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Title: Teaching Guide: Teaching Robert Rossen's 1957 Island in the Sun
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Language: English
Creator: Auxier, Patricia
Publisher: University of Florida Libraries
Place of Publication: Gainesville, FL
Subjects / Keywords: Teaching guide or lesson plan
Rossen, Robert, 1908-1966
Interracial dating--United States
Interracial marriage--United States
Genre: teaching guide
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Auxier 1

Teaching Robert Rossen's 1957 Island in the Sun

Historical Context 2

Plot 3
Major Themes 4

Teachable Concepts 4
List of Main Characters 4
Critical Reception 4

Supplementary texts for teaching of the film 6
Other Resources 7
Development of Two Specific Courses 8

America's Cultural Consumption of 8
Caribbean Culture

Folk in America during the 50's and 60's 9

Theoretical Concepts and Discussion Questions 10
Bakhtin and the Carnivalesque 10
Gramsci and Adorno's Theories of 11
Dominant and Sub Cultures
"Island in the Sun" and "Rum and Coca-Cola" 13

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Historical Context

The mid-20th century marks the shift from British to US power in the West Indies, and this film,
with the capital coming from Hollywood and the directors coming Britain, operates as a
metaphor for the exchange of power happening politically and even culturally in the area. As the
Britain sought to remove itself from its Caribbean obligations, it sought to instate a West Indian
federation in 1958. The clash between Britain extraction, West Indian independence, and
American political presence came into conflict when the new site for the federation was planned
for the American controlled Chaguaramas.

The novel itself arrived at an interesting and critical intersection of the flourishing of mass
tourism in the Caribbean and the simultaneous movement to self-government. The 1950's was a
period of transition in the Caribbean from imperial rule to self-government, and the novel
addressed that issue. Reacting to the granting of universal suffrage given to people in West
Indies in 1944, the book written in 1955 (an international best seller) dealt more with the
political movement in the Caribbean than race issues. When the book was translated into film,
however, the issues were complicated by the race-politics in the United States during the 50's
and 60's (segregation, miscegenation laws, Civil Rights movement, etc.).

In his essay on miscegenation in Hollywood films, Alan Marcus contextualizes this moment of
film within an American social context. With the arrest of Rosa Parks and lynching of Emmett Till
in 1955, the desegregation movement in Little Rock in 1957, and the 1963 Civil Rights march on
Washington, the legitimacy of the interracial relationship remained a hot topic in the American
cultural discourse. Marcus points out that at this time 16 states at this time still prohibited
miscegenation, and it wasn't until June of 1967 that the Supreme Court ended such legislation
during its ruling of Loving v. Virginia.

Island in the Sun, then, comes at a particular moment in American racial politics, negotiating a
dynamic of interracial marriage within the cultural dialogue of film, joining Pinky (1949), Band of
Angels (1957), Kings Go Forth (1958), Touch of Evil (1958), Night of the Quarter Moon (1959),
Imitation of Life (1959), The World, the Flesh, and the Devil (1959), and Diamond Head (1963),
not to mention the plethora of films wedding whites with other races, such as Native American,
Mexican, and Asian.

The film caused a great deal of controversy upon its release. The Chicago Defender's article
"Nation Awaits Film 'Island In Sun"' on May 4, 1957 projected that despite the well-known cast,
the cast would "hardly expect a hearty welcome south of the Mason and Dixon Line." The
American Film Index (AFI) outlines various protests to the film which fulfill the Chicago's
Defender's prophecies. According to a July 1957 news item, Island in the Sun was banned in
Memphis, TN, because of its "frank depiction of miscegenation, an offense to moral standards
and no good for Whites or Negroes." A July 1957 New York Times news item adds that in New
Orleans, the American Legion launched an unsuccessful campaign to halt the film's screening on
the grounds that it "contributes to the Communist Party's aim of creating friction between the
races." Another New York Times news article on August 17, 1957 "Film Picketed in Florida"

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outlines the Ku Klux Klan's protestation of the film in Jacksonville, Florida. There was also a
discussion in the media centering on Harry Belafonte, a calypso start at the peak of his
popularity. Not only was Belafonte black and spent part of his childhood in Jamaica, he was
married to a white woman at the time. In one interview reported in the Daily Defender on June
10, 1957 "Belafonte Says Studio Requested His Silence On Interracial Role," Belafonte admits his
frustration with 20th Century Fox's policy that he not discus his interracial romanced depicted
between Joan Fonataine and him.

