncretism that it is possible to treat African and E uropean as distinct entities, and proposing that explanations based on racism were only part of the answer, R oman turns to state forms of governmentality and prevailing ideologies about moder nity. T he dubiousness of distinctions is also taken up by Kristina Wirtz, who examines the divinatory practices of scholars and religious practitioners in their etymological search for African homelands in religious songs and ritual speech of Cuban Santera. T he co-productions of scholars, practitioners, and other observers in cre ating the set-pieces of research on Afro-Atlantic religions is the subject of several of the next chapters. Palmi examines abaku, a male secret society in Western Cuba. A creole institution before arriving in Cuba, abaku eventually became an African phenomenon, exemplifying a reversal of conventional thinking about directionality in the Afro-Atlantic space-time
106 New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011)continuum (p. 215). Comparing two contemporary priestesses, Maria and Preta, Brian Brazeal suggests that Africa has little to do with ritual efficacy and good faith among Afro-Brazilian religious practitioners. Rather, such concerns are endogenous, arising from ongoing negotiations between cli ent and adept. Stefania Capone demonstrates the foregrounding and significance of Africa in the transatlantic dialogue (p. 258) between Brazilian Africanists and French B razilianists, focusing on the work of R oger B astide. In another reversal of conventional thinking, Karen Richman shows that the Vodou we know today is not the authentic African religion of Haitian peasants but innovative ritual practices deriving from early twentieth-century social and economic transformations that flowed from city to countryside. Local elites (including Haitian ethnologists), foreign researchers, and local performers were creatively involved in mimetic interplay (p. 317). Africas ends with a return to language verbal and ritual imagery. Focusing on eres (African child spirits) in Brazilian Candombl, Elina Hartikainen investigates why eres are made recognizable to practitioners through derogatory Iberian and Brazilian racial stereotypes concerning African speech. She concludes that such representations can mediate different configurations of Africanness and communicate experiences of racial discrimination in Brazil that otherwise are without discursive recourse. J. Lorand Matory asks that we look in more nuanced fashion at images of enslavement in Afro-Atlantic religions, which employ slavery as a sacred metaphor of proper personhood, personal efficacy, and moral rectitude (p. 352) rather than simply mirroring North American views of slavery as dehu manization, the antithesis of freedom, and the negation of identity. In AfroAtlantic religions, he argues, slavery and freedom are interdependent metaphors reflecting semantic slipperiness (p. 378) and local sensibilities rather than being prefigured stations in a teleological trajectory proceeding from one place (or condition) to another. Best for those familiar with New World diaspora scholarship, Africas nonetheless should be on newcomers radar as well. Readers are pushed to think differently about some old, some honorable, but perhaps too comfortable epistemological presumptions.
107 BOOK REVIEWS Culture. JA C OB K OL U P ONA & TERRY REY (eds.). Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. 2008. xii + 609 pp. (Paper US$ 34.95) BRIAN BRAZEA L Department of Anthropology California State University, Chico Chico C A 95929, U. S.A.
108 New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011)vent that today they send missionaries to E urope and the United States, in an ironic inversion of colonial practice. Still other essays interrogate the notion of globalization and some of its continent and in the Caribbean. T hey ask what the global village might mean to people who actually live in villages. They inquire whether it is possible to subsume phenomena as diverse as Atlantic slave trade and the Marine invasion of Haiti under the single term globalization, or whether a new, historically specific vocabulary is required. Three papers describe the fascinating history and unique ritual practice of the neo-Y orb community in North Carolina, the ytnj village. One attempts to understand the history of ytnj in relation to that of Il If. Another traces the spiritual biography of its leader, Ob Adefunmi and his troubled relations with the white Cuban adepts of Santera whose teachings he ultimately rejected in the name of African purity. Another examines a new genre of divination consultation tailored to the needs of contemporary African Americans called the or dl or roots readings. The author shows how the linguistic praxis, bodily hexis, and self-conscious traditionalism of the babalo diviner become the means by which new beliefs and practices can be incorporated into the religious canon of I f. Another set of papers examine Santera, Ocha, and Lucum devotions in Cuba, New Y ork, and throughout Latin America. One enjoins us to look beyond the Iyalochas and Babalawos, who are generally considered to be the guardians of the Ocha tradition in the United States, to the scholars and musicians who brought the religion into the public eye singers, drummers, and teachers who won followers for the Orichas in Harlem, Miami, and beyond. Another author makes the controversial claim that Santera is not a religion, but a syncretism symptomatic of the disintegration of Cuban society. B razilian authors describe the practice of Candombl in B ahia and in So Paulo as well as the Xang religion in Recife. They see the traditional cult houses as repositories of African knowledge and argue that this knowledge is threatened by the gradual decline in devotees command of the Y orb language. One traces the decline of the Axx mortuary ritual in So Paulo. Another highlights the difficulty of preserving Y orb songs when the literal meanings of the words are unknown to the singers. George Brandon and Joseph Murphy challenge conventional notions of orality and the transmission of ritual knowledge through initiation. They show how literacy has been a claim to ritual power in West Africa for most of a millennium. Pamphlets and manuals have been central to Santera from the first decades of the nineteenth century, and the current explosion of internet tion of devotees traditional appropriation of the means of mass communica tion.
109 BOOK REVIEWS T wo final papers examine the vexed questions of gender and sexuality withering response to Oyewumis equally trenchant critique of his work. He claims that there is gender in Y orb society and in the Y orb lexicon and that attempts to deny its existence are misguided and politically reactionary. Rita Segato attempts a synthesis of their opposed viewpoints. She shows how ritual crossdressing and homosexuality in religious communities present a carnivalesque critique of gender relations in patriarchal Brazil with a transformative potential. Oyewumis own contribution is noticeably absent. A tome of this size, bringing together studies by twenty-eight authors from four continents, around a set of contentious religious issues can only do justice to its subject matter by presenting a set of diverse and often conflicting viewpoints. What emerges is not a Nicene Creed but a portrait of a fractious, global, and growing religious tradition. Its leaders struggle for legitimacy, authenticity, and the authority to tell their history in ways that will help them reproduce their ritual communities. T his book will be of inter est to those immersed in these debates, but no reader should expect to agree with everything they find in its pages. Sacred Spaces and Religious Traditions in Oriente Cuba. JUAL YNNE E. DODSON Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2008. xiv + 210 pp. (Cloth US$ 39.95) KRISTINA WIRTZ Department of Anthropology Western Michigan University Kalamazoo MI 49009, U. S.A.
110 New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011)nonetheless follows what has become standard practice in books on AfroCuban religion, dedicating a chapter to each particular tradition. While she goes further than most authors in historicizing each one and showing their interconnections, the formula is stale and runs the risk of reifying each as an African tradition (in Espiritismos case, covertly so) and focusing undue attention on questions of taxonomy, instead of showing the mutual co-construction of these traditions in the past and present (and the role of folklor ists and ethnographers in delineating what the traditions are), when many of the practices are in fact combined and juxtaposed in significant ways. Moreover, her concern with excavating the deep origins of each tradition sometimes gets in the way, as with her claim that Vod practiced in Cubas Oriente region derives from late eighteenthand early nineteenth-century slaves from Saint Domingue/Haiti rather than from early twentieth-century Haitian labor migrants, who are not even mentioned. And again, in her discussion of the Kongo origins of the Reglas de Palo practiced in Oriente, she relegates to a single sentence the early twentieth-century transplantation of western Cuban lineages and practices of Palo into eastern Cuba, thereby conflating earlier Kongo-derived practices with contemporary Palo Monte or Palo Mayombe, whereas in fact the ethnographic reality is rather more com plex. This also causes problems in her interpretation of a religious tradition she labels Muertra [sic] Bemb de Sao, which appears to be a strongly Kongo-influenced set of practices focused on spirits of the dead, or muertos, and which serves as a sort of substrate of folk religiosity over which more recent traditions of Palo, Santera, and Spiritism have been layered. Whether Muertera Bemb de Sao warrants being designated a separate tradition is not at all clear from the books discussion: the name seems to come from one particular religious practitioner and her community, who have cobbled together more generalized terms for muerteros (anyone who works with muertos) and bemb de sao, a widespread type of festive ceremony differen tiated from bembs and tambores performed within Santera. The relationship between Dodsons rendering of this particular groups self-identification and longer-term, more broadly practiced work with the dead (muertera, as Casa del Caribe researchers call it) is also not clear. Be that as it may, the three chapters on the traditions of Palo Monte/ Mayombe, Vod, and Espiritismo, plus the more speculative material on Muertera Bemb de Sao, are the heart of the book. Each chapter presents an historical reconstruction of the conditions under which one of these tradi tions emerged and a summary of its current practice, pulling together diverse Cuban and international scholarly sources much in the mold of George B randons well-known study, Santera from Africa to the New World Another disappointment is that, although the book is based on over a decade of fieldwork, it is not well-grounded in ethnographic description. One gets occasional glimpses of the rich experiences of fieldwork underlying the
111 BOOK REVIEWS claims, but the account sticks to broad generalities rather than providing spe cifics of particular ceremonies, practitioner biographies, practices, and reli gious communities. Only the briefest vignettes and short phrases from inter views appear usually not enough to back up the broad, normative claims made about what people believe and how they worship. In any event, I had to fall back on my own experience in Cuba and familiarity with the literature cited to evaluate her claims, rather than being provided with evidence in sup port of her assertions. Moreover, the theoretical apparatus of the book is thin, relying heavily upon Fernando Ortizs concept of transculturation as a psychocultural process that permitted survivals of a general African worldview. Nor do Dodsons major points about sacred spaces go beyond the obvious: that sacred spaces are used to set temporal, spatial, and social boundaries, for communication with the spirits, for communality, as vehicles of historical memory, and to express creativity. More detailed ethnographic grounding, instead of generalities, would have greatly enriched the theme of sacred spaces, both in the chapter dedicated to what sacred spaces do and in the chapters on individual traditions. The book is unusual in the mode of research that produced it: although a single-authored monograph, it reflects Dodsons collaborative approach to field research, in which she and a team of her students worked togethe r to do participant observation and interviews and partnered quite closely with Cuban researchers of the Casa del Caribes Popular Religions Research T eam, and in particular with well-known researcher Jos Millet. It is disappointing, then, that there was not more reflexive discussion about how this model of research shaped the data and experiences of fieldwork. Moreover, and far more troubling, Jos Millet has accused Dodson of intellectual theft because she removed him from co-authorship and failed to acknowledge contributions by other Cuban researchers.1 As evidence, he has provided what appears to be a very similar book manuscript accepted for publication at the University of Florida Press and listing Dodson and Millet as co-authors.2 One additional criticism I regret to make is that this book would have benefited from much more rigorous copy-editing, as errors in Spanish and English were distracting and syntax was occasionally stretched to its limits. Specialists on African diasporic religion looking to expand their understanding beyond Havana and Santera should be cautious in using this overview of Afro-Cuban religion in eastern Cuba.1. See his posting at UNEAC,
112 New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011) REFEREN C EBRANDON, GEORGE 1993. Santera from Africa to the New World. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.The Coolie Speaks: Chinese Indentured Laborers and African Slaves of Cuba. LISA YUN. Philadelphia P A: T emple University Press, 2008. xxiv + 311 pp. (Paper US$ 24.95) W LOOK LAI History Department University of the West I ndies T rinidad & T obago < firstname.lastname@example.org >The migration of some 142,000 Chinese indentured workers to Cuba between 1847 and 1874 is generally acknowledged to be one of the most disgraceful chapters in the history of modern labor migration. The institution of indenture, with its hybrid mix of voluntary contractual obligations enforceable by criminal penalties (fines and imprisonment), was originally designed by the British to find a legally (and politically) acceptable alternative to slavery in a post-emancipation but still labor-scarce plantation environment, principally the West Indian sugar plantations. Unlike its seventeenth-century precursor, which was used mainly for the purpose of acquiring a European labor force for the early American settlement colonies, nineteenth-century Asian indenture was surrounded by immigration laws, regulations, and procedures technically enforceable by a court system, all designed to ensure that tropical labor recruit ment and governance did not relapse into the authoritarian relations of slavery. Discussion on the success or failure of any indenture experiment usually revolves around the degree to which the letter of the law and the practice of labor relations on the ground diverged from each other. However, in the special case of Chinese migration to Cuba (and to other Latin American destinations, like Peru and Central America), the stark reality was that for almost thirty years, there was no relation whatsoever between the language of the law and the actuality of the indenture experience, and the tyrannical hold of the slave tradition was strong enough to override all legal verbiage and replicate itself with great force upon the hapless Chinese workforce. (Indeed, on the island of Cuba, indenture did not follow slavery but actually coexisted with it, and
113 BOOK REVIEWS even came to an end twelve years before slavery itself did, in 1886.) Even the Spanish laws themselves were often ambivalent on the coolies rights, unlike other colonial jurisdictions that were involved in indenture (p. 86). In 1873, prompted by the persistent call from many quarters to do something about the abuses of the coolie trade to Latin America, the Chinese imperial government dispatched a three-man delegation (along with a team of translators and scribes) to Cuba to investigate the conditions of labor of the Chinese, and to hear from the laborers themselves about their own experiences within that system. T wo of the commissioners accompanying the Qing official, Chen Lanbin, were actually China-based Western officials, one British, one French. The Commissioners heard 1,176 oral testimonies and received 85 petitions with 1,665 signatures over an eight-week period ( March 17 to May 8, 1873). T he Commission R eport summarized their find ings in 1876. I t revealed the full horror of the coolie trade, and the exercise contributed to the ban on coolie migration to Latin America from Macao, where almost all of the Latin America-bound migration originated.1The complete body of testimonies collected by the Commissioners remains housed in the Library of Ancient Books at the National Library of China in Beijing, and to date it seems that even Chinese researchers have uti lized only edited collections of the full testimonies, besides the Commission Report itself. An English-language version of the Commission Report was recently (1993) republished by Johns Hopkins University Press with an introduction by Denise Helly, author of Idologie et ethnicit: Les Chinois Macao Cuba (1979). T he report itself made selective use of the testimonies, which were referenced under a list of pointed questions probing the workings of the indenture system in Cuba. Y uns current research is conceived as a two-stage project. The Coolie Speaks is the first, providing commentary and analysis based on the fullness of the actual testimonies. The second will be a translation of the entire body of testimonies.2 The Coolie Speaks, not written specifically for historians, is essentially a learned interdisciplinary meditation on the text of the testimonies themselves, probing the existential roots of the indenture system as it were, and the complex states of mind of the coolies, as revealed in the testimonies style and substance. Y un is a professor of English and Asian American Studies, and her discussion inevitably reflects that train ing in her approach to the historical documents before her. After an insightful discussion of the historical context, she embarks on a new mapping of the coolie narrative. As she herself explains,1. A treaty to end the coolie traffic was not signed until November 1877. I t was ratified in December 1878. 2. One puzzling aspect of this story is that the commission itself referred to English translations in their report, namely, ,176 depositions have been collected, and 85 peti tions, supported by 1,665 signatures, have been received, of which copies and (English) translations are appended (Helly 1993:34).
