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Caribbean Pluralism AS/HUMA 1300 Faculty of Arts April 15, 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "Caribbean Pluralism AS/HUMA 1300 Faculty of Arts April 15, 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 Caribbean Pluralism AS/HUMA 1300 Faculty of Arts April 15, 2009

2 Caribbean Pluralism 1. Caribbean and Diaspora 2. Sun, Sand, Sea and Sex 3. Post-Independence British Caribbean 4. Question of Cultural Identity: The Dragon Can’t Dance

3 Stuart Hall “The ‘New World’ presence—America, Terra Incognita—is therefore itself the beginning of diaspora, of diversity, of hybridity and difference.” (“Cultural Identity and Diaspora” 235)

4 Globe and Mail, July 10, 1992 “As darkness falls on West Kingston’s battered streets and shantytowns….the toughest slums in the Caribbean pulsate with life and the threat of death. Reggae music thunders from giant banks of loud-speakers. Rowdy bar patrons spill into graffiti-scarred alleyways where small bonfires burn. Marijuana smoke of mind-addling potency hangs in the air” (A1).

5 Globe and Mail, July 10, 1992 “And however offensive it is to say so, it is clear on the streets of Metro Toronto, and to a lesser extent in Montreal, that this Criminal subculture has been exported, blending into an array of negative Canadian factors to produce a lethal, racism- formenting witches’ brew” (A7).

6 The Dragon Can’t Dance “He didn’t officially join the PNM. He was suddenly shy and awkward before its compelling promise, before the important people running around with long words on the tip of their tongues…The elections came, the PNM won…He couldn’t understand what they had won. Maybe Yvonne might be able to explain to him. She went to high school, she knew things. But white people were still in the banks and in the businesses along Frederick Street. The radio still spoke with a British voice. He couldn’t understand” (80).

7 G.K. Lewis “…Independence goes far beyond questions of a national flag, a national anthem and a national emblem and becomes a question of psychological survival. West Indians, as persons, this is to say, have to emancipate themselves in their innermost selves from the English psycho-complex.” (“Challenge to Independence” 513)

8 The Dragon Can’t Dance “After two years he was still a stranger on this Hill, and even fellars he had watched come in long after him were looking at him as if it was he who was the new one. This more than anything about the Hill burnt Pariag, for the main reason he had come to the city to live was so that he could join up with people, be part of something bigger than just New Lands sugar estate, be more than just a little country Indian, cutting sugarcane in the day, cutting grass for the cattle in the evening...” (91)

9 The Dragon Can’t Dance “The action undertaken by these men was an attempt to not even seize power, as we have seen, but to affirm a personhood for themselves, and beyond themselves, to proclaim a personhood for people deprived and illegitimized as they: the people of the Hill, of the slums and shanty towns” (197).

10 The Dragon Can’t Dance In jail the first thing Fisheye said with a kinda pride, kinda justifying to himself the seven years’ sentence was: ‘I can’t say they jail me for nutten; we play a mas’, eh? We really play a mas’. We really had them frighten. We had them wondering if we was going to shoot down the town or what. We really play a mas’, eh, Aldrick? You couldn’t play a better dragon.’ (200)

11 The Dragon Can’t Dance “They had jobs now, had responsibility now for the surviving of families, they could no longer afford rebellion at the Corner. They felt guilty turning away from it. Yet, they needed to move on…They had to choose, they felt; and, it was because they were unable to hold in their minds the two contradictory ideas—their resistance and surviving, their rebellion and their decency; because they felt they had to be one or the other in order to move on, they needed to cut ties with the Corner. So it was that Philo’s calypso became a statement for them all. This would be the epitaph to their rebellion” (178).

12 Dragon Can’t Dance I wish I did walk with a flute or a sitar, and walk right there in the middle of the steelband yard where they was making new drums, new sounds, a new music …and sit down with my sitar on my knee and say: Fellars, this is me, Pariag from New Lands. Gimme the key! Give me the Do Re Mi…And let his music cry too, and join in the crying. Let it scream too…We didn’t have to melt into one. I woulda be me for my own self. A beginning. A self to go in the world with, with something in my hands to give. We didn’t have to melt into one. They woulda see me (224).

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