Additional reviews:
Films in Review. 8.7, (August 1957): 353.
Monthly Film Bulletin. 24.283 (August 1957): 97.
Today's Cinema. 89.7810 (03 July 1957): 10.
Daily Film Renter. 74.15 (03 July 1957): 3.
Film Daily. 111.117 (18 June 1957): 6.
Motion Picture Herald. 207.11 (15 June 1957): 417.
Hollywood Reporter 145.1 (13 June 1957): 3.


Two almost competing elements weave throughout Island in the Sun: a simultaneous
movement towards self-government and political independence and interracial
romances. It centers around the dynamics of the Fluery family that owns a plantation on
the fictional West Indie island of Santa Marta and the dynamics between a local black
leader, David Boyeur, and a member of the white elite, Mavis Norman.

The different romantic relationships are as follows:
1) Maxwell and Sylvia Fleury: Maxwell's inferiority complexes cause him to suspect
Sylvia to be in an affair with Carson, whom he eventually murders.
2) Jocelyn Fleury and Euan Templeton: a sexual relationship put into question by
Jocelyn's ambiguous racial inheritance ultimately ending in marriage
3) Mavis Norman and David Boyeur: complicated by and ultimately ended because of
racial and class differences because of Boyeur's political aspirations
4) Margot Seaton and Denis Archer: met at governor's ball; he eventually gets
released from duties because of the relationship

These stories arguably overshadow the other main discourse of political independence
(the more prominent of the two in Alec Waugh's book upon which the movie was based).
David Boyeur, as a black, young politician rising out of the lower class, threatens to
disrupt the power of the white ruling class by running for local government. Tensions
arise between Boyeur and Maxwell Fleury, who is convinced to oppose Boyeur in the
election by other members of the white elite in order to keep the political status quo.

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Major themes
Class conflicts
Interracial romance West Indian independence
Interracial politics

Teachable concepts

Carnival as trope Expectations of gender
Politics of interracial roles
romance Music as a social cue
Private vs. public spheres Masculinity crisis of the
Appropriation of 50's
Caribbean culture

List of main characters

Maxwell Fleury (James Mason): plantation's owner's son, convinced by Carson to run
for local government although discouraged by his parents
Jocelyn Fleury (Joan Collins): younger sister of Maxwell; falls in love with Euan
Sylvia Fleury (Patricia Owens): wife of Maxwell
Mavis Norman (Joan Fontaine): member of white elite, strikes romance with Boyeur
Margot Seaton (Dorothy Dandridge): black drug store clerk
Hilary Carson (Michael Rennie): character Maxwell suspects affair with his wife
David Boyeur (Harry Belafonte): young black man emerging as a political leader
Mrs. Fleury (Diana Wynyard): Plantation owner's wife
Colonel Whittingham (John Williams): head of police
Euan Templeton (Stephen Boyd): son of Lord Templeton; proposes to Sylvia
Julian Fleury (Basil Sydney): Plantation owner; Maxwell's father
Denis Archer (John Justin): assistant to governor; interracial affair w/ Margot
Governor Templeton (Ronald Squire): Local government head; Euan's father
Bradshaw (Hartley Power): American journalist who reveals race history of the Fleury

Critical Reception

Johnson, Albert. "Beige, Brown or Black." Film Quarterly, Vol. 13, No. 1 (Autumn,
1959): 38-43.

This article, released two years after the film, outlines the treatment of race in
several films of the 1950's, including the 1956 Edge of the City, the1959 remake
of Imitation of Life, and Night of the Quarter Moon (1959), along with an extended
discussion of Island in the Sun. Johnson characterizes the film "made solely for
sensationalistic reasons" and "became simply a visually fascination document
without a real sense of purpose" (38). Johnson notes the double standard of the

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tame Boyeur-Mavis sequences, in which the relationship between a black man
and a white woman was kept platonic, as compared to the more sexualized
relationship between Margot and a white English civil servant. Johnson also
states that the financial success of the film sparked a movement in Hollywood to
cover similar themes of miscegenation.

Marcus, Alan. "The Interracial Romance as Primal Drama: Touch of Evil and
Diamond Head." Film Studies. 11 (Winter 2007): 14-26.

Marcus addresses the trend in Hollywood to portray interracial relationships
during the 1950's and 1960's, focusing on two bookend films of Touch of Evil
(1958) and Diamond Head (1963). After giving a brief explanation of why he
considers miscegenation films so-called "primal dramas," Marcus then develops
the racial atmosphere in the US during the 50's as a context for the Hollywood
productions proliferating during that time.