114 New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011) T he reading of this material was, in the deepest sense, a literary reading, with an acute awareness of the opaqueness, thickness, and slipperiness of narration. The details were overwhelming, yet eventually emerged as pronounced and pivotal in reading the politics as not only an individual protest but also as part of a web of relations and cultural locations. (p. 239)Not unlike the Commission R eport itself, she has had to make her own selec tion from the testimonies, and while she has not managed to uncover any story line fundamentally different from that told by the Commission, her reading has uncovered a number of startling facts about the migrants themselves. That the majority of them arrived in Cuba not by any voluntary process, but via violent coercion and deception in or near Macao, contrary to the written laws of recruitment and service stipulated by legislation, is not a new discovery. That they were uniformly subjected to an unending cycle of brutal regimentation and cruelty, during (and well after) their formal terms of indenture, in complete violation of the letter of the law, which was in fact ignored by all planters and their subordinates, the police, the judiciary, and the government is also not new. This much the Commission Report described in graphic and horrific detail. T he two most revealing facts Y un has unearthed about the Chinese coolies in Cuba concern their diverse provincial origins and their diverse educational backgrounds. The long reach of the forcible recruitment in and near Macao seems to have ensnared individuals from all of Chinas provinces, not just Cantonese. Eighty-nine per cent of the testifiers were from Guangdong, but their testimonies nevertheless indicated coolies originating from at least fourteen provinces of China, including inland provinces and some near Mongolia, in descending order: Guangdong, Fujian, Hunan, Jiangxi, Zhejiang, Guangxi, Jiangsu, Jiangnan, Anhui, Sichuan, T ianjin, Henan, Hebei, and Shanxi. The testimonies also reveal that the coolie population included Vietnamese, Filipinos, and Manchu bannermen, who were a highly privileged ethnic group in China. (p. 70)3Moreover, the surprising literary quality of many of the written petitions4 also revealed that numerous coolies had received educational training at the lower levels of provincial achievement, which gives added poignancy to the charges of kidnapping leveled against the recruiters in and near Macao. 3. One hapless coolie had even lived in California before sailing to Cuba out of a misguided sense of adventure, and was forced into bondage after arrival (p. 144). 4. Such as Petition No. 20, discussed on pages 137-42, and reproduced in the appendix. T hirty-four percent of the petitions were signed by ten or more coolies, and 12 percent were signed by groups of 80 or more (p. 77). Petition 20 was the largest, signed by 164 people.
115 BOOK REVIEWS The testimonies reveal coolie labor to be drawn from widely diverse professional fields, including academia, medical practice, civil service, and business. (pp. 65-66)One petition was written by four people who revealed that they had been military officers in Guangdong (p. 75). Y un also calls attention to a weakness of the commission report, which made no mention of women, but of whom the testimonies and other sources presented clear-cut evidence. While there is scant evidence of their presence in the testimonies, the depo sitions and petitions reveal one case of their signatures appearing togethe r on a mass petition (Petition 15), with their gender indicated by Chinese traditions of naming for unmarried and married women. Occasionally, testifiers made mention of Chinese women headed for bondage, such as a for mer bricklayer He Asi who mentioned travelling with 12 women during the passage (Deposition 376). While not mentioned in the testimonies, adver tisements in Cuban newspapers also revealed the sale of Chinese girls and women. One such advertisement indicated the sale of a Chinese woman of twenty-one years and the other announced the sale of a Chinese girl. Glimpses of the traffic in Chinese girls emerge in episodes documented by Persia Campbell, Juan Perez de la Riva, and Juan Jimnez Pastrana. Campbell noted the discovery of 44 young Chinese girls imprisoned under deck of the British ship Inglewood bound for Cuba Perez de la Riva noted that in Cuba, Jos Suarez Argudin, a well known Spanish Cuban slaver, was known to keep Chinese girls. And Jimnez documented the open sale of Chinese in Cuban newspapers, including girls E ven before the advent of mass coolie labor to Cuba, there is evidence of Chinese girls being sold in the Cuban market. In the main newspaper, Diario de la Habana nine days prior to the first coolie ship arrival (the Oquendo), one ad read as follows: For sale: a Chinese girl with two daughters, one of 12-13 years and the other of 5-6, useful for whatever you may desire. (pp. 63-64)A similar omission in the report was that of Chinese who had escaped and joined the rebel cause in eastern Oriente province, although it acknowledged the difficulty of ascertaining how many chinos cimarrones and mambises, if any, were among the insurgent forces (p. 62). It is difficult to capture in this short review the many strengths of Y uns perceptive discussion of this migration. But I would also like to point out what seemed to me to be two weaknesses of the book. First, not all the testi monials cited in the discussion were included in the appendix, when several might easily have been. Secondly, while there is some comparative reference to other forms of indenture practiced in the West Indies, there is no attempt
116 New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011)to probe the cultural implications of the uniformity of treatment meted out to the Chinese in all the Latin countries (especially, but not solely, in Peru). This contemptuous treatment came not only from the planter class and their subordinates (often black) but also from the general citizenry. For example, here, whites and blacks often bully the Chinese; they hit us without any rea son and throw stones at us (p. 121); or again, People in Cuba already got used to enslaving the blacks but they treat Chinese worse than black slaves. T his does not make any sense. (p. 122). T hese small criticisms aside, it is clear that Lisa Y uns learned discussion of the suppressed history of the Chinese in nineteenth-century Cuba, bringing to the surface their own views on the indenture experience, will become as standard a reference work on this subject as the Report of 1876 itself was in its own time. We look forward to the promised translations of the complete body of testimonies. REFEREN C EHELL Y, DENISE (ed.), 1993. The Cuba Commission Report: The Original EnglishLanguage Text of 1876. B altimore MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.Cuba and Western Intellectuals since 1959. KEP A ARTARAZ. New Y ork: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. x + 243 pp. (Cloth US$ 90.00) ANTHONY P. MAINGOT Department of Sociology Florida I nternational University Miami FL 33199, U. S.A. < Anthony.Maingot@fiu.edu>The single greatest virtue of this book is that it is not about Fidel or Ral Castro. After fifty years of revolution, there has to be more than just biogra phy and this useful book gives us plenty of reasons why. That said, Artaraz also illustrates just how difficult it is to go beyond biography. It is arguably this difficulty which accounts for the fact that the author has provided us with not one but three distinct books. T he first attempts to trace how Western intellectuals responded to the Cuban Revolution. The second involves quite self-contained case studies of the ideological contents and intellectual struc-
117 BOOK REVIEWS tures of the New Left in the United States, France, and Great Britain. The third involves a discussion and query of who exactly these intellectuals were: were they mere activists or individuals truly dedicated to the socialist intellectual enterprise. Artaraz deals with each of these topics competently sometimes even brilliantly. Never, however, does his analysis confirm what might be the unstated goal of the book: demonstrating a relationship (call it quasi-symbiotic) of active interactions and links between the New Left and the Cuban Revolution. Three explanations for this absence can be derived from the well-documented narrative. First, individual national expressions of the New Left were engendered and driven by the particular conditions and political culture of each society (p. 5). Secondly, and closely related to the first point, was that even as the Cuban R evolution seemed to rationalize itself in ways that appealed to certain sectors of the New Left, the New Lefts understanding of the Cuban sociopo litical reality was very slight and showed strong hegemonic tendencies (p. 11). Finally, Cuba was itself driven by its own urgent national needs rather than by some romanticized socialist internationalism. Artaraz describes this Cuban urgency through several telling examples, but one in particular has relevance to the situation in Cuba today: the issue of race in the United States. Cuba, he says, was only interested in how it could use the Black Liberation movement in the U nited States for its own purposes. A s such, race was seen more as a category that could include an extension of the Cuban R evolutions foreign support than an element that demanded attention in Cuba itself (p. 180). So much for convictions and consistency. And, yet, one can fully under stand, perhaps even sympathize with, the Cuban position, given the isolation caused by the U.S. embargo and the continual threats to the very existence of the Revolution. Cuba naturally sought to identify with any movement that provided material or even symbolic support for its legitimacy as a country seeking its own path of development. This need, more often than not, compelled selective, opportunistic, and short-lived alliances. One might be less charitable with the attitudes of many of the multiple New Lefts in the United States, Great B ritain, and France. As already noted, their concerns and preoc cupations had their origins in, and in turn responded to, their distinct domestic crises and preoccupations. Their enthusiasm was based on their own selfgenerated images of the Cuban R evolution and used these often self-deluding, romantic projections for their own domestic purposes (see p. 68). In other words, there was much domestic political positioning, national geopolitics, and raisons dtat and little authentic ideological fraternity. B eyond the three books mentioned, Artaraz also makes an important and original contribution in his analysis of the reasons why these various New Left movements slowly soured on the Cuban Revolution. Repeated purges (or vol untary defections) of many original intellectuals took their toll very early on. First came the closing in 1961 of Lunes de Revolucin, and this was followed
118 New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011)by Fidel Castros Palabras a los intellectuales, a dictum that distinguished between an intellectual stance within and one outside (i.e. against) the R evolution. As Artaraz correctly notes, this placed the power to judge intellec tuals and artists in political hands, not in artistic or intellectual ones (p. 37). B ut it was in 1968 that events brought about a major tipping point in New Left-Cuban relations. First, collective dismay and disappointment: Fidel Castros failure to condemn the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. Was sov ereignty a purely bourgeois principle? Then followed the political elites vehement protests over the awarding of the prize in poetry to the non-conformist Heberto Padilla. After being persecuted for a full year, Padilla was eventually arrested in 1971 and forced to retract his anti-revolutionary views in public. This is where Artarazs description of the Leninist model of the proper role of the revolutionary intellectual comes in very handy. Certainly, many of the New Left continued their association with the Revolution, but the spark and glow were gone. [The] Cuban Revolution and the New Left, he says, appeared to recover a rather orthodox discourse at the expense of the sponta neity and voluntarism typical of the New Left until then (p. 77). It is precisely because Artaraz had done his analysis with admirable detachment that one is, frankly, startled by his conclusions. Contemporary Cuba, he argues, once again presents an alternative model of societal devel opment (p. 185). Alas, the best he can do to support this conclusion is to cite the cases of the E jrcito Zapatista de Liberacin Nacional (E ZL N) in Y ucatan, Mexico and the Venezuela-engineered and petro-dollars driven Alternativa Bolivariana de las Amricas (ALBA). If these two cases represent the new dawn mentioned in the conclusion, then we have learned nothing from the past fifty years and Artaraz has written a good book for naught. Inside El Barrio: A Bottom-Up View of Neighborhood Life in Castros Cuba. HENRY LOUIS TAYLOR, JR Sterling V A: Kumarian Press, 2009. xx + 217 pp. (Paper US$ 24.95) MONA ROSENDAH L I nstitute of Latin American Studies Stockholm University SE -106 91 Stockholm, Sweden < email@example.com > Inside El Barrio is one of quite a few recent books and articles dealing with the so-called Special Period in Cuba, which began in 1990. After the fall
119 BOOK REVIEWS of the Berlin Wall and the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Cuba lost its main trading partners almost overnight and fell into a severe economic crisis. This book is written from the perspective of an AfricanAmerican historian and urban planner. Henry Louis T aylor, Jr visited Cuba many times between 1999 and 2006, both as a teacher and as a researcher. T ogether with Cuban research assistants, he has done interviews and a survey as well as participant observation in different neighborhoods in Havana. T wo main themes run through the book. The first deals with the ideological origins of the present Cuban government. T aylor describes Cuban society before the Revolution in 1959 as divided into two classes the elite and the popular classes (clases populares) and shows that this division has deep historical roots stemming from colonial times. The ideology of the elites was characterized by economic, racial, social, and cultural differentiation, and it dominated the country until 1959. When the rebels (Fidel Castro and his men) took over the rule of the country, he argues, they not only followed the ideology of the popular classes based on equality and solidarity in all aspects of society (except maybe gender, something which T aylor does not discuss), but also started implementing and developing these ideas. Everyday life was transformed through mass organizations and what T aylor calls the pillar of El B arrio (p. 87) universal education, free medical care, and efficient disaster management, which build on the ideology of the clases populares but also depend on the centralized structure of the revolutionary government. T aylor also discusses the economic changes that have occurred during the Special Period, mainly the introduction of tourism and private commercial initiatives. The second theme deals with the neighborhood as a catalytic place and the theoretical argument that a neighborhoods nature and character ... will either increase or decrease the risk of its residents to various social, economic, cultural, and health issues (p. 3). T aylor argues that the revolutionary government changed both the physical and the social structure of the neighborhoods in Havana, and indeed also in other parts of the country, in line with the ideology of equality. He describes how a city segregated by class and race was transformed into what he calls a people centered city (p. 31). Urban spaces were opened to everyone regardless of class and race, and villas and mansions were expropriated to be used for housing, schools, or day care centers. Cubans became owners or paid very little for their living quarters and mass organizations (principally the neighborhood committees/ CDR) stimulated participation in neighborhood maintenance. The state controlled housing and food distribution through an individual rationing card, which made it difficult to move within and between locations in Cuba. T his, T aylor argues, froze the pre-revolutionary class and racial structures which meant that working-class neighborhoods stayed racially mixed as they had been before 1959. A side effect of this stability is the existence of loyalty and cooperation between the neighbors who often have lived a long time togethe r. A description of the barrio San Isidro in old Havana, based principally on a
120 New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011)survey made there, is used to illustrate this argument. San Isidro is what T aylor calls a vulnerable barrio inhabited by black, white, and mulatt o poor but also targeted as one of the barrios in Havana where UNESCO has a restoration project. I t is a close-knit community and people have managed, by working together, to make improvements in their barrio, helped along by strong relations to a benevolent state. This is no doubt an interesting discussion of the contemporary Cuban capital, but it is a pity that, in spite of the title of the book, only a small part is dedicated to an analysis of empirical data from the barrio. B ecause T aylor has spent so much time in Cuba and must have a keen understanding of bar rio life, he could profitably have used more of his interviews, conversations, and observations to describe it. T aylor is cautious when using data from his participant observation, referring to it as anecdotes. T o me as an anthropologist, this seems both unfortunate and unnecessary. It is also somewhat surprising since he uses the survey results without any critical discussion of the meaning and possible biases of survey data in general or especially in Cuba, where expressing critical views of policies and leadership can be sensitive. In addition, the books chapters seem disconnected and there are repetitions. This becomes especially clear in the sharp division between the uncritical presentation of the housing situation, medical care, and above all tourism and the dollar economy in the bulk of the book, and the very critical approach to the same issues in the epilogue. A more balanced discussion of the issues throughout the text would have been useful. D espite the books shortcomings as an entity, the parts about history and the everyday life of people, particularly the household economy, make it well worth reading. On Location in Cuba: Street Filmmaking During Times of Transition. ANN MARIE STO C K. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2009. xxiv + 340 pp. (Paper US$ 21.95) CRISTINA VENEGAS Department of Film and Media Studies University of California Santa B arbara Santa B arbara C A 93106-4010, U. S. A.
