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Caribbean Politics and Music. Jamaica: Colonial History and Slavery Christopher Columbus home Became one of the largest sugar producer British conquest:

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Presentation on theme: "Caribbean Politics and Music. Jamaica: Colonial History and Slavery Christopher Columbus home Became one of the largest sugar producer British conquest:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Caribbean Politics and Music

2 Jamaica: Colonial History and Slavery Christopher Columbus home Became one of the largest sugar producer British conquest: 1655 Jamaica history is central to British abolition of slavery –Slaves outnumber whites 20/1 – Rebellions: more than on all other British colonies put together: –Coromantees –Maroons: independent runaway slave communities Made possible by size, low density and topography of Jamaica Helped capture runaway slaves

3 Jamaica leads end of slavery Antislavery crusade in Great Britain –Shift in moral values influenced by Methodist and Anglican churches –Abolition of slave trade gathers force starting in 1797 Enacted in 1806 Rebellions on islands complement GB movement –Grew after 1815 –Slaves no longer informed on each other –Jamaica slave rebellion of 1831: 60,000 slaves took part, 200 sugar estates burned Slavery abolished in 1833: Emancipation Act of 1834

4 Post Slavery Jamaica Difficult to maintain profitable sugar production Economic decline Racial relationships deteriorate Few new immigrants “Crown colony” system of government –By 1850’s, 1/3 of legislators are black –1866:the Morant Bay uprising reverses progress in representative government –Return of direct rule from England (except in Barbados and the Bahamas)

5 Modern Jamaica Within the context of Direct Rule –Emergence of associations and labor unions –Orchestrate gradual transition to independent government Universal adult suffrage Members of assembly can make laws Leader of largest party takes over for governor Leading critics of direct rule were colored professionals, who later became the first leaders towards independence –Two leaders in Jamaica: Bustamente and Manley alternate power until : West Indies Federation –Defeated by unwillingness of Jamaica and Trinidad/Tobago

6 Modern Jamaica Norman Manley and Bustamente retire Michael Manley and Popular Culture Rises to party leadership in 1969 Looked white, but “brown” heritage Educated and elite; son of former president Late 1960’s: emergence of civil rights movement in US/Black Power –Racial struggles emerge in Jamaica Manley is elected in direct response to civil rights movement –Democratic Socialism Attracted to Cuba, friends with Castro and other African non-aligned countries Partial socialism

7 Jamaican music Ska and rock steady –Ska is fusion of Jamaican mento and US rock and roll (first international ska hit: “my boy lollipop”) Origins of reggae--?? –1968: “Do the Raygay”: Toots and the Maytalls: –Jimmy Cliff, Bob Marley, Desmond Dekker and the Israelites “Roots Reggae” political, associated with Rastafarianism Reggae legends –Bob Marley –“The Harder They Come”

8 Rastafarianism Originated in 1930s from Jamaican black political activism, –Inspired by Marcus Garvey’s “Back to Africa” movement Transnational Rastafari –1 million world wide: US, Brazil, Europe, Japan, NZ, Cuba –60% of Jamaicans Jah –Ras Tafari = Haile Selassie, former emperor of Ethiopia is the messiah “Rastas” Babylon and Zion Ganja, Dreadlocks, Reggae

9 Jamaica in the 1980’s/1990’s Electoral politics, Rasta and reggae intertwined –Manley uses the symbols and music to sustain his power and in turn these groups grow and reap some benefits during his administration –Opponents (Seaga also vie for (esp. Marley’s) endorsements Manley leads until 1980 –Defeated by economic crisis (and the CIA?) –Reagan intervenes with the Caribbean Basin Initiative Returns again in 1986, –Much more moderate this time around –Works with IMF, privatization, multilateralism –Retires due to health in ’s: Jamaica suffers from drug trafficking and violence that threaten its tourist industry.

10 Trinidad and Tobago Oil = Prosperity

11 T and T Exceptionalism History diverges from other Caribbean islands  only one with OIL Subsidizes the economy extensively –Ethnic diversity East Indian, Syrian, other Islamic groups, Chinese British control: Colony of Trinidad and Tobago 1889 –Indentured Asian immigrants help tide over during post slavery era Post WWII: US military bases Transition to independence –1958: West Indies Federation –1962: Independence

12 Modern T and T Led by Eric Williams –Attracted foreign investors 1971: Black power revolt: riots and arson 1973 Arab oil embargo  wealth for T and T Williams responds to people’s demands: –Nationalized much of the oil industry –Spent lavishly on Education Public works Welfare Housing –Economic development –Gov employs 2/3 of workers

13 Modern T and T By 1980: more control over gov than anywhere except Cuba Economic depression –Unemployment –Rising foreign debt  IMF, SAPs, austerity 1990: Abu Bakr Coup (Black Muslims supported by Quadaffi) mid 1990’s: Coalition of Black and Indian politicians New oil and gas reserves discovered: –Port Liasas industrial park: petrochemical industries

14 Calypso Slave music –with African origins (Kaiso) –Songs used to communicate because they were forbidden to talk with one another Multi ethnic influences: –African, Spanish, French, East Indian Became linked with Carnival (French influence) Song leader: Griot, Chantuelle, Calypsonian Social commentary, laced with humor and also risqué

15 Calypso Famous Calypsonians: Attila the Hun, Lord Invader, Roaring Lion, Lord Kitchener Mighty Sparrow: –music facilitated the removal of US from Trinidad and independence –CARICOM awarded him the “Order of the Caribbean” for his contribution to development Recent fusions: –Soca: up tempo, more “party music” less socially conscious –Rapso—fusion with rap

16 Jamaica Steel Drum Music Early origins: –No musical instruments –Innovation with what was available


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