Caribbean Identity

Topics: Caribbean, Slavery, Jamaica Pages: 4 (1326 words) Published: November 1, 2010
Is the Caribbean a geographical region defined by proximity to a body of water? Is it a group of nations defined by a common history or culture or by political links? Is there such a thing as a Caribbean identity or spirit or culture shared by all the territories clustered around the Caribbean Sea, regardless of language or political status? Do we as a Caribbean people act as members of a community or a culture that extends beyond the shores of individual islands? This essay will seek to show that Caribbean people do have an identity, an identity that also transcends Caribbean people and their descendants who for one reason or another have left the islands of their birth, taking elements of Caribbean culture into the wider world, creating new connections and fusions.

Diaspora is often referred to as the forced dispersal of ethnic groups or national groups from their homeland. Abroad the group maintains their distinct cultural characteristics as well a demonstration of emotional attachment to their ancestral home.

“Is there a Caribbean Diaspora?” If one should take a moment and reflect back on the era of slavery then it would become evident that the term diaspora is of relevance to the Caribbean society. The Caribbean is congested with various ethnic groups which had their own appreciation of the term diaspora, whether it is the African Diaspora, the European Diaspora or the Asian Diaspora.

By the 16th century, the indigenous population was in decline. Some of them died from the diseases introduced by the Europeans . By the 17th century sugar colonies were established in the Caribbean and to maintain production, a continuous supply of cheap labour was needed. The indigenous people were replaced by white Europeans indentured labourers but unfortunately as labourers they were unsuccessful. The Africans on the other hand and as a result over 10 million of them were brought to the New World through the slave...
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