121 BOOK REVIEWS ported and centralized by the state through the Instituto Cubano de Arte e I ndustria Cinematogrfica ( I C AI C), has dispersed into many sites and modes of production. Weaving together countless interviews with filmmakers and cultural bureaucrats, film scholar Ann Marie Stock draws an experiential map of contemporary street filmmaking, a term used to metaphorically and literally conjure sites of creative activity not represented by the state. And yet, as she and the filmmakers repeatedly assert, the intention of such a move is not to supplant ICAIC as a production entity but to look for oppor tunities out in the streets, beyond national borders, and why not, partner ing with ICAIC whenever possible. Stock approaches the topic as observer, participant, and advocate, enunciating her own participation as she actively takes part in the distribution of Cuban films. T hroughout, the book is concerned with how filmmakers coped with and adapted to the transformative social and economic moment begun in the 1990s. Stock examines how institutions provided new incentive and support, and how digital tools factored into an emerging transnational audiovisual praxis. The process of transformation itself is one of the central modes of interrogation as the state responded to the crisis by implementing policies that opened new spaces of civil society through independent economic inter actions shifting daily experience and Cuban identity away from centralized authority. Individuals too moved into new spaces of creation and contact with international producers. New modes of Cuban identity emerged at this time and filmmakers in the cities and the countryside explored these psycho logical and cultural dimensions. The book opens with three chapters on cultural organizations established in the 1980s and 1990s that paved the way for the modes of production and circulation of street films. T he first focuses on the E scuela Internacional de Cine y T elevisin (EICTV) established in 1986, the Asociacin Hermanos Saz, the Moviemiento Nacional de Video, and the Fundacin Ludwig de Cuba as important sites of cultural activity that consistently supported the production of video and the visual arts. T he second discusses T elevisin Serrana, a community media collective in the Sierra Maestra region, and the third cov ers ICAICs Animation Studio. While these institutions differ in scope and longevity, bringing them into the foreground presents new understanding of the interconnections between non-governmental and state institutions as well as insight into the complex exchanges that maintain international linkages. The books second section Chapters 4, 5, and 6 is devoted to three filmmakers (Juan Carlos Cremata Malberti, Pavel Giroud, and Esteban Insausti) who established themselves during this period but whose individual characteristics reveal an extensive landscape of professional experience. T he final section brings together encounters with several other young filmmakers through the annual Muestra de Nacional de Nuevos R ealizadores as well as a meditation on the importance of the Muestra and other smaller film festivals
122 New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011)on the island for distributing the work of filmmakers. The epilogue returns to a broader framework of the challenges of filmmaking in Cuba, putting I C AI C back into the discussion. Relying primarily on author interviews, On Location in Cuba makes a valuable contribution to the study of Cuban cinema. Street filmmaking, Stock demonstrates, has increasingly redefined the cinema experience as transnational, with new filmmakers building on the formal training they received at film schools from national and international teachers. Their education thus already embodied the international perspective that later constituted their new outlook (pp. 170-71). The interviews underscore that the changes respond to a convergence of economic, technological, and industrial forces. No longer building a cinema of the Revolution, the films look into personal themes and film genres that have not often been promoted through I C AI Cs vision. While the interviews are enlightening, candid, and entertaining, one wishes that Stock had engaged with them more critically so as to get to a deeper sense of the tensions that define this media landscape. Since one of the books arguments is that the experience of the filmmakers has brought them into contact with global forces of filmmaking, the interviews should speak to the interactions with international partners in greater detail so as to reveal what makes them adept at making international contacts as well as the pre-conditions that provide that level of professional access. At international festivals and events, these young Cuban filmmakers compete with young and experienced filmmakers from all over the world; reflecting on those interactions would have enhanced Stocks argument about the specificity of transnational exchanges. What does it take to be part of world film culture? T o say that the filmmakers are skilled at using new technologies (email, the Internet, etc.), while true, glosses over the difficulties involved in negotiat ing these privileges in Cuba. As has become well known through the Cuban blogosphere, connecting to the Internet in Cuba is at best slow and at worst very frustrating. Between electricity blackouts, equipment breakdowns, slow connection speeds, and other sundry problems, staying connected is no small feat and presents additional disadvantages and obstacles to maintaining an international presence. The emergence of digital tools for networking and filmmaking in Latin America adds a new dimension in the investigation of the forces of transna tional cinematic exchanges. The present study brings together specific per sonal experiences and institutional histories, teasing out the connections that contribute to the decentralization of filmmaking in Cuba.
123 BOOK REVIEWS Cuba in The Special Period: Culture and Ideology in the 1990s. ARIANA HERNANDEZ-REGUANT (ed.). New Y ork: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. x + 226 pp. (Cloth US$ 74.95) MYRNA GAR C A-CA L DERN Department of Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics Syracuse University Syracuse NY 13244, U. S.A.
124 New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011)the Special Period Cuba saw an explosion of forms of popular culture that questioned the canonic divide between high and low, sharply upheld by socialist cultural policies (p. 2), then it is only natural that some of the questions posed by these essays include: How can one be Cuban and not be a revolutionary? What does it mean to be cosmopolitan? How does one juxtapose socialist practices and capitalist landscapes? How can one resolve the conflict between individual needs and collective responsibilities? Divided into three sections Foreign Commerce, Plural Nation, and T ransnational Publics the book focuses on the way in which artists, intellectuals, and various expressive communities operated within a temporal framework that was critiqued and selectively represented, yet was accepted as a fact of life (p. 2). R eflections and critical visions of the changes ushered in by the Special Period as a social experience in Cuba are captured quite effec tively in this book. In tune with the new state of affairs: the essays in this collection show multiple positions and consciousness of self and others based on race, generation, and sexuality, as well as diverse visions of citizenship, labor, property, community, altruism, and profit, [that has] marked a departure from an earlier social pressure to express a uniformity of experience (p. 3). Exploring this extraordinarily varied and at times controversial production, Esther Whitfields Writing the Special Period and Jacqueline Losss Wandering in Russian discuss works that evidence significant changes in literary texts that no longer follow the expectations set forth by Fidel Castros directives to artists in the Second Declaration of Havana in 1962. Kenneth Routon and Kevin M. Delgado study Afro-Cuban religions, their systems of belief, authenticity, cultural authority, and market value as a commod ity exchange in the public sphere in well-researched and revealing essays. Scarcity entails change, as most of the essays remind us. This is nowhere more evident than in the production of films in the period under consideration. Cristina Venegas and Lisa Maya Knauer critically address these changes expressed at times as a search for new meanings and a new relation toward film production, which includes the visual image as a form of audio visual remittance. Roberto Zurbano addresses music, especially Cuban Rap, as a social and cultural movement that not only expresses material depriva tion but also a deterioration and subversion of the utopian vision of Cubas revolutionary, emancipatory project. Also discussed is the redefinition of the notion of identities in excellent and nuanced essays by Laurie Frederik, Ariana Hernndez-Reguant, and internationally renowned Cuban artist Antonio E ligio Fernndez ( T onel). R efreshingly, Cubans living abroad are not excluded from the discussions. T outed as a multidisciplinary evaluation of the impact of market reforms in Cubas cultural policies and practices after the fall of the Soviet bloc, these insightful essays shed light on the changes that Cubas opening to global markets of mass culture brought to the cultural field during the so-called
125 BOOK REVIEWS Special Period in T imes of Peace. They also remind us that, as the space for public expression has increased in Cuba, so have serious interpolations and dialogues about those changes. This important collection is a valuable contribution to a long overdue and necessary dialogue. The Cubans of Union City: Immigrants and Exiles in a New Jersey Community. YOLANDA PRIETO. Philadelphia P A: T emple University Press, 2009. xviii + 205 pp. (Paper US$ 26.95) JORGE DUANY Department of Sociology and Anthropology University of Puerto R ico San Juan, Puerto R ico 00931-3345
126 New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011)tory workers in Union City. She still remembers that an Italian American coworker ridiculed her foreign accent in English and decried the Spanish invasion of the town (p. 40). Prieto first attended night school, later received an educational loan from the Cuban R efugee Program to study full-time, and eventually became a sociologist at R utgers University. The Cubans of Union City chronicles her lifelong experiences as both a participant and researcher of her own community. The books main objective is to analyze the social, economic, political, and religious integration of Cuban immigrants in Union City. Contemporary debates about assimilation and transnationalism inform Prietos narrative. Discarding conventional theories of straight-line assimilation, she documents the fact that many Cubans (especially recent arrivals) maintain ties with their relatives on the island through visits, remittances, telephone calls, and email. However, the main difference between Cubans and other groups is that Cubans cannot participate in their homelands political process (p. 150). An excellent illustration of Cubans enduring transnational connections lies in their Catholic faith. Here Prieto highlights the significance of Pope John Paul IIs visit to Cuba in 1998, which she witnessed as part of a pilgrimage organized by the New Y ork archdiocese. Methodologically, the book draws primarily on unstructured interviews with 102 Cuban Americans in Union City and other New Jersey cities. The interviews, conducted mainly in Spanish between 1999 and 2008, lasted between two and three hours each. The participants included community, religious, business, and political leaders, as well as ordinary Cuban immi grants. Among them were B ob Menndez, currently a U. S. Senator; Silverio Rodrguez, a militant of the anti-Castro organization Alpha 66; Dionisio Villanueva, a spokesperson for the Hispanic Mercantile Federation; Siomara Snchez, the president of the Association of Cuban Women of New Jersey; and Lourdes Gil, a poet and Hispanic literature professor. Throughout the book, Prieto interweaves her informants testimonies and ethnographic vignettes with analysis of historical trends, census and survey data, and maps. A fine exemplar of the sociological imagination, Prietos account provides a balanced and sympathetic interpretation of the Cuban diaspora, although she does not share all of its dominant ideological tenets. She accomplishes the difficult task of telling the story of Cuban Union City through the voices of the protagonists, including my own (p. xi). But her voice never overbur dens the narrative, even when she dissects her subjectivity. For instance, she claims that being Cuban gave me a great advantage in studying this community (p. xiii), while she grants that it was difficult for me to ascertain the feelings of other Hispanics toward Cubans precisely because I am Cuban (p. 94). Although the text is permeated by a self-reflexive tone, it remains a well-grounded ethnography. I especially appreciated her insights on the incorporation of Cuban refugees in Saint Augustine parish, which she joined
127 BOOK REVIEWS after arriving in Union City, as well as her assessment of the impact of the papal visit on Cuban Catholics at home and in the diaspora. Prietos work contributes substantially to broadening academic and public discussions about the Cuban exodus, traditionally centered on Miamis ethnic enclave. In New Jersey, Cubans tend to be more working class, less educated, more liberal, and more dispersed than in South Florida (p. 28). Most of Union Citys Cuban residents arrived during the second wave of Cuban immigration (1965-1973), which took less affluent persons to the United States. Since the 1990s, many Cubans have moved away from the area, mostly to Miami, Bergen County, and other New Jersey suburbs. Consequently, the citys Cuban population has waned, while other newcomers have increased their presence, especially Dominicans, Ecuadorans, Colombians, and Salvadorans. The Cubans of Union City is an incisive case study of contemporary immigration and ethnicity in a changing urban landscape. Prieto ably under lines the historical origins of the Cuban exodus, the development of Cuban businesses and voluntary associations, the labor force participation of Cuban women, the role of the Catholic Church in sustaining a sense of Cuban iden tity, and the centrality of political exile for that identity. In the end, she shows that U.S. immigration policy promoted Cubans swift integration into the host society by providing legal privileges and economic assistance during the cold war. Unfortunately, few other immigrant groups have received such a warm welcome in the United States. Target Culebra: How 743 Islanders Took On the Entire U.S. Navy and Won. RICHARD D. COP AKEN San Juan: Editorial Universitaria, 2008. 490 pp. (Paper US$ 29.95) JORGE RODRGUEZ BERUFF Social Sciences Department University of Puerto R ico R o Piedras, Puerto R ico 00931
128 New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011)was friend to the then-senate president, Rafael Hernndez Coln, who later became the governor of Puerto R ico. Copaken was one of those Americans whose life became deeply inter twined with Puerto Rico and who was inevitably caught up in a relationship that, as he writes in this book, transcended rational calculation and moved into the realm of feelings and emotions. Before his death in 2008, at the request of the governor of Puerto Rico, he became involved in the legal battle to force the Navy out of Vieques. In Target Culebra, Copaken links the two islands: At long last, the saga that began for me in Culebra and ended in Vieques thirty-three years later finally was over.1Copakens account mentions numerous people in the United States and Puerto Rico, dates, documents, legislation, meetings, events, and trips with meticulous attention to detail. He provides both a record of events and inter pretations of them based on his strong, and sometimes controversial, views on particular incidents. Copakens memoirs about his involvement in the case of Culebra and, in Puerto Rican politics, constitute a valuable document about the steps taken between 1970 and 1975 to end all military practice and bring about the Navys exit from the island. But the book may also be read as a broader discussion about unequal power relations exerted at the time by the U. S. Navy in Puerto R ico. T he dynamics of power portrayed include the actions of congressional aides, congressmen, law firms, journalists, members of the National Security Council, congressional committees and subcommittees, universities, secretaries of defense and the navy, and presidential aides, among others. Target Culebra broadens our understanding of the complex civil-military relations in the United States. It is also a text that reads like a political and legal thriller, set in the hallways of power in Washington, in a beautiful Caribbean island besieged by U. S. military bombardment, in la Fortaleza, in London, and on an island close to Anguilla with the suggestive name of Dog Island. Writer Joe T rento is right when he comments on the back cover that John Grisham is not the only lawyer who can write. Copakens story has heroes, villains, and people in between. His heroes include Ramn Feliciano (the astute and principled mayor of Culebra), Rafael Hernndez Coln, and Luis Muoz Marn, as well as some minor players such as Luis Negrn Lpez and others on the governors staff. His principal villains are Luis A. Ferr and Roberto Snchez Vilella, with other well-known figures such as T eodoro Moscoso, Alex Maldonado, Jaime B entez, and Jos Cabranes in this category as well. In the end, this hardly nuanced vision of people and events does not detract from the book a personal memoir, not an objective analysis of the 1. Due to difficulties during the strike at the University of Puerto Rico, it was not possible to provide page numbers for the quotations in this review.