Courtney, Susan. Hollywood Fantasies of Miscegenation: Spectacular Narratives of
Gender and Race, 1903-1967. Princeton University Press, 2004.

Courtney's work contextualizes Island in the Sun's miscegenation as part of a
larger dialogue in the American 1950's over segregation and gender roles. In
Chapter 5, especially, she outlines the film's contemporary mixed reception. She
also counterposes the ending of the film-in which David Boyeur refuses to have
a relationship with a white woman-to Belafonte's real-life marriage to a white

Green, Garth L., and Philip W. Scher. Trinidad Carnival: The Cultural Politics of a
Transnational Festival. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2007.

This work outlines the transnational implications of Carnival's role in Trinidadian
culture worldwide. It covers a wide variety of Carnival's relationship to various
elements of Trinidadian culture including women, the politics and poetics, cultural
memory, tourism, and music. Chapter 8, entitled '"Will Caypso Doom Rock'n'Roll?":
The U.S. Caypso Craze of 1957," outlines the so-called Calypso craze of 1957,
spawned with Harry Belafonte's album Calypso. It rehashes Belafonte's musical
career, beginning in the jazz circuit but quickly moving to folk music, ie.e Pete
Seeger. With the release of his Calypso album (his third release), Belafonte carved
the way for the craze which took over both the radio and the nightclub. Though it
eventually conceded to Rock and Roll because it couldn't appeal to younger
audiences, it still impacted American culture and continues to maintain its
presence on the world music scene.

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Supplementary Texts for the Teaching of the Film

Hebdige, Dick. Cut 'n' Mix: Culture, Identity, and Caribbean Music. London:
Methuen, 1987.

While the entire book would be a useful extension of the course's content in
relation to the music of the Caribbean and its affect on American music
(through reggae, hip-hop, and rap), the chapter entitled "The music of
Trinidad" offers a particularly apt introduction to the role of Calypso in
Trinidad's history and relates it to American involvement and exploitation.
This chapter provides a brief outline of Trinidadian occupation and the role
of carnival and calypso in that history. Its discussion of Calypso's tie to
rebellion will help shape discussion of the appropriation of a rebellious
Trinidadian folk.

Bakhtin, Mikhail. Rabelais and His World. Cambridge: M.I.T. P. 1968. 4-30.

In this important work, Bakhtin analyzes Renaissance social systems through
two subtexts: carnival and grotesque realism. Carnival, as a moment of both
democratic equality and inversion of social structures, offers a rupture point
to existing social structures. The carnivalesque, the spirit of carnival, involves
what Bakhtin calls a "material bodily principle" which focuses on lower
forms of expression representing "images of the human body with its food,
drink, defecation, and sexual life" (18). Focusing on these aspects rather than
the kind of principles of beauty depicted in traditional "high" art, the carnival
destroys hierarchies and allows for a social vortex.

Skinner, Ewart C. "Mass Media in Trinidad and Tobago." Mass Media and the
Caribbean. Caribbean studies, v. 6. New York: Gordon and Breach, 1990. 29-54.

This chapter outlines the development of mass media in Trinidad and
Tobago. In particular it examines the dynamics between historical-cultural
pattern of development in a media atmosphere with competing systems:
exogenous (coming from outside cultures, namely British and American) and
endogenous, or the folk media. Focusing mainly on newspapers, this
historical trajectory reveals the interplay between mass media and political
objective of different disparate groups within Trinidad especially during the
political volatile years of the 1930's until the 1960's. A particularly pertinent
discussion is the shift between an Anglo media structure to an American one.

Manning, Frank E. "Calypso As a Medium of Political Communication." Mass
Media and the Caribbean. Caribbean studies, v. 6. New York: Gordon and
Breach, 1990. 415-428.

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This section deals discuss calypso as both an "expression of participatory
democracy and a means of preserving it" (426), and outlines its role in the
politics of the West Indies. The especially applicable to the discussion of
Island in the Sun comes in the discussion of calypso's role between 1956 to
1962, as Manning quotes Winthrop Holder, "a celebration of the faith of a
predominately African sector in the new political movement led by Dr. Eric
Williams. They (the calypsonians) legitimate the party and its leader" (416).
This concept has implications in terms of how calypso is used in Island in the
Sun, both as the title song and also as the calypso is used to silence Maxwell
in the political demonstration.

Liverpool, Hollis "Chalkdust". "Sounds of Power and Freedom: 1900-1962."
Rituals of Power and Rebellion: The Carnival Tradition in Trinidad and Tobago,
1763-1962. Chicago, IL.: Research Associates School Times, 2001. 449-488.

This chapter addresses the calypso in terms of Carnival, presenting calypso
as a means of empowerment. Calypsonians, Hollis argues, use the song to
"send volleys of protests into the ranks of the privileged" and was "an
instrument that the upper class elites did not possess, and this fact gave it
greater power and gained for the singers greater status in the eyes of the
lower classes" (451). This particular observation brings calypso into a
discussion of class dynamics (rather than just race). He also continues to
discuss. He also notes that the steelband movement of the 1950-1962 era
was a "movement to freedom" (474), inasmuch as the PNM employed it as a
national symbol and a unifying agent. This era contained attempts to both
nationalize and Americanize Carnival by emphasizing European costumes
and fair-skinned beauty contest (486).

Another important element of power and rebellion that Hollis discusses is
the particular ability of Carnival to unite elements that are typically separate
as well as create an inversion of sexuality. He argues that "girls [...] who have
been denied opportunities by the society or who because of their colour,
status or economic standing have been debarred from attending upper class
dances and functions, use Carnival to show off their sexual power" (479).

Other Resources:

Lhamon, W. T. Deliberate Speed: The Origins of a Cultural Style in the American 1950s.
Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1990.

Adorno, Theodor, "On the Fetish Character in Music and the Regression of
Listening", The Essential Frankfurth School Reader, Blackwell, 1938.

Auxier 8

Negus, Keith. Popular Music in Theory: An Introduction. Music/culture. Hanover, NH:
University Press of New England, 1997.

Neptune, Harvey R. Caliban and the Yankees: Trinidad and the United States
Occupation. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007

Regis, Louis. The Political Calypso: True Opposition in Trinidad and Tobago, 1962-
1987. Barbados: Press University of the West Indies, 1999.

Development of Two Specific Course Contexts

I would use this movie in two different courses, one focusing on the American
consumption of Caribbean culture and products. The other would focus on
America's cultural appropriation of the folk in mid-20th Century as a method of re-
authenticating American culture. These courses fit into an American Studies model,
addressing the larger context of American culture through literature, film,
economics, and history. Because they examine American culture through literature,
art, music, and film, they can also fit in an interdisciplinary literature or humanities

America's Cultural Consumption of Caribbean Culture

This course on Caribbean culture will look at how American culture represents and
subsumes particular manifestations of Caribbean culture, specifically in terms of
how race and culture relates to material consumption, gender constructions, and
music. We'll focus on the mid-century since it marks an imperial transition from
British to American influence. It will examine the material consumption of the
Caribbean's raw products, specifically focusing on the banana in which we will read
Peter Chapman's Bananas: How the United Fruit Company Shaped the World along
with Claude McKay's Banana Bottom as a way to view consumption through a
particular product. We will also examine primary texts produced by the United
Fruit Company which package the Caribbean culture in the form of the banana, such
as recipe books, commercials, and other advertising agents. There will be a
significant portion discussing the give-and-take representations of gender, focusing
on the sexual consumption of Caribbean femininity and masculinity. We will look at
pop-culture manifestations, such as Ricardo in I Love Lucy and the 1961 film West
Side Story. These particular instances also set-up the introduction of Island in the
Sun, which while raising interesting questions about how an American-British film
produces and reflects gender, also introduces the third element of the course's
focus: music.

We will start off with a general discussion of American consumption of Caribbean
music and use calypso and its relationship to carnival as a case study. We will discus
the "Rum and Coca-Cola" scandal, and how American music markets treated that
calypso. Then, we'll read and watch Island in the Sun we will examine the

Auxier 9

intersection of representation of race and gender situated within carnival, and
discuss how the American-British production uses carnival and calypso to deal with
racism and sexuality. This movie, in particular, works rather well because it's an
American and British joint production with a primarily American cast. Harry
Belafonte, though he lived for several years in Jamaica, is essentially an American
serving as the spokesman for the Caribbean people. Also we'd examine its
representation of calypso and carnival as a site for inversion of normal racial and
sexual expectations.

