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Cultural Retention in the Caribbean - Essay Example

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This essay explores the cultural retention in the Caribbean and its role in the Caribbean peoples' daily lives under the following issues: black music and the awakening of black consciousness, the culture of violence and black slavery, and revolutionary culture against racism and imperialism…
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Cultural Retention in the Caribbean
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"Cultural Retention in the Caribbean"

Download file to see previous pages This paper tells that to Sheridan’s account, the sugar revolution, which was most evident in the history of Barbados, 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, 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 – 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 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 meters… use of hand-clapping as… accompaniment to song… presence of membranophones and idiophones as outstanding instruments of the orchestra, percussive intonation and attack…” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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