129 BOOK REVIEWS struggle in Culebra. Unavoidably, Copaken underscores the relevance and significance of his own actions, expresses his own interpretation of events, and judges the role of other actors from his own perspective. I n the epilogue, he underscores his work as a way of returning something to the nation (the United States) that so generously provided him with education and opportunity, declaring that he had fulfilled not only his dreams and aspirations but those of his parents, honoring their memory. The history of his family begins in a pogrom in Czarist Russia and then migration to America. Copakens involvement in the Culebra case reflected the values with which his parents had raised him. And as a Jew, part of a persecuted minority group, he felt empathy with the situation of Culebrans, an insignificant minority struggling against a mighty opponent. The book begins by narrating Copakens desperate efforts, as a young Harvard-trained lawyer assigned to pro bono work on the case, to stop the U.S. Navy from expropriating a third of the island for air-to-surface missile target practice. It ranges over political agendas of various players, the elections of 1968 and 1972, U.S. Navy interventions in Culebra politics, and more. The Navys total disregard for civilian authority is well documented in this book. T he Marine Corps tried to subvert Kennedys 1961 decision to end their plans to acquire Culebra. There are many instances in which the Navy either ignored or attempted to nullify major decisions taken by Congress, the Department of Defense, or the White House. For Copaken, the case of Culebra was beginning to look like a window inadvertedly opened to reveal a silent military coup by the Admirals that was taking place in the United States without anyone outside the Navy having a clue that this was happening. The book also attempts to connect Culebras case with the eventual transfer of U.S. military practice to the island of Vieques. Copaken nar rates the steps taken to have the Navy conduct their maneuvers in Monito and Desecheo, an alternative which was quickly rejected. Another option for military exercises, Dog Island near Anguilla, also proved unacceptable to the Navy. (Copaken suggests that Navy officers were reluctant to give up golfing on Roosevelt Roads!) Copaken knew of the Navys preference for Vieques. He refers to the Popular Democratic Party government plat form which promised not to interfere with the military in Vieques. It was up to Hernndez Coln to make sure Elliot Richardson, the Undersecretary of Defense, knew the difference between these two islands. Did they trade Culebra for Vieques? Were Puerto Rican leaders aware of the consequences for the people of Vieques that winning the case for Culebra would have? Copaken was aware of these implications and tried to justify it, suggesting that the size of Vieques would lessen the impact. Had he delved deeper into such actions, he might have needed to rethink the role of hero in which he casts many of the actors in this story.
130 New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011)The heroic dimensions of the people of Culebra and Vieques who struggled against the military fill the pages of this book. They faced a long battle against a powerful institution that was completely deaf to their pleas and fought to keep its favorite target range in the Caribbean. Before concluding this review, I would note the recent publication of the memoirs of Ramn Feliciano Encarnacin, the mayor of Culebra who engaged Copakens services, La victoria de Monchn: Memoria de la expul sin de la Marina de Culebra (2009). Now we are fortunate to be able to read the account of two of the main actors in the Culebra saga. REFEREN C EFELICIANO ENCARNACIN, RAMN 2009. La victoria de Monchn: Memoria de la expulsin de la Marina de Culebra San Juan: Fundacin la Voz del Centro.The World of the Haitian Revolution DAVID PATRI C K GEGGUS & NOR M AN FIERING (eds.). Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009. xviii + 419 pp. (Paper US$ 24.95) YVONNE FABE LL A Department of History University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia P A 19104, U. S. A. < firstname.lastname@example.org >The last decade has witnessed a remarkable surge of interest in the Haitian Revolution, particularly among Anglophone scholars. Helping to fuel this interest was the bicentennial of Haitis independence from France, celebrated in 2004 even as political chaos erupted once again in the troubled nation. The essays collected in The World of the Haitian Revolution were first presented at a conference commemorating the bicentennial and hosted by the John Carter B rown Library. A provocative prologue by former Haitian ambassador to the United States Jean Casimir and a useful epilogue by Robin Blackburn bookend the volumes eighteen essays, which are divided into five chronological sections. T ogether they provide a rich sample of recent work on colonial and revolutionary Haiti, and on the revolutions impact in the
131 BOOK REVIEWS broader Atlantic world, in a format both accessible to a wide academic audi ence and of import and interest to specialists. Several essays offer fresh perspectives on old questions. John Garrigus and Dominique Rogers, for example, challenge long-held interpretations of the status of the gens de couleur (free people of color) in the colonial period. Whereas scholars have traditionally understood segregationist and discriminatory policies toward the gens de couleur as a reaction against free colored social mobility, Garrigus locates the origin of such policies in official fears over white creolization instead. R ogers moves in another new direction, pro viding convincing evidence of the social and economic integration of gens de couleur with whites, thereby challenging the traditional narrative in which color prejudice is assumed to have become more rather than less salient in the pre-revolutionary period. Y ves Benots essay also belongs in this group, disrupting the assumption that independence became an objective of insur gent leaders only late in the revolution. His work, presented at the confer ence in the year before his death, documents that some leaders conceived of independence as early as 1791, the first year of the slave revolt, and in spite of their royalist rhetoric. Other essays reflect the fields recent turn toward political culture and the history of representation. For example, Gene Ogle links white colonial autonomism to the growth of a public sphere in Saint Domingue, one in which free colonists appealed to public opinion in order to challenge royal absolutism. In a fascinating analysis of the gendered meanings of eman cipation, Elizabeth Colwill examines the often-ignored practice by which formerly enslaved soldiers of the French Republic could liberate enslaved women and their children through marriage prior to general emancipation. French R epublican officials argued that fighting for the republic and becom ing husbands would regenerate formerly enslaved men into masculine, republican citizens. But revolution and family did not cohere so neatly, as Colwill demonstrates; war brought with it a profound dislocation in the intimate terrain of womens lives, especially for enslaved women whose owners hastily sold them before fleeing the colony. Laurent Dubois adopts a cultural historical approach in his analysis of revolutionary violence, which, he argues, cannot be studied apart from the politics of representation in which it occurred. Contemporary European chroniclers of the R evolution understood well the impact of graphic descrip tions of insurgent violence on their readers, while revolutionary leaders con sidered how the western world would interpret their treatment of whites. Likewise, Ashli White shows that white creole refugees to the United States cited the violence of both French and ex-slave armies in order to explain the origins and success of the revolution. Meanwhile, U. S. whites contrasted the brutality of slavery in Saint Domingue to their own allegedly more humane slave system, thereby justifying the latter.
132 New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011)Whites essay exemplifies one of the strongest themes in the volume: the revolutions impact outside of Haiti. Joo Jos Reis and Flvio dos Santos Gomes demonstrate the fear aroused in Brazilian slaveowners and authori ties by the memory of the Haitian R evolution in the early nineteenth century, when haitianismo became a generic term to identify unrest by nonwhites. Y et Ada Ferrers sharp analysis of Cuba moves beyond the typical assumption that the revolution caused a generic sense of panic among Atlantic world slaveowners and vague inspiration in slaves. Local, specific threats of slave resistance fueled the fear of Cuban planters as much as the memory of the revolution, she argues, and slaves engaged with news of current Haitian events as much as they did accounts of the revolution, finding concrete sources of inspiration in both. Perhaps most importantly, the volume demonstrates rich opportunities for new research. Jacques de Cauna offers a glimpse of the remains of Saint Domingues built environment. Haiti, he notes, is a living museum of creole plantation society whose architectural heritage is both understudied and underfunded. Sue Peabody reveals U.S. court records particularly suits for freedom by enslaved people to hold a wealth of primary material for historians interested in both the experiences of nonwhite refugees from Saint Domingue and the legal history of the Atlantic world. Several other chapters begin to explore an important yet long-ignored question: the perception and reception of the Haitian Revolution in France. Malick Ghachem and Jeremy Popkin address such concerns in separate articles on revolutionary politics, while Alyssa Sepinwall and LonFranois Hoffman examine the place of the R evolution in nineteenthand twentieth-century French history and literature. Readers can come away from this volume reassured that the Haitian Revolution is finally receiving the attention it deserves from scholars across fields and around the globe. However, one is still left with a nagging discom fort provoked by the knowledge that so few Haitian voices are involved in this international conversation, and that the attention tends not to benefit the Haitian people directly. Blackburn briefly addresses these issues, proposing that the international community of scholars commit itself to supporting Haitian efforts at historic preservation, a need made clear by de Caunas essay. Given all that Haitis past has taught us, it seems the least we can do.
