A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid

Topics: Colonialism, Jamaica Kincaid, Racism Pages: 2 (746 words) Published: August 22, 2007
The beginning of A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid opens in second-person and talks about the tourism in a post-independent Antigua, in the British West Indies. Written in the 1980's the book is a natives view on how Antigua operates today, and how it differs from the past. The opening section keenly addresses the reader as "you" and describes how beautiful Antigua used to be. She addresses topics in the first section such as the natives of the island, and how much you will never actually truly get to know them because to the average white European, American, or Britan tourist, the natives are nothing but the scenery. The innocent natives are a combination of races that have been repeatedly wiped out, mostly by African slaves. But to the reader, they are nothing but the scenery, and it is overlooked how important the natives are to the upkeep of the island. Kincaid quotes that you the reader should be "wearing sackcloth and ashes in token penance of the wrongs [you've] committed, the irrevocableness of their bad deeds, for no disaster imaginable could equal the harm they did," referring to white tourists. "Actual death would have been better." Through the book you get a sense from her tone that Kincaid is disappointed with the new Antigua because political corruption and tourism has destroyed it.

"Sometimes we hold your retribution," Kincaid indicates, explaining the unforgiving incident of Barclay's bank. The second part of the book is about the colonial history of the island Antigua, and the direct links that it has with causing the problems it has with tourism today. She denounces the entire movement of European colonialism. Kincaid is not going to take an apology for the injustice of slavery. Tourism is ugly to Kincaid, and it reminds me of the film we saw in lecture, The Golf War, in which land reform and human rights were promised in the Philippines during the 1980s. The US Agency for International Development approves development and...
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