Folk in America during the 50's and 60's

The second course examines America's search for an authentic culture during a
pivotal moment of American cultural identity: the 50's and 60's. The texts and
discussions will center on how American pop-culture exploits, subsumes, and also
bows to sub-culture through its appropriation of the folk. We will also examine how
the folk is used politically and socially as a mechanism of internal rebellion and a
return to authentic purity. Using W.T. Lhamon's concept of "lore cycles," which he
develops in Deliberate Speed, we will approach American culture as a cultural
recycling program that rejects Hegel's notion of the gradual rise to truth and beauty
in favor of a re-discovery of culture through new contexts. The invocation of folk, as
used in these contexts, attempts to recover authenticity to validate a culture.

We'll study a series of artists including so-called "high" artist Jackson Pollack as well
as the so-called kitsch artist Norman Rockwell. We'll then examine how these folk
artists give rise to pop-art, and the negotiation that happens within that movement.
We'll then turn to a series Western film, examining how they react to the
masculinity crisis of the 50's. A return to folk here represents an attempt to recover
manhood, but does it in different ways (as manifested in disparate films such as Rio
Bravo and High Noon). We'll then turn to the music, examining how different
musical movements (including be-bop, folk revival, rock) both incorporated and
produced the cultural "folk," especially examining the process of "covering" artists,
such as Pat Boone and Peter, Paul and Mary, as well as the process of using folk as a
political tool, in the case of Bob Dylan and the folk revival's use of folk to protest the
Vietnam War.

Using Island in the Sun in this course will be part of a larger discussion of America's
use of other folk cultures to appropriate a sense of authenticity. Like the other
course, we will begin with a general discussion of American consumption of
Caribbean music and use calypso and its relationship to carnival as an interesting
examination of another culture developing a sense of their national identity out of
their folk. Using the US occupation of Trinidad as a jumping off point, we will use the
"Rum and Coca-Cola" incident to show the historical precedence of American use of
Trinidadian folk. Then, with Island in the Sun we will examine how the tourist
culture developing after WWII viewed, used, and projected onto America's search
for the authentic.

Auxier 10

Theoretical Concepts and Discussion Questions

1) Bakhtin and the Carnivalesque

Bakhtin analyzes Renaissance social systems through two subtexts: carnival and
grotesque realism. Carnival, as a moment of both democratic equality and
inversion of social structures, offers a rupture point to existing social structures.
The carnivalesque, the spirit of carnival, involves what Bakhtin calls a "material
bodily principal" or grotesque realism, a mode which focuses on lower forms of
expression representing "images of the human body with its food, drink,
defecation, and sexual life" (18). Focusing on these aspects rather than the kind
of principles of beauty depicted in traditional "high" art, the carnival destroys
hierarchies and allows for a space of social rebellion. While this rebellion
challenges the existing hierarchies, however, this rebellion is organized and
promoted by the very institutions it challenges. Bakhtin argues that because the
Catholic church allowed for carnival as a temporary subversion of power, it can
more fully rule after the social structures returns to normal.

Carnival plays a large role in Island in the Sun, both its material presence and
also its ideological implications of rupturing and perhaps reestablishing social
hierarchies. Though the actual carnival makes only a cameo, its presence
pervades the film. Throughout the film carnival disrupts, in various ways, the
colonial social existence through its dress, music, and sexual promiscuity. The
following questions are designed to examine how the carnival operates within
Island in the Sun and also explore how the power structures are created and

1. Compare the two social structures built in the governor's party vs.
a. How does the opening scene set-up social dynamics?
b. How is dress different between the two? How does the attire at
carnival demonstrate Bakhtin's material bodily principle?
Consider especially the way that Margot is dressed.
i. There is an interchange between Margot and Denis at
carnival. Why is Denis upset?
c. How does music function in each scene? Compare the
orderliness of the band at the party to the drums at carnival.
How does the music function as a way to disrupt normal social
2. How does the movie incorporate the white elite into the bodily
a. How does the carnival create a space of rebellion against
normative social obligations?
i. Margot and Denis:

Auxier 11

ii. Euan and Jocelyn: Their sexual relationship is materially
facilitated by the tricksters of carnival. How does
carnival function as a metaphorical enabler of the
sexuality? In other words, how does carnival create a
space in which they can achieve a sexual relationship?
3. Turn to the scene in which Maxwell Fleury gives his political speech.
a. How are power structures set up in this scene?
i. What are the implications that race in conjunction-but
also in opposition-has with culture considering that
Fleury claims to be one of the working class based on
b. Does calypso or folk music provide a space for social rebellion
or inversion of power structures? Is it ultimately successful?
c. How does the calypso, a trope of the carnival, manifest the
relationship Boyeur has with the working class? Is it important
that Boyeur uses and has control over specifically folk music?