133 BOOK REVIEWS Bon Papa: Haitis Golden Years. BERNARD DIEDERICH Princeton NJ: Markus Wiener, 2009. 210 pp. (Paper US$ 22.95) ROBERT FATTON, JR. Department of Politics University of Virginia Charlottesville V A 22904-4775, U. S. A. < email@example.com >The journalist Bernard D iederich, best known for Papa Doc: The Truth About Haiti Today, has written a new book chronicling the founding and reporting of his newsweekly, Haiti Sun, during the 1950s. Published in English, Haiti Sun had a limited audience. Diederichs connections to the foreign (especially American) press gave him, however, significant journalistic influence. Moreover, by covering glamorous social events and the lifestyle of the rich and famous, the Haiti Sun attracted the attention of the elite and expatriate community. The paper did not just highlight frivolities of the well-off; it also featured a column entitled Personality of the Week that recognized per sons, big and small who had made a contribution to the Republic or made news that week (p. 91). In addition, the Haiti Sun prided itself on defending free speech and being politically independent. T his generated the occasional harassment and threat from the government, culminating in the Suns forced closure by Papa Doc Duvalier in 1963. Bon Papa: Haitis Golden Years covers mostly the 1950s, the period which was dominated by the presidency of General Paul Magloire and which Diederich describes as a magical time (p. 9) in Haitis history. T he country seemed to be poised to take off. It was relatively prosperous and peace ful with the capacity to attract foreign investments, tourism, and celebrities. This is not to say that Haitis so-called golden years had no major flaws or problems. In fact, Diederich recognizes the great material and cultural chasm between the rural majority and the small well-off urban minority. He acknowledges not only the divisions of color and class that plagued Haitian society, but also the caudillismo of Magloires authoritarian rule. These golden years therefore had severe limitations, but they compare well to the ensuing five decades of persistent crisis and decay which are in Diederichs view a story of mans inhumanity to man (p. 10). Paradoxically, this story of mans inhumanity to man was rooted in Magloires own failings and determination to remain in power illegally for the longue dure. In May 1950 Magloire himself headed a three-member military junta that overthrew then-President Dumarsais Estim for seeking to keep his position beyond the limits of his term. Magloire suffered the
134 New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011)same fate for similar sins when he was forced into exile in December 1956. As Diederich explains, It was that old and seemingly endemic malady of Haitian chiefs of state, endeavoring to prolong their sojourn in the National Palace, which had inflamed passions once again (p. 205). Indeed, historically, Haitian politics has been characterized by the recurring emergence of charismatic leaders with seemingly good intentions who inevitably descend into a personal quest for unlimited power and life-presidencies. Magloires excesses were therefore not an exception, but rather the typical follies of Haitian rulers. Similarly, when Magloire decided that he had to ascend to the presidency he engineered his own election by funding his opposition and maneuvering to run as the candidate of a party that he would ultimately ban! The elec tion of October 1950 constituted Haitis first popular vote for president. Previously, presidents had been selected by the legislature, but now all adult males were allowed to vote. I n reality, the election was in Diederichs words a ritual and the outcome was predetermined. Magloire won unsurprisingly an overwhelming majority, gaining 25,679 votes, with his opponent, Fenelon Alphonse receiving an insignificant 7. While the introduction of universal suffrage for males was a small positive step in democratizing Haitian politics, it did little to shake the privileged power structure. Magloires election ultimately depended on the tacit agreement and support of this power structure. As Diederich puts it: Magloire had the backing of the forces that mattered in Haitian politics: the Army, U.S. embassy, Roman Catholic Church local hierarchy, Haitis economic elite, and even Haitis neighbor Dictator Generalissimo Rafael T rujillo. However, the majority of Haitians remained spectators of their fate (p. 33). In spite of the social and material marginalization of most Haitians, Diederich maintains that the country was not rife with poverty and other forms of deprivation, but rather was alive and vibrant (p. 28) in 1950. Haiti was full of promise as Magloires image as a Bon Papa taking care of the poor and feasting with the well-off gave the impression that he could bridge the divide between class and color and bring about social reconcilia tion. Magloire, however, was the typical presidential monarch whose pater nalism ingratiated him with the masses so long as he delivered to them a modicum of welfare. Not surprisingly, they sang:He gives us jobs and money oh! oh! oh! He can stay in the palace as long as he wants! (p. 126)Once Magloire turned into an authoritarian leader presiding over an increasingly corrupt administration his love affair with Haitians ended abruptly. Alienating both the power structure and the average Haitian, Magloire like many of his predecessors and successors was compelled to fly into exile.
135 BOOK REVIEWS Haitian history was repeating itself, only this time the descent into dictatorship would be more precipitous and devastating than in earlier periods. Magloires travails created the conditions for the tyrannical rule of Franois Duvalier. T o this extent Diederichs chronicling of the M agloire period is full of a nostalgia that belies the increasing social tensions and contradictions that Diederich himself exposes. It is true that there was a veneer of seemingly tranquil times which allowed for the gilded life of the elite, but underneath it all were forces that would exploit these tensions and contradictions to mount a despotic challenge to the existing power structure. Bon Papa: Haitis Golden Years is not an academic book. I t is, however, an easy and informative read that describes with Panglossian lenses the Haiti of the 1950s prior to Duvaliers ascendancy. It is clear that Diederich, who hails from New Zealand, has an abiding love for Haitis culture, people, and history. I t is unfortunate, however, that the book has neither bibliography nor index. 1959: The Year that Inflamed the Caribbean. BERNARD DIEDERICH Princeton NJ: Markus Wiener Publishers, 2009. iv + 238 pp. (Paper US$ 22.95) LANDON YARRINGTON Department of Anthropology College of William and Mary Williamsburg V A 23693, U. S.A.
136 New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011)attacked the Moncada Barracks in Santiago (p. 13). Carlos Pro Socarrs, the Cuban ex-president turned arms dealer and Castro financier, was providing Duvalier with terrorism expertise on the condition that Haiti be a silent partner in the upcoming revolt. But Papa Doc, always the opportunist, had also accepted money from Batista, and reneged on his promise to Pro, double-crossing the rebels, who were now in command (pp. 21-22). Eager to save face, Papa Doc took the advice of future ambassador Antonio R odrguez E chazbel, and released eight fidelistas held for murdering a Haitian tour-boat captain. Diederich accompanied them to Cuba in a Haitian Air Force C-47, along with a token gift of medicine. During his five days in Cuba, Diederich interviewed legendary barbudos Manuel Pieiro, Camilo Cienfuegos, and the Castro brothers themselves. On return to Haiti, his experiences in Cuba were also the subject of a lengthy impersonal chat with Duvalier (p. 36). T he Castro effect forced Duvalier to placate the Communist threat until he could make arrangements of his own, ultimately turning him into a dangerously paranoid dictator with unwavering American support (p. 39). Papa Docs dirty war overtly began January 9, when the manager of Port-au-Princes International Casino vanished amid a scandal that, we learn, was cooked up by Duvalier henchmen Clment Barbot and Herbert T i-Barb Morrison in a bid to commandeer the establishment. Meanwhile, Cuba became a hotbed for anti-Duvalier hopefuls; on February 24, exiled politician Louis Djoie started incendiary broadcasts on Havanas Radio Progresso and, together with ex-Col. Pierre Armand, Major Maurepas Auguste, and ex-President Daniel Fignol, launched the Haitian Revolutionary Front, which, despite the guidance of Che Guevara, would later implode from infighting. And in spite of Duvaliers growing war of attrition against his own people, which brought famine, particularly to the regions of Jean-Rabel and Bombardopolis, U.S. officials threw $6 million into the Haitian budget in March alone it was a time when anti-Communist ideology excused many sins (p. 76). Diederichs best writing is found in the sections narrating the events before late June, when LEtat bullied the Haiti Sun into a five-month forced eclipse, includ ing the April 7 hijacking of a DC-3, Duvaliers brush with death on May 24, and the proDjoie coup attempt in Jacmel on June 12 (p. 115). Diederich took up with foreign media during the hiatus and continued reporting domestic affairs in Haiti, specifically what would be the last invasion effort by Haitian exiles before Papa Doc broke all diplomatic ties with Cuba on August 22. He also covered the saber-rattlings between Rafael T rujillos Dominican R epublic and Castros Cuba, detailing one of the most incredible geopolitical plot-counterplots in Caribbean history, the midAugust faux invasion orchestrated by Castros frontman William Morgan (p. 159). E scalating tensions between the Catholic Church and Duvalier also came to a head in mid-August, when Papa Doc expelled several prominent priests, namely Etienne Grienenberger and Joseph Marrec, over Communist
137 BOOK REVIEWS allegations. August 18, just days after the outrage, Clment Barbot and the tontons makouts terrorized hundreds of mourners in Port-au-Princes cathedral, again alleging a Communist plot: Such charges worked time and again for Duvalier since Cold War ideology was the main concern of the day in Washington (pp. 172-73). Diederichs political drama then shifts to the social events that took place in Haiti once the Sun returned to print on November 8, including the arrival of notable tourists (an incognito Marlon Brando, French actress Martine Carol, and others) and the U.S. Marine Corps birthday celebration thrown by Col. R obert Heinl. He also recounts economicand business-related news regarding foreign investments. The books closing chapters then move from melodrama a vivid story about pilgrimages to the Saut dEau sprinkled with Diederichs personal musings about Vodou lwa to confessional, revealing his romantic tryst with vacationing actress Anne Bancroft and the sticky situation with an old flame that ended it. Diederich writes with an old-school journalistic savvy that makes the brutal history of the early Duvalier era at least mildly bearable. While Diederich raises the specter of the Caribbean Cold War, which is both implied in the subtitle and scattered throughout the book, he tends to focus narrowly on the Haitian side of things. T he lack of both reference materials and index is frustrating, and the low-quality, pixilated images are regrettable. Despite these blemishes, 1959 is a recommendable year-in-review for those interested in the details of Duvaliers megalomania or the false-starts of what could have been, fitting somewhere between Herbert Golds travelogue, Best Nightmare on Earth (1991), and the Heinlss history, Written in Blood (1978). REFEREN C ESGOLD, HERBERT, 1991. Best Nightmare on Earth: A Life in Haiti. New Y ork: Prentice Hall. HEIN L, ROBERT DEBS & NAN C Y GORDON HEIN L, 1978. Written in Blood: The Story of the Haitian People B oston MA: Houghton Mifflin.
138 New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011)Dominican Cultures: The Making of a Caribbean Society. BERNARDO VEGA (ed.). Princeton: Markus Wiener Publishers, 2007. ix + 259 pp. (Paper US$ 26.95) ANTHONY R STEVENSAC EVEDO C UNY Dominican Studies I nstitute City College of New Y ork New Y ork NY 10031, U. S.A. < firstname.lastname@example.org >When this collection of essays by prominent Dominican scholars was first published in Spanish almost three decades ago, the Dominican R epublic was experiencing an exciting period of political democratization spearheaded by the then-center-leftist Dominican Revolutionary Party, voted into government after the twelve years of the Reformist Partys right-wing regime. Within that context, the book brought to the fore of public discussion what, for the countrys traditional ambience, was a new, less E urocentric and more multicultural and multiracial view of Dominicanness. Consisting of seven chapters and a brief commentary, the book discusses important aspects of Dominican cultural identity. Chronologically, it covers the entire span of the formation of Dominican society and culture, including the legacies of the T ano Amerindians, the Spanish colonizers, and the enslaved Africans, as well as the cultural impact of more recent waves of immigrants into Dominican society: Jews, Chinese, Arabs, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Haitians, Anglo-Caribbeans, and twentieth-century Spaniards. Prior to its publication, most writings about Dominican culture privileged the old-time Hispanocentric, Catholicism-centered, anti-African, anti-black, and anti-Haitian views upheld by the most conservative elements of Dominican society. Bernardo Vegas chapter on the T ano heritage, which opens the book, is a detailed description of the agriculture, foodstuffs, arts and crafts, settle ment concentrations, religion, music, and vocabulary of the pre-Columbian Indians that have survived or made their way into contemporary Dominican national culture. In this chapter Commentary D ominican anthropologist-archaelogist Marcio Veloz Maggiolo supplements Vegas analysis, expanding on some aspects of T ano agriculture, and pointing to the need for studies that try to identify the ways in which elements of this culture, while surviving, evolved with a changing historical context, shifting in their meaning or social appli cation. For Carlos Dobal the Spaniards had the largest influence on Dominican culture, permeating also the temperament and the way in which Dominicans
139 BOOK REVIEWS see the world and the things in it. Institutions like the cabildos or town councils were seeds of democracy and the cofradas or religious associations allowed African slaves to preserve their identity and self-realization. Dominicans have also inherited from the Spaniards a system of values that includes positive traits such as the courage and honor of Dominican patriots, and negative ones, like the pessimism found among some prominent Dominican thinkers. Carlos Esteban Deive warns about the challenges of disaggregating the discrete ethnic heritages from the hybrid mix that makes up Dominican culture. He challenges the paternalistic view that slavery in the Dominican Republic was less brutal and violent than that of other colonies, documenting cases of prejudice in legislation concerning blacks, in marriage practices that emphasized the preference for purity or whiteness, and in descriptions of subordination of blacks in their interactions with whites. Rubn Sili deals with the development of a Dominican creole culture. He examines the coexistence and interactions, especially from the eighteenth century onwards, among the numerically dominant ethnicities and racial groups of Santo Domingo. The isolation the colony experienced, he argues, generated a creole culture dominated by Spanish and African components that is shared and practiced by most Dominicans of all racial ancestries. Y et this creole culture, he observes, shows a lack of identity, or a lack of selfunderstanding that is fully inclusive and equally appreciative of all of its racial/ethnic components. Jos del Castillo describes the impact of immigrants in Dominican society since the second half of the nineteenth century entrepreneurs and mer chants from Cuba, Puerto Rico, the United States, and Western Europe, and technicians, skilled workers, and field-hands coming for the most part from the non-Spanish speaking Caribbean islands and Haiti. They all moved to the country to invest or work in the then-nascent sugarcane industrial production that later became the number one source of income for Dominican society. Frank Moya Pons offers an overview of the modernization that took place from the early twentieth century on, pointing out both its benefits and detriments for Dominican society. In his view, socioeconomic changes in the country were closely associated with alterations in the international world during the period. Events ranging from the world wars, the realignment of capital, and the U.S. invasion-occupation in 1916-24 to the penetration of global political ideologies, the development of tourism, and the massive emigration process by more than a million Dominicans all transformed collec tive behavior in the country Unfortunately, very few people in the Dominican R epublic have taken on the challenges that this book introduced three decades ago, and relatively few writings have been published since then on these topics. This English ver sion, a verbatim translation of the three-decades-old Spanish original, does not offer any update of the authors initial contributions. For those interested
140 New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011)in the quasi-neglected field of Dominican cultural studies, though, it is a use ful tool, a preliminary road-map of the issues that have been dealt with by Dominican scholars as well as the many that remain to be studied and which have direct or indirect cultural implications, such as the value of the cultural and racial African heritage in everyday contemporary Dominican culture, the different manifestations of resistance emanating from the marginalized cultural groups, attention to social class extraction in the integration of immigrants into Dominican society, or differences between the experience of immigrants in general and that of native Dominicans. Chanting Down the New Jerusalem: Calypso, Christianity, and Capitalism in the Caribbean. FRAN C IO GUADE L OU P E. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009. xiv + 255 pp. (Paper US$ 19.95) CATHERINE BENOT Anthropology Department Connecticut College New London C T 06320, U. S.A.
