In comparing and contrasting the Haitian and Jamaican experiences, I am going to focus on three themes that are consistent in both: history of oppression, Africanism and Christian influence. Both experiences grew out of systems of slavery and subsequent racism. It is interesting to recognize how African traditions were maintained in both instances and how they are incorporated in the Vodou tradition and the Rastafarian movement. It is also interesting how each respond differently to Christian influences.
The use of slave labor flourished throughout the Caribbean from the beginning of European colonialism in the 16th century until slavery was abolished in the middle 19th century. Although Haitian slaves overthrew their French oppressors and gained independence in 1804, they shared a similar fate with Jamaican slaves whom were