2) Gramsci and Adorno's Theories of Dominant and Sub Cultures

The neo-Marxist theories of Theodor Adorno and Antonio Gramsci deal with the
concept of incorporation and the dynamics between the dominant culture and
subcultures. Both thinkers identified cultural hegemony as a mechanism to
control the public. Adorno argues pop-culture is a mechanism of the dominant
culture to subsume authentic sub-culture products into itself, thereby flattening
and consequently destroying the critique it held. Gramsci, while he argues for
the same kind of hegemonic rule of the dominant culture, also allows for a sort of
resistance built into the system of sub-cultures which makes room for a certain
amount of negotiation between the dominant culture and the sub-cultural
products incorporated into the hegemony. So while the dominant culture still
subsumes the sub-cultural product, it's flattening is not complete. The dominant
culture, in fact, is changed by the nuance. In this way, sub-cultures have the
ability to critique and affect the dominant culture.

No doubt Island in the Sun dramatizes such an interaction between dominant
and sub cultures, but does it follow Adorno's model in which the subculture (in
this case West Indian culture) is flattened by the dominant culture (America
and/or Hollywood)? Or does the exchange mirror Gramsci's ideas more closely
in which the West Indian cultures) while being subsumed into the dominant
culture, leaves, so to speak, it's mark? The following questions are designed to
stimulate such a discussion.

1. The movie opens with a visual tour of the island with a calypso
introducing island life.
a. Compare the kind of calypso that Island in the Sun chooses to
represent island life with as opposed to the bodily-saturated
lyrics of "Rum and Coca-Cola." Consider how the Hollywood-

Auxier 12

produced calypso differ from "Rum and Coca Cola"? How do
these differences emphasize different material objectives of the
two calypsos?
b. Does this incorporation into American pop-culture subject
calypso to the kind of flattening (in which critical tendencies or
potentialities are eliminated) or does it retain some of its
political potency? In other words, has the calypso portrayed by
the movie lost its political edge during its packaging for
American consumption?
c. After the visual tour of the island accompanied with the folk
song, there is a British man giving a more empirical history.
How do these two histories compare? Do they contradict or
invalidate each other?
2. Although the book Island in the Sun by Alex Waugh focuses heavily on
political independence and self-determination of the West Indies, the
romantic miscegenation plays a more prominent role in the movie.
a. As a joint American and British production, does the film's
exploration of miscegenation as an American cultural
preoccupation supplant West Indian politics (see Historical
b. How does the emphasis on American racial issues flatten the
politics of the West Indies? Does it manage to retain some of its
folk or sub-cultural elements-as in Gramsci's model-or does
it completely lose its political potency once it enters the
American culture via the film?

Auxier 13

"Island in the Sun"
Artist: Harry Belafonte (peak Billboard position # 30 in 1957)
Words and Music by Harry Belafonte and Lord Burgess

This is my island in the sun
Where my people have toiled since
time begun
I may sail on many a sea
Her shores will always be home to me

Oh, island in the sun
Willed to me by my father's hand
All my days I will sing in praise
Of your forest, waters, your shining

As morning breaks the heaven on high
I lift my heavy load to the sky
Sun comes down with a burning glow
Mingles my sweat with the earth

"Rum and Coco-Cola"
If you ever go down to Trinidad
They make you feel so very glad
Calypso sing and make up rhyme
Guarantee you one real good fine time

Drinkin' rum and Coca-Cola
Go down Point Koomahnah
Both mother and daughter
Workin' for the Yankee dollar

Oh, beat it man, beat it

If the Yankee come to Trinidad
They got the young girls all goin' mad
Young girls say they treat 'em nice
Make Trinidad like paradise

Drinkin' rum and Coca-Cola
Go down Point Koomahnah
Both mother and daughter
Workin' for the Yankee dollar


I see woman on bended knee
Cutting cane for her family
I see man at the waterside
Casting nets at the surging tide


I pray the day will never come
When I can't awake to the sound of
Never let me miss carnival
With calypso songs philosophical


From Chicachicaree to Mona's Isle
Native girls all dance and smile
Help soldier celebrate his leave
Make every day like New Year's Eve


It's a fact, man, it's a fact

In old Trinidad, I also fear
The situation is mighty queer
Like the Yankee girl, the native swoon
When she hear der Bingo croon


Out on Manzanella Beach
G.I. romance with native peach
All night long, make tropic love
Next day, sit in hot sun and cool off