introduction ‘‘Out of Many, One (Black) People’’
1 See Cohn and Dirks 1988; Mitchell 1991; B. Williams 1991, 1996b.
2 An extensive literature has developed addressing the messy relationships
between culture and nationalism and how these relationships have shifted
over time. National citizenries, it has been shown, have been created and
consolidated through such means as the codification of language, the stan-
dardization of culture, the establishment of civil society, the writing of
o≈cial histories, and the ‘‘invention’’ of rules and traditions (see, for exam-
ple, Anderson 1991; Corrigan and Sayer 1985; Hobsbawm 1983; Hobsbawm
and Ranger 1983; and Nagengast 1994). Many have demonstrated that in
the processes of codifying national symbols and writing national histories,
racial, gender, and class inequalities are often subordinated to national
concerns, and cultural change is often conceptualized as loss (see, for
example, Alonso 1988, 1994; Babadzan 1988; Chatterjee 1993; Foