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Cultural Retention in the Caribbean and Its Role in the Caribbean Peoples' Daily Lives - Essay Example

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This research presents cultural retention in the Caribbean and its role in the Caribbean peoples’ daily lives. The research will cover the following: black music and the awakening of black consciousness; the culture of violence and black slavery; revolutionary culture against racism and imperialism…
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Cultural Retention in the Caribbean and Its Role in the Caribbean Peoples Daily Lives
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Cultural Retention in the Caribbean and Its Role in the Caribbean Peoples' Daily Lives

Download file to see previous pages... The intention of this study are the Caribbean and its people that have been formed by the harsh preconditions of British imperialism: (1) the need for territorial expansion; (2) the need for slaves to work in plantations; (3) the need to impose racial differentiation to divide and rule in order to preempt any possibility of rebellion; and (4) the need to impose a culture that will serve the best interest of British colonization. These preconditions did create a creole society which culture is predominantly Afro-Caribbean, perhaps, due to the large numbers of Africans who were either kidnapped or bought from the villages of Africa and the most importantly because the socio-economic base of British rule was black slavery in sugar plantations. To Sheridan’s account, the sugar revolution, which was most evident in the history of Bardados, had caused the re-emigration of whites to other colonies and had brought in enslaved Africans in increased numbers. As oppressed peoples have always been able to retain aspects of their cultural traditions, perhaps, because it is their most basic way of resistance to oppression, African culture remains strong in the Caribbean despite the intrusive cultural forces of globalization – for example, “the massive influence of the US mass media”. As Hillman has described: “… throughout history the people of the Caribbean have been engaged in heroic struggles to liberate themselves from the structures and exploitation of colonialism, slavery, imperialism, neocolonialism, and dependency”. ...
According to Brodber (1987), the popularization of Justin Hinds’ ‘Carry Go Bring Come’ – a song of resistance against Western tyranny as background music at the political gatherings of the opposition party during the 1966-1967 election campaign - has demonstrated music can be an effective instrument for the reawakening of black consciousness. This has inspired young singers to fearlessly express their feelings leading to the popularization of ‘Africanized’ songs in Jamaica. What made these songs Africanized is not only their contents which openly persuade their listeners to accept the Rastafarian concept of black history – the dominant theme of Bob Marley’s music that has been gaining international recognition up till today (pp. 153-154) – as well as their musical compositions, which are distinctively African: the beat (clave-rhythmic pattern), techniques (melisma and yodel), genres (blues, jazz, salsa, zouk, and rumba), instruments (drums, slit gongs, rattles, double bells) and style (festive and participatory). In his study of African music Merriam (1959) attributed the most outstanding characteristic of African music to “its emphasis upon rhythm… upon a percussive concept of musical performance… simultaneous use of two or more metres… use of hand-clapping as… accompaniment to song… presence of membranophones and idiophones as outstanding instruments of the orchestra, percussive intonation and attack…” (p. 13). In fact, music has always been important in African culture. How? Sidney Bechet explains: “Me, I want to explain myself so bad. I want to have myself understood. And the music, it can do that. The music, it’s my whole ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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