141 BOOK REVIEWS St. Martin is a decidedly multiethnic society composed mainly of migrants and French and Dutch nationals born outside the island. One hundred nation alities are listed in the French and Dutch censuses. In 1999, the year of the last census of the entire population of the French side, French of metropoli tan origin or from Guadeloupe constituted just over 65 percent of the total population, with those said to be originally from Saint Martin estimated at 15 percent of it. In 2001, the Dutch population originally from the Netherlands, the federation of the Netherlands Antilles, or born on Sint Maarten was 50.6 percent. Native-born Sint Maarteners account for 30.5 percent of the popula tion and the foreign-born population on Sint Maarten constitutes nearly 50 percent of its population. I n his analysis of Christianity as a metalanguage used by three disc jock eys to promote unity and inclusion of all residents despite ethnic, age, gender, and class affiliations, Francio Guadeloupe offers a rose-colored understanding of racial relations in St. Martin which is contradicted in many ways by the economic, political, and legal situations of undocumented migrants, who constitute between 40 and 80 percent of the immigrants living on the French side and roughly 50 percent of those on the Dutch side. Since the election of President Sarkozy, French immigration policies have been particularly restrictive to migrants both in the metropole and the overseas departments, and numerous laws have been passed lately by the French parliament to facilitate deportations in the metropolis. Actually these laws and new deportation techniques had been passed and tested out in the 1990s in Saint Martin and French Guiana. Hurricane Luis, which in September 1995 left the island in ruins, presented the French and Dutch states with the opportunity to raze the shanty towns of the island and increase the number of deportations. One could argue that deportations and precarious legal situations are triggered by governments and do not reflect local peoples attitudes toward migrants. However, if one reads Chanting Down the New Jerusalem between the lines, it becomes clear that Sint Maarteners (whether native-born or docu mented newcomers) are not particularly welcoming to undocumented for eigners. The negative public reaction to DJ Cimarrons activism in favor of children of undocumented parents resulted in the cancellation of his show after just three broadcasts. Could not the politics of belonging developed by radio disc jockeys be analyzed as a defense mechanism to deal with the situation of terror in which undocumented workers live? Francio Guadeloupe qualifies the events that led to the touristic development of St. Martin as a series of fortunate local events (p. 16), but one could also argue that they are what transformed the friendly island of the 1980s into the racial nightmare of the 1990s and subsequent years. Chanting Down the New Jerusalem is an original contribution to the study of Caribbean religions as it provides in-depth analysis of three radio
142 New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011)DJ shows that broadcast an encompassing ecumenical religious Christianity in an effort to cement a demographically diverse society. Above all, it is one of too few anthropological studies of this very small binational multi ethnic island which, in many respects, challenges anthropological theory in the study of politics of inclusion and politics of exclusion to an extent not reached anywhere else in the Lesser Antilles. Once Jews: Stories of Caribbean Sephardim. JOSETTE CA P RI L ES GO L DISH Princeton NJ: Markus Wiener, 2008. xvi + 334 pp. (Paper US$ 34.95) AVIVA BENUR Department of Judaic and Near E astern Studies University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst MA 01003-3935, U. S.A.
143 BOOK REVIEWS downtown Santo Domingo, Goldish informs us, are named after Curaaoan Sephardim, reflecting their contributions to multiple aspects of life (p. 137). Goldish is in awe of Jacob Cortissoz, who pulled himself up by his bootstraps in B arranquilla, and of his son E rnesto, as enterprising and successful as his father, and among the beautiful people of Barranquilla at the turn of the century (pp. 213, 214). T his hagiographic narrative holds great appeal for family members and synagogue congregations, but for contemporary scholars Goldishs rich materials point beyond some of her assumptions. Throughout, Goldishs quest for the causes that accelerated or inhibited the assimilation of Caribbean Sephardim dichotomizes the region into Jewish/ gentile counterparts, resulting in an almost complete erasure of race and racial identity. This is certainly an inappropriate model for the multi-ethnic Caribbean, where peoples of African origin formed the majority of the general population. This dichotomy also sidelines the slave trade, which made possible many of the contributions Goldish highlights. The horrific details of this trade and the institution of slavery, moreover, are completely subsumed in the narrative of Sephardic triumph over adversity. Jacob Senior, alias Captain Philippe Henriques, was a daring slave trader (p. 64) between Curaao and Cartagena who appears among a series of Sephardim praised for exploiting commercial potential in South America. Jeudah Senior of Coro, an owner of coffee and sugar plantations, is described as an aggressive businessman with an enterprising spirit who tapped into the exciting ... opportunities of Coro, becoming the highest taxpayer in town (pp. 71, 79). When anti-Semitism drove him and his extended family back to their native Curaao, they (168 in number) collectively carried away 88 enslaved men, women, and children, but not before contributing greatly to Coros economy (p. 89). One wonders how Once Jews would have read had Goldish consulted with Afro-Caribbean informants aware of their Sephardic ancestry, as did Curaaoan specialists E va Abraham-Van der Mark (1993) and Alan B enjamin (2002). That said, Once Jews does offer some innovative material, particularl y the oral interviews she conducted with scions of Curaaoan Sephardim. With fluent reading or speaking knowledge of Spanish, Portuguese, and Papiamentu, and herself a descendant of this diasporic elite, Goldish gained easy and friendly access to her subjects as well as to private and municipal archives. T he findings from these interviews consistently point to contempo rary Sephardic Jewish identity as ancestral, ethnic, or racial, as opposed to religious. No quote better encapsulates this self-ascription than the exclama tion of one Catholic descendant of Curaaoan Sephardim: Soy catlica ... pero soy juda! (p. 161). Goldish also relates that her Catholic informants in B arranquilla often attribute their commercial success to their Jewish ancestry (p. 215). Y et, she resists these fascinating findings and their implica tions, instead emphasizing synagogue and ritual as barometers of Jewishness and Jewish continuity. One wonders if the racialized sense of Jewishness
144 New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011)is specific to Sephardim, who cultivated an age-old nobility myth tied to both the ancient kingdom of Judah and the I berian Peninsula (as opposed to Ashkenazic Jews who developed no such self-glorification). Moreover, to what extent is this intense pride an affirmation of the whiteness of Sephardic Jews, and therefore of the informants themselves? Finally, one senses that Goldish has stumbled upon a goldmine of historical documents unknown and perhaps largely inaccessible to most researchers. T hese include unpublished genealogies, family histories, and scrapbooks she seems to have obtained from living descendants. (The footnotes perhaps intentionally obfuscate the precise whereabouts of some of these documents.) At its best, Once Jews is evidence that some of the richest historical and sociological sources for the Jewish Caribbean are in the hands and mouths of its Sephardic descendants. As with Jewish history in general, the challenge for Caribbean Jewish Studies is to demonstrate relevance beyond itself. REFEREN C ESABRAHA MVAN DER MARK EVA, 1993. Marriage and Concubinage among the Sephardic Merchant Elite of Curaao. In Janet Henshall Momsen (ed.), Women and Change in the Caribbean:A Pan-Caribbean Perspective London: James Currey, pp. 38-49. BENJAMIN ALAN FREDRIC, 2002. Jews of the Dutch Caribbean: Exploring Ethnic Identity on Curaao London: R outledge.Black and White Sands: A Bohemian Life in the Colonial Caribbean. ELM A NA P IER. London and R oseau, Dominica: Papillote Press, 2009. viii + 260pp. (Paper UK 10.99) PETER HU LM E Department of Literature, Film, and T heatre Studies University of E ssex Colchester C O4 3 SQ, U.K.
145 BOOK REVIEWS her husband Lennox first saw Dominica in the winter of 1931 we fell in love at first sight, an infatuation without tangible rhyme or reason, yet no more irrational than any other falling in love (p. 8). Black and White Sands tells the story of that love affair. Although now forgotten, E lma Napier was in her day a significant writer and a pioneering political figure. She published two memoirs, a collection of travel writing, and two novels (one of which, A Flying Fish Whispered  has just been re-issued by Peepal T ree Press), and wrote for a number of journals and newspapers, including Bim and The Manchester Guardian. In 1940 she became the first woman to be elected to any B ritish Caribbean legislature, serving as representative for the North Eastern District of Dominica for some eleven years in total. Black and White Sands was written in 1962 but never published. Rescued by the small but invaluable Papillote Press, it now appears in a handsome edition. E lma Napier is perhaps best seen as belonging to a very particular B ritish generation. She is an almost exact contemporary of Sylvia T ownsend Warner, Gerald B renan, Sacheverel Sitwell, and Naomi Mitchison, as well as of Alec Waugh, all writers who despite their different social backgrounds grew up in a world dislocated by the Great War, scattering them to the four corners of the earth. An early marriage had taken Elma from her wealthy Scottish home to an Australian sheep station. In Honolulu she met Lennox Napier. After her divorce, they married in 1924, discovered Dominica on a cruise in 1931, and moved there permanently the following year. They undoubtedly lived a life of privilege, but in choosing to build their house in Calibishie, on the wild northeast coast of the island, they firmly separated themselves from the horizons of the small group of white settlers and colonial officials in R oseau, the capital. When Lennox died in 1940, E lma Napier stayed in their house, Pointe Baptiste, hosting visitors such as Somerset Maugham, Noel Coward, and Patrick Leigh Fermor, who painted a memorable picture of the house and its owner in The Travellers Tree: this house, in its remote and forested mountains, was the result of half a lifetime of active pursuits lit erature, politics, family, distant journeys and of a compendious and exhaustive range of interests ( Fermor 1984:106). The Napiers arrival in Dominica coincided with a moment of political unrest: the legislative council had resigned en bloc in a dispute about taxa tion and the administrator had failed to persuade any of the local worthies to accept nomination. When two finally did, the house of one was burned to the ground. Elma Napier tells this story without names attached, but the property destroyed was Mitcham House at Geneva, owned by the Lockhart family, and which Jean Rhys would celebrate as Coulibri in Wide Sargasso Sea. Lennox made the acquaintance of two of the intransigent politicians one of whom may have been an outside relative of Rhyss and took up the case with the Colonial Office, giving himself great kudos on the island,
146 New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011)which resulted in him being elected unopposed for the North E astern district in 1937, a position his wife was asked to take up after his death. Rhys and her husband, Leslie T ilden Smith, had lunch with the Napiers on her one return to Dominica in 1936. A letter of Rhyss sketches a sharp portrait of Elma: The Calibishie lady is by way of being literary (T omahawk in hand, smile on face) (Rhys 1985:29). Elma Napier apparently always said she could never remember R hyss visit, which is so much classier as a put-down. Black and White Sands is a beautifully written memoir: the prose spar kles, the anecdotes are lively, the descriptions capture a natural world of wonderful richness and variety. There is a long account of getting to know Dominica and there are some thoughtful pictures of its social and political worlds in the three decades before West Indian independence. Where Black and White Sands scores above even the best travel books, such as Leigh Fermors The Travellers Tree or Alec Waughs Hot Countries, is that its based on the kind of deep knowledge of a place that is only acquired slowly: Elma Napier had lived in Calibishie for thirty years when she sat down to write this book. So the 70-year old Elma Napier looks back on a love affair which once swept her off her feet and which in 1962 was still providing the deep satisfactions and occasional frustrations of a long and happy mar riage. Few books ever written give a better sense of what Elma Napier calls Dominicas mysterious charm (p. 11), a charm which has continued to entangle many visitors in its sweet embrace. REFEREN C ESFER M OR, PATRI C K LEIGH 1984. The Travellers Tree: A Journey Through the Caribbean Islands. Harmondsworth: Penguin. [ Orig. 1950.] RHYS, JEAN, 1985. Letters 1931-66 Harmondsworth, U.K.: Penguin. WAUGH, AL E C 1989. Hot Countries. New Y ork: Paragon House. [ Orig. 1930.] , 1973. The Fatal Gift London: W.H. Allen & Co. Ltd.
