By Eric D. Duke
“This well-researched and available publication deepens our figuring out of early twentieth-century West Indian political tradition and transnational mobilization.”—April Mayes, writer of The Mulatto Republic: type, Race, and Dominican nationwide Identity
The preliminary push for a federation between British Caribbean colonies may need originated between colonial officers and white elites, however the banner for federation was once fast picked up by way of Afro-Caribbean activists who observed within the risk of a united West Indian country a way of securing political strength and more.
In Building a country, Eric Duke strikes past the slim view of federation as merely appropriate to Caribbean and British imperial histories. by way of studying aid for federation between many Afro-Caribbean and different black activists out and in of the West Indies, Duke convincingly expands and connects the movement’s historical past squarely into the broader heritage of political and social activism within the early to mid-twentieth century black diaspora.
Exploring the relationships among the pursuit of Caribbean federation and black diaspora politics, Duke convincingly posits that federation was once greater than a neighborhood recreation; it was once a diasporic, black nation-building undertaking—with large aid in diaspora facilities comparable to Harlem and London—deeply immersed in rules of racial team spirit, racial uplift, and black self-determination.
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Additional resources for Building a Nation: Caribbean Federation in the Black Diaspora
Instead he asserted that AfroCaribbeans were both capable and ready for self-government. 63 “If the British people and their Government fail to place their black fellow subjects in the West Indies on an equal footing within the Empire with the white races, they will be using their position to perpetuate a wrong, or rather to prolong it, for in all human probability to perpetuate it they will not be able. ”64 Salmon challenged several aspects of Froude’s book. ”65 He noted that Froude’s visit to the West Indies included stops at only four of fifteen colonies, and a few hours at two 18 · Building a Nation others.
54 The aftermath of the Morant Bay Rebellion provided another opportunity for metropolitan debate over the West Indies. In response to Governor Eyre’s repressive tactics, the Crown recalled him to England in 1866. ”55 The Eyre case continued until the end of 1860s, with the former governor prosecuted but never convicted, and remembered fondly by many whites in the Caribbean and Great Britain. Although the Carlyle-Mill clash and the Eyre controversy provoked major debate in the metropole, in the British West Indies themselves the publication of Froude’s The English in the West Indies (1888) was equally, if not more, provocative.
Though the goal 28 · Building a Nation of liberating and unifying the West Indies was not as pronounced as the struggles of the African continent within black diaspora politics in the twentieth century, that goal was not forsaken or forgotten by the activists from its shores, or by their African American and African counterparts. Indeed, this history of federation presents another important example of Caribbean connections to the black diaspora, and establishes the ways in which the Caribbean itself became, at least to some, a site for transnational and diasporic black nation-building efforts beyond Africa.
Building a Nation: Caribbean Federation in the Black Diaspora by Eric D. Duke