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The Role of Race to the Caribbean People's Sense of Identity - Essay Example

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The Role of ‘Race’ to the Caribbean People’s Sense of Identity The role of ‘race’ to the sense of identity for Caribbean peoples can be perceived in three ways: first, it is deeply ingrained in their history of colonization –a Creole colonial society – which although can be generally characterized by their slavery in the plantations was differentiated slightly by the English colonizers’ tactic of divide and rule by socially stratifying the Caribbean people based on their ethnicity and race and by successfully imposing the superiority of the white-skinned race over the blacks (Safa, 1987, p…
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The Role of Race to the Caribbean Peoples Sense of Identity
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Download file to see previous pages 64) are all mixed up, making it almost impossible to give it a single description. And third, as the fight against racial discrimination positively gains ground worldwide, most especially in the land of the whites and as this so-called ‘race ideology’ is increasingly negated by the requirements of globalization. These considerations make ‘race’ an issue to ponder in the Caribbean people’s identity, compelling one to define it in different ways. One way to understand the role of race in the Caribbean peoples’ sense of identity is to group the people based on the main language most people used, as what Safa (1987) did in her article: “Popular culture, national identity, and race in the Caribbean,” thus the distinction between the Anglophone Caribbean, referring to its English-speaking nations and the Hispanophone Caribbean, referring to its Spanish-speaking nations. ...
rly predominant Eurocentric orientation; in the Hispanophone Caribbean, the people’s national identity has remained grounded more on language, religion and other aspects of Spanish culture than on race (Safa, 1987). According to Brodber (1987), this shift in the Anglophone Caribbean’s thinking is greatly influenced by the positive changes in the Euro-American attitudes towards black people during the 1950’s and ‘60s, resulting from the black’s violent struggle against apartheid. This increasing recognition and acceptance of an Afro-orientation by the Afro-Jamaican middle class (the literate class), which traditionally has identified itself only with its European lineage, and the popularization of Afro-orientation primarily through music (e.g. Bob Marley) further broadened the acceptance of the Afro-orientation in the Anglophone Caribbean (pp. 147-149, 156-157). Furthermore, Safa (1987) explains that after achieving their political independence, political expediency left no recourse to the mulatto Creole elite – who identified themselves with European white against their African heritage – but to accept the predominantly black masses of its population as its political constituents. The governing on the basis of white superiority, as how the former colonial society was ruled, will never gain the trust and cooperation of the black masses. Thus, there is the need to favor racial solidarity and to recognize black pride. Given this long waited opportunity, the Afro-orientation, which has long been held and survived in the oral tradition of the black population (the illiterate lower class), unstoppably surges. Today, a greater part of the Anglophone Caribbean regards ‘blackness’ as the symbolism of its nationhood. However, this consensus does not hold true ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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