147 BOOK REVIEWS West Indian Slavery and British Abolition, 1783-1807. DAVID BE C K RYDEN New Y ork: Cambridge University Press, 2010. xvii + 332 pp. (Cloth US$ 80.00) JUSTIN ROBERTS Department of History Dalhousie University Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, B 3H 4P9
148 New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011)sugar production, he maintains, peaked with the high prices of 1790s after the revolt in St. Domingue. R yden argues that the planter elite, particularly Jamaican proprietors, had enough political clout in London to gain mar ket protection and ensure high profits in the mid-eighteenth century. Their diminishing power in the metropole, the rising cost of provisions following the American R evolution, and the increasing competition from foreign sugar producers combined with overproduction to weaken both the economy and the West Indian lobby. R yden also incorporates the recent historiographical emphasis on slave agency into his reinterpretation by arguing that the costs of controlling slaves and the risks in sugar production rose during the age of abolition as slaves sensed a weakness in their masters power and solidarity, further threatening the sugar industry. All of these factors together, he argues, made abolition politically and economically expedient. There are few flaws in this thoroughly researched and detailed book, and for the most part they amount to ambitious exaggerations or generalizations. Although R yden claims to treat the British West Indies as a whole, his evidence is almost exclusively Jamaican. He defends his conflation of Jamaica with the West Indies by insisting that it was by far the most important of the sugar islands and that its planters had disproportionate political power. Unfortunately, his work encourages a tendency in what is still an underdeveloped historiography to see the sugar industry in the islands as a monolithic entity overlooking important differences among the islands. Jamaican planters, for example struggled with the costs of maintaining a sufficient labor force for their brutal labor regime. In contrast, by the age of abolition, B arbadian planters had naturally reproducing slave populations. T here is also a tendency in R ydens work and throughout much of the debate about the preemancipation West Indian economy to make the sugar industry stand in for the regions economy as a whole, overlooking the diversified production of the late eighteenth-century circum-Caribbean. The West Indies is a fertile zone and planters who found sugar less viable could and did continue to use forced labor in other productive agricultural activities, sometimes juggling multiple cash crops. As a factor in declining profitability, R yden stresses the rising costs of plantation provisions that accompanied the disruption of trade with the mainland colonies, the expansion of the sugar industry, and the increased competition for resources. Y et R yden does not sufficiently acknowledge that along with diversifying their cash crops and producing more refined sugars, planters could maintain profit margins by growing provisions on their estates. Overall, this book is a testament to R ydens expertise in economic analy sis and to his thorough archival research in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Jamaica. He has done more extensive work with Jamaican crop accounts than any previous historian, which enables him to offer the most detailed evidence in the literature on sugar production levels in Jamaica. Likewise, his careful interpretation of the records of the London Society of West-India Planters and Merchants allow him to make new contributions to
149 BOOK REVIEWS our understanding of the power of the West Indian interest in the metropole and the extent to which Jamaicans dominated that political lobby. T he appen dix offers specialists a wealth of important new data and estimates, drawn from Jamaican records, on sugar container sizes and prices and on population statistics for slaves. R yden has made the strongest case for the decline thesis in decades, reawakening a debate that most had thought had been put to rest. REFEREN C ESDRESCHER, SEYMOUR, 1977. Econocide: British Slavery in the Era of Abolition Pittsburgh P A: University of Pittsburgh Press. EL TIS, DAVID 1987. Economic Growth and the Ending of the Transatlantic Slave Trade New Y ork: Oxford University Press. MCCUSKER, JOHN J., 1997. T he E conomy of the B ritish West I ndies, 1763-1790. In John J. McCusker, Essays in the Economic History of the Atlantic World. London: Routledge, pp. 310-30. RAGATZ, LOWE LL J., 1928. The Fall of the Planter Class in the British Caribbean, 17631833 New Y ork: Octagon B ooks. WARD, J. R ., 1988. British West Indian Slavery, 1750-1834: The Process of Amelioration New Y ork: Oxford University Press. WI LL IA M S, ERI C, 1964. Capitalism and Slavery London: Andre Deutsch. [ Orig. 1944.]The Children of Africa in the Colonies: Free People of Color in Barbados in the Age of Emancipation. ME L ANIE J. NEWTON B aton R ouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2008. xiv + 322 pp. (Cloth US$ 42.50) OL WYN M. BL OUET Department of History and Philosophy Virginia State University Petersburg V A 23806, U. S.A.
150 New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011)Caribbean. At the heart of the book she tries to chart the changing politi cal consciousness of free people of color in Barbados during a tumultuous time. What impact did the abolition of slavery have on the expectations and experiences of free people of color? How did amelioration and emancipation affect their interactions with former slaves, with whites, and with each other? Newton reexamines the free people of color in the age of emancipation, ear lier explored by Jerome Handler in The Unappropriated People (1974). She asserts that free people of color were an integral part of the social structure, and crucially shaped conceptions of freedom and slavery in the island. T heir presence challenged the planter-states efforts to clearly delineate boundaries between free and slave and white and nonwhite (p. 6). Part One of this well-researched book, which draws on rich primary material, covers the period from the revolutionary 1790s to the beginning of the apprenticeship period in 1834. Part T wo focuses on the four years of the apprenticeship experiment until full freedom in 1838. Part T hree advances into the postemancipation era, looking at the limits of freedom. Finally, an Epilogue makes links between history and the present in a section entitled The Living Past. Newton encourages readers to think about how histories of slavery and emancipation are used in the contemporary Caribbean. In the early chapters of the book we learn a lot about the slave state in Barbados, where, atypically, poor whites (many female) were a significant proportion of the relatively large, white community. Manumission was difficult and expensive. Although the free colored population grew in Barbados after 1780, their numbers were relatively low, when compared to other islands. Even in 1833, there were twice as many whites (14,592) as free people of color (6,584), with 82,807 enslaved people. Some free AfroBarbadians owned slaves (usually small numbers), and frequently hired them out, as many whites did, to make a living. Many free people of color had relatives who were slaves or former slaves. Free people of color do not appear to have freed slaves any more than whites. Newton identifies the emergence of two groups of free people of color in the early nineteenth century bourgeois/elitist and populist/working class. Members of the elitist, property-owning group were pro-slavery at first. They presented themselves as the voice for all free people of color, and pushed for civil rights (such as the right to testify in court) based on their free status. But, between 1816 (Barbados slave revolt) and 1824 (the first year of amelioration), new voices emerged that were not pro-slavery. We begin to see divisions within the free Afro-Barbadian community divisions along class, education, age, and culture lines. Newton discusses two petitions of 1823-24, symbolic of this split. The first, from the elitists headed by Jacob Belgrave, denounced British abolitionism and was addressed to the legislature. The second, led by Samuel Collymore and written to the governor, represented free colored people of lower-class background. Signed by 373
151 BOOK REVIEWS free Afro-Barbadians, it was neutral on slavery. The legislature viewed this counteraddress as extremely radical and dangerous. Amelioration, a Colonial Office attempt to reform slavery in the period before emancipation, gave people of color space to operate regarding reli gion, education, and philanthropy. Affluent, free people of color opened schools and founded charitable and friendly societies, thus displaying their respectability. They constituted themselves as a public, and challenged racial discrimination. In 1831 the Barbadian legislature passed the Brown Privilege Bill, giving the franchise to free Afro-Barbadian men. It turned out that only about 75 men could vote, because the property qualification was set at 30 pounds of taxable property. The qualification for white males was only 10 pounds! As emancipation approached affluent free people of color and whites cooperated more. For example, merchants in both groups acted together to lobby the legislature to restrict street hucksters, fearing competi tion from the soon-to-be free. White and Afro-Barbadian men also shared ideas about patriarchal codes of Christian conduct for men and women cen tered on the suppression of illegitimate sexual relations between whites and people of African descent, the restriction of independent economic activity by women, and the control of free laborers (p. 8). During the apprenticeship period, some in the colonial administration saw free people of color as an intermediary group who could help with the transition from slavery to freedom, but the plantocracy resisted any notion of racial equality. It was at this point, in 1833, when the two groups of free people of color elitist and working class came together to press for equal ity for all free subjects. Samuel Jackman Prescod, journalist and politician, emerged as a leader in the free colored community, pushing for political reform and resistance to racial segregation. He was the first man of color to be elected to the Barbados Assembly. He viewed himself as a black Briton and was no democrat. In the apprenticeship era the free Afro-Barbadian elite, less hopeful of gaining equality with whites, embraced emancipation and claimed former slaves as brethren, working to become representatives of the newly free. After full freedom in 1838, class tensions surfaced in relation to migration and franchise reform, once more dividing the Afro-Barbadian community. Only a few wealthy Afro-Barbadian men gained appointments and political influence after emancipation because land and wealth stayed largely in white hands. Some decided to migrate to Africa in search of better opportunities. Melanie Newton has provided a stimulating work that covers more ground and raises more issues than discussed here. The book should be read by all interested in slavery and emancipation in the wider Atlantic world.
152 New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011) REFEREN C EHAND L ER, JERO M E 1974. The Unappropriated People: Freedmen in the Slave Society of Barbados. B altimore MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.Friends and Enemies: The Scribal Politics of Post/Colonial Literature. CHRIS BONGIE. Liverpool, U.K: Liverpool University Press, 2008. xvi + JA C QUE L INE COUTI Foreign Languages Department Mc Daniel College Westminster MD 21157-4390, U. S.A.
153 BOOK REVIEWS ing their antagonistic relationship through the entanglement of politics in the preservation of memory. Setting Rgis Debrays ideas against those of douard Glissant, Kwame Appiah, and others, Bongie analyzes conflictive and reductive humanist and humanitarian concepts, considering the latest expression of the white mans burden inherited from the E nlightenment. A close reading of Jean-Baptiste Picquenards overlooked novels and versions of Victor Hugos Bug-Jargal further critiques the intertwining of humanist and humanitarian ideals. Chapter 1 discusses Picquenards political ambiv alence in preserving and erasing the memory of revolutionary violence. Chapter 2 explores the rewritings of Bug-Jagal particularly Leitch R itchies The Slave-King (1833), challenging the original texts authority and suggest ing the importance, in the British abolitionist movement, of scribes such as R itchie or the Haitian B aron de Vastey. Part T wo exposes the devoir de mmoire, supported by antagonistic figures such as Rgis Debray and douard Glissant, as the treacherous expression of the interplay between memory and nostalgia. Chapter 3 uses the bicentennial of the Haitian Revolution to denounce Debrays governmental report in 2004, Hati et la France which indicated a nostalgic neo-colonialism born out of what Bongie calls a disturbing ideal of universal humanism, and which led to Aristides removal from Haiti. Chapter 4 broadens this issue through Martiniquan political debates concerning the sesquicentenary celebration of the abolition of slavery. Squabbles over the dates of abolition and the problematic figure of Cyrille B issette illustrate how the interconnection of memory and nostalgia prevents an accurate reconstruction of the past. Using G eorge Y udices examination of the A merican culture wars, Bongie sees these Martiniquan quarrels as coming from the same hegemonic discourse inher ent to the devoir de mmoire. Finally, Chapter 5 is the less than reverent account of the literary nostalgia for literature (p. 152) in Derek Walcotts play, The Haitian Trilogy. Bongie chides Walcott for his misrepresentations of Christophes mulatto secretary, which erase de Vasteys anticolonial discourse. Walcotts sceptical humanist representations of History, his cynical disengagement from social movements (p. 250) betray The Haitian Trilogy as a mere repackaging of three plays: a commodified object of consumption. Part Three further desacralizes the commodified literary object and the great writer as a metonymic fetish. B ongie rails against an elitism that deni grates popular lowbrow culture, perpetuates a watered-down version of canonical thinking and only bothers to give a voice to the people when they say, do, and consume the right thing (p. 291). Examining the marginalization of the political in the works of David Scott and Peter Hallward, Bongie claims that severing cultural practices from political agendas in novels by Maryse Cond and Glissant feeds middlebrow popularity. Chapter 6 examines popular authors, such as T ony D elsham, to probe the mechanics at play behind the construction of Conds so-called consecrated and fetishistic status in
154 New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011)Francophone and postcolonial spheres by literary critics. Bongie asks scholars to examine both her texts and popular success. I n Chapter 7, B ongie discusses Nick Nesbitts Voicing Memory and its exploration of the popular reception of Edwige Danticats work as a guilty pleasure for literary critics and in harshly critiquing Glissants recent works. For Bongie, Glissant reiterates ideas that sell and betray their authors skepticism and cynicism. In addition, Bongie affirms that Glissants scribal work for Jacques Chiracs government evokes the intellectual as a janus-figure both distant and close to power. Bongie argues with passion for the reconciliation of several frres ennemis: literature and politics, the great writer and the scribe, cultural studies and postcolonial studies. His rigorous reworking of previous essays challenges the controversial overview of debates concerning postcolonial scholarship and he calls for a reassessment of the field. Although he relent lessly shares his expertise and his aspiration for the future of Francophone postcolonial scholarship, he does not offer a clear definition of the latter. Indeed, the thoroughness of this deconstructive study may frustrate some readers, since his antagonistic stance may appear questionable. For instance, Bongies criticism of the way Walcott and Glissant repackage their previous work as a means to reassert their cultural authority might be undermined by his own repackaging. Nevertheless, his valuable contribution, for those unaware of his scholarship, has opened a Pandoras box that will generate stimulating conversations among scholars. Perhaps these discussions will allow new voices to be heard. Nationalism and the Formation of Caribbean Literature. LEAH READE ROSENBERG. New Y ork: Palgrave MacMillan, 2007. x + 260 pp. (Cloth US$ 69.95) BNDI C TE LEDENT Department of E nglish University of Lige B -4000 Lige, B elgium < B .Ledent@ulg.ac.be>In the past few years, critical voices have been calling for a reappraisal of the literary historiography of the Anglophone Caribbean, pleading in particular for more attention to be paid to the writing published before World War II. This artistic production, the argument goes, has been either ignored or under
155 BOOK REVIEWS stated in much of the recording of the literary history of the region, and should be carefully considered because, as Alison Donnell (2006:13) points out, this would enable us to re-establish the complexity of both cultural forms and pol itics pre-1950, thereby opening this archive up to the present and the future. Leah Reade Rosenbergs Nationalism and the Formation of Caribbean Literature clearly follows in the wake of such a rationale and constitutes an important contribution to the current revision of the Caribbean literary canon. It aims to tell the story of the intertwined development of nationalism and literature in the E nglish-speaking Caribbean between 1840 and 1940 (p. 5). It also highlights the exclusionary practices that often underlay the elabora tion of this tradition and which can, in many cases, be perceived in the way the writers of the period engaged with matters of gender. Focusing mainly on T rinidad and Jamaica two islands with strong literary and political move ments in the early twentieth century (p. 9) the book is organized in seven chapters, each dedicated to one author, or one group of authors, whose writing contributed to the formation of a literary tradition in the region. Rosenberg starts with a discussion of three early T rinidadian novels E.L. Josephs Warner Arundell (1838), Michel Maxwell Philips Emmanuel Appadocca (1854), and Stephen Cobhams Rupert Gray (1907) which, she explains, went some way toward challenging Europes claim to superiority. However, she points out, the same cannot always be said of the writers examined in the rest of the book, for in spite of their nationalistic and liberatory claims their works often led to a consolidation of the hierarchies, racial or social, which were advocated by the colonial order. Among the writers stud ied in the volume are Thomas MacDermot, H.G. de Lisser, Claude McKay, and Una Marson from Jamaica as well as Alfred Mendes and C.L.R. James from T rinidad. T he last chapter is devoted to Jean R hys, which might be sur prising as she is from neither Jamaica nor T rinidad, but this focus on an artist who can be regarded as transitional if only because her work straddles two generations of writers enables R osenberg to adopt a comparative approach and wrap up her overall argument. There are many reasons why Nationalism and the Formation of Caribbean Literature should be recommended to scholars working in the field of Caribbean studies. As a well-documented volume using a wideranging array of unpublished or hard-to-find material, it provides a solid historical contextualization for the literature it examines, particularly in its thorough study of the role played by cultural networks or by institutions like the press in the establishment of a national body of writing. Rosenberg should also be praised for addressing with determination the many tensions inherent in a literary production which tended to depict working-class char acters, many of them female, but nevertheless resorted to a dubious rhetoric of respectability inherited from Victorianism and therefore ended up promoting the interests of the middle class.
