Building a Nation: Caribbean Federation in the Black by Eric D. Duke

By Eric D. Duke

“Remarkable, extraordinary. Duke makes a double contribution to historic scholarship: to the historiography of federalism within the Caribbean and to the historiography of political dissent, activism, and unity inside of Caribbean diaspora“—Winston James, writer of Holding Aloft the Banner of Ethiopia: Caribbean Radicalism in Early Twentieth-Century the US
“This well-researched and available e-book deepens our figuring out of early twentieth-century West Indian political tradition and transnational mobilization.”—April Mayes, writer of The Mulatto Republic: category, Race, and Dominican nationwide Identity

The preliminary push for a federation between British Caribbean colonies may have originated between colonial officers and white elites, however the banner for federation was once quick picked up by means of Afro-Caribbean activists who observed within the danger of a united West Indian country a method of securing political energy and more.

In Building a state, Eric Duke strikes past the slim view of federation as simply correct 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 wide aid in diaspora facilities akin to Harlem and London—deeply immersed in rules of racial harmony, racial uplift, and black self-determination. 

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Extra info for Building a Nation: Caribbean Federation in the Black Diaspora

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Did it require white guidance? Could it be developed as a site of transracial unity within the bounds of the British Empire? Could it become an example of the power and abilities of people of African descent? What role did black diaspora politics play in the British West Indies, and how was the region conceptualized and connected with other areas of the black diaspora? Such questions and the disparate answers to them would be debated within and beyond the empire for much of the twentieth century.

With] a fairly homogeneous society. ” The idea of black majority rule had worried not only local whites but the metropolitan government ever since the slavery period. There was striking continuity between the old fears of slave rebellions and the paranoid assumptions of what would happen if free black populations gained “control” of the region in the post-emancipation era. The fear of black majority rule was not simply fanciful, however, as the successful Haitian Revolution of the late eighteenth century demonstrated.

They were the domain of the local planters or, in the case of colonies with a great number of absentee planters, their agents and associates. 25 In the post-emancipation era, the small white elite remained determined to maintain dominance of West Indian societies, and most were leery of Glenelg’s vision. 26 Acutely aware of these attitudes, some government officials in the metropole openly questioned whether it would be possible for free societies to be created in the British Caribbean colonies if local power remained in the hands of former masters determined to retain the colonial hierarchy.

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