156 New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011)Overall, Rosenbergs focus is very much on the evolution of the literary scene and the development of individual writing careers, which means that relatively little attention is paid to the aesthetic features of the texts them selves (apart from occasional references to their linguistic makeup). As a result, the works literary qualities are not really taken into consideration, with the exception of a few reported comments on the disappointing char acter of some of them (see, for example, p. 35). This is a shame, not only because the passages where the analysis becomes slightly more textual (e.g., the sections devoted to McKays Home to Harlem and Banana Bottom) are among the best in the book, but also because an examination of the artistic value of the works in question would, in some cases, have explained why they have not received much recognition. Another regret is that some of the critical foci announced in the introduction are not fully developed in the body of the book; the notion of creolization is sporadically touched upon, notably in relation to T rinidadian yard fiction, but should have been tackled more directly, or perhaps more clearly. Finally, the book suffers from a cer tain vagueness, especially in its referencing system and in the terminology it deploys. For example, a word such as elite, which is central to the argument, tends to be used rather loosely. Ground-breaking because of its subject matter, Nationalism and the Formation of Caribbean Literature is also remarkable because it opens onto other original, if underexploited, vistas. It testifies, for example, to the importance of alternative sexualities in the construction of Caribbean identity. This field has not yet been fully charted and would have deserved even more explicit coverage in this book. More could also have been said on the relationship between pre-1950s Caribbean writers and the Windrush genera tion. Rosenberg offers a few points of comparison with George Lamming in the course of her book, and expands on this a little in her short afterword. Y et her explanations remain sketchy on the whole, which might suggest that there is material for another book in this. REFEREN C EDONNE LL, AL ISON, 2006. Twentieth-Century Caribbean Literature : Critical Moments in Anglophone Literary History. London: R outledge.
157 BOOK REVIEWS Signs of Dissent: Maryse Cond and Postcolonial Criticism. DAWN FU L TON Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2008. x + 185 pp. (Cloth US$ 55.00) FL OREN C E RA M OND JURNEY Department of French and I talian Gettysburg College Gettysburg P A 17325, U. S.A.
158 New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011)additional readings. Chapter 1 finds contemporary echoes of transnational discussions in some of Conds early work (two novels and some critical work) as it highlights how the global can sometimes clash with the local, resulting in misunderstandings. Chapter 2 focuses on the well-known novel I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem and offers an interesting vision of T ituba as an anthropologist (p. 42). Chapter 3 deals with novels in which disorder and destruction of boundaries are central and result in the impossibility to certify ones genealogy. Chapter 4 gives an interesting reading of the theme of traum a in Desirada, linking the individual trauma of the main character, Marie-Nolle, who is unable to find information about her father, to the collective trauma of the Caribbean people dispossessed of their land and identity. Chapters 5-7 are without doubt the most interesting because they are dealing with some of the most recent novels: Clanire cou-coup (2000), La Belle Crole (2001) and Histoire de la femme cannibale (2003). Very few critical articles, if any, have been published on these books and the only discussions of them have taken place at scholarly conferences. Written and published reflections are thus welcome as a serious addition to the field. Chapter 5 offers an insightful reading of Clanire cou-coup in light of Mary Shelleys Frankenstein and exposes Conds work in a new light for those who had read it only in the context of postcolonial studies. Chapter 6 discusses La Belle Crole in a politically charged context: one where the debate on slavery reparations is central. While the analysis is convincing, it would have benefited from some information about Conds presence in one specific governmental project: the Comit pour la Mmoire de lesclavage (Committee for the Memory of Slavery) created in April 2004 and of which she was the president. Even though the report cannot be considered one of Conds texts since it was discussed and written in a collective spirit, her participation in it informs, and is informed by, opinions and ideas she develops in her fiction. Finally, Chapter 7 is an engaging reading of Histoire de la femme cannibale Fultons comments on cannibalism through the centuries from a perspective more anthropological than literary are valuable and she draws the link between the two nicely. The conclusion of Signs of Dissent explains something that might other wise have appeared as a shortcoming: that is, the problematics of translation for an author who writes in French but is widely read and studied in English translation. As such, one can understand Fultons choice to study Conds work for its ideological content more than its literary one since, as she notes: the fact that many of the assessments of Conds work that I have discussed in this study are readings of the English translations of her novels adds an important dimension to the critical dialogue she undertakes in her fiction (p. 143). Overall, Signs of Dissent is a nice contribution to the field of Caribbean studies. Other than the introduction which feels, at times, linguistically over burdened, Fultons readings of Conds work are made from an interesting angle.
159 BOOK REVIEWS The Archaeology of the Caribbean. SAMUEL M. WILSON Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007. xiv + 208 pp. (Cloth US$ 85.00, Paper US$ 27.99) FREDERI C K H SM ITH Department of Anthropology College of William and Mary Williamsburg V A 23187-8795, U. S. A.
160 New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011)which spurred changes in social, political, and economic organization. The movement of Saladoid horticulturalists into the Caribbean beginning around 2,000 years ago further stimulated cultural change and ethnogenesis. Wilson argues that these Saladoid migrants were not simply a homogeneous group that replaced earlier peoples, but a flexible force that added to the dynamism and diversity of the region. He also examines the role that inter-island and mainland exchange networks played in shaping prehistoric Caribbean societies. Finally, even though his primary focus is on the cultural developments in the Greater Antilles, he provides an important overview of the major archae ological sites and issues concerning the cultural trajectories of Amerindian peoples in the Lesser Antilles before and after the arrival of E uropeans. Perhaps Wilsons greatest contribution is his analysis of emerging chiefdoms in the Greater Antilles beginning around AD 600. Again, he highlights the blending of cultural traditions and the emergence of new cultural forms, looking at evidence from Maisabel, T ibes, and Caguana in Puerto Rico to show the transition from small-scale communal Saladoid villages to larger and more politically complex ranked T ano societies. He draws on an extensive amount of archaeological evidence from a geographically diverse range of archaeological sites in the region to reveal this shift. The transition to ranked societies is most evident in changing settlement patterns and burial practices. Early Saladoid peoples buried their dead communally in central ceremonial spaces ringed by communal houses. As these Saladoid villages grew in population and political complexity, communal burial areas gave way to individual burials tied to individual households. The shift reflected a transition from the egalitarian Saladoid village life to the lineage-based system of leadership that would characterize T ano political organization. In T ano polities, central areas within villages remained communal spaces, though they were used as ball courts and ceremonial plazas for the display of kingship and other community events. Using archaeological and ethnohistorical evidence, Wilson provides an excellent overview of T ano cultural practices. He highlights diversity within T ano societies (especially differ ences between T ano chiefdoms in Puerto Rico and Hispaniola), reveals the extent of T ano cultural and political influence, and explicates the nature of culture change at interaction zones at the fringes of the T ano world. Wilson offers a well-organized, well-written, and timely study of Caribbean archaeology that underscores the dynamic and diverse nature of Caribbean societies before and after the arrival of Europeans. He untangles the complexities of Caribbean prehistory and breaks us free from the bonds of the descriptive and complicated culture history scholarship. More impor tantly, for those of us teaching courses in Caribbean prehistory, this book provides a clear and readable text that will facilitate teaching and inspire stu dents to pursue further interest in the Caribbean region. It is a must-read for all serious scholars of Caribbean archaeology and will serve as an excellent text for introductory courses in that field.
161 BOOK REVIEWSREFEREN C EROUSE, IRVING 1992. The Taino: The Rise and Decline of the People Who Greeted Columbus. New Haven C T : Y ale University Press.Crossing the Borders: New Methods and Techniques in the Study of Archaeological Materials from the Caribbean. CORINNE L. HOFMAN, MENNO L.P. HOOGLAND & ANNELOU L. VAN GIJN (eds.). T uscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008. xii + 293 pp. (Paper US$ 39.95) MARK KOSTRO Department of Anthropology College of William and Mary Williamsburg V A 23185-8795, U. S. A. < email@example.com >Over the last two decades, the application of the natural and physical sciences in archaeology, commonly referred to as archaeometry or archaeological sci ence, has gradually been adopted as a part of the Caribbean archaeologists tool kit for wresting technological, cultural, and historical information from archaeological sites and collections. I n 2006, the leading archaeometric spe cialists working with Caribbean sites and artifacts gathered at the Society for American Archaeology conference in Puerto Rico for a symposium showcasing recent approaches. The symposium ultimately evolved into the anthology under review here. Crossing the Borders begins with an introduction by the co-editors to the study of archaeological materials, including a useful historical overview of Caribbean archaeology. This is followed by fourteen case studies prepared by experts from both sides of the Atlantic, and an epilogue by T ano specialist William Keegan. Obviously intended for other archaeologists, the case studies do an excellent job of demonstrating the fundamental role that archaeometry now plays in Caribbean archaeology and illustrate the diver sity of experience and backgrounds of the researchers. Keegans epilogue, meanwhile, respectfully tenders an acknowledgement to the pioneering archaeometric studies that laid the groundwork over the last thirty years for the current generation of scholars. Keegan also does well to remind readers that showcasing methodological or technological sophistication is never
162 New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids vol. 85 no. 1 & 2 (2011)enough, and that asking good questions is still the most important part of any archaeological investigation. The first three case studies (Chapters 2-4) feature techniques for deter mining the origins of ceramics, metals, and lithic artifacts. The three editors combine conventional archaeological analysis, geochemical analysis, and ethnoarchaeological research to determine the provenance of pottery fragments recovered on Saba. Their evidence indicates that most of the pottery was manufactured from local clays; however, as much as one third was manufactured from non-local sources. Drawing on their ethnoarchaeological evidence, they argue that the clay must have been part of the exchange network of Amerindians. Jago Cooper, Marcos Martinn-T orres, and Roberto Valcrcel Rojas then trace the origin, composition, and manufacture of metal objects from a T ano cemetery in Cuba; theirs is the only case study in the volume that focuses on the poorly understood contact period. They determine that the metal objects are of E uropean origin and suggest new insights into indigenous trade systems, as well as the influence of E uropean colonizers on T ano customs and values. In the final provenance study, Sebastiaan Knippenburg and Johannes Zijlstra review the metholodogy for characterizing the chemical composition of flint and chert artifacts as a productive technique for determining where Amerindians sourced raw materials for stone tools. The next three chapters examine Amerindian manufacturing processes. In Chapter 5, Charlene Dixon Hutcheson profiles the use of dental molds of basket-impressed ceramics from the B ahamas for studying weaving techniques in the absence of the original artifacts. Christy de Mille, T amara Varney, and Michael T urney investigate the drilling technology of the Saladoid lapidary industries on Antigua using casts of bead bore holes and scanning electron microscopy. And B enot B rard presents a research plan for examining stone tool manufacture by comparing Huecan and Cedrosan Saladoid assemblages, aimed at clarifying distinctions between the two cultural traditions. The microscopic analysis of tools, and the residues adhering to cutting surfaces is the focus of Chapters 8-12. Van Gijn, Y vonne Lammers-Keijsers, and Iris Briels employ use-wear analysis of ceramics, stones, shells, and coral to reconstruct activities. Building on these results, Harold J. Kelly and Van Gijn compare use-wear on coral artifacts to replicate tools. Combining use-wear analysis, plant phytolith, and starch residue analysis, Channah Nieuwenhuis assesses the function of specific stone tools and pottery in plant processing in Saba. Also focusing on plant remains, Jaime Pagn Jimnez and Jos Oliver compare starch residues on stone tools between various Puerto Rican sites to suggest different systems of agricultural production on the island. Starch residues are also examined on ceramic griddles from Cuba by Roberto Rodriguez and Pagn Jimnez in their evaluation of the notion that griddles were used solely for the production of cassava bread.
163 BOOK REVIEWS The last three chapters feature paleobotanical and paleo-osteological research. Lee Newsom reviews the newest methods and techniques in the study of plant remains. Alfredo Coppa and a number of collaborators present dental evidence for two separate migratory waves in the circum-Caribbean. Finally, Mathijs B ooden et al use strontium isotopes from teeth and bone to in Guadeloupe. T o echo Keegan (p. 231), Crossing the Borders ushers Caribbean archae ology into a new phase. Excavation is no longer an end in itself, and finds lists no longer constitute the totality of an archaeologists analytical capabil ity. With the aim of becoming both methodologically and theoretically more sophisticated, the archaeometric methods profiled in this volume represent new and innovative ways to address a wider range of questions than was previously possible. Well-written and illustrated, the book is a showcase of some of the most interesting and thoughtful archaeological research under way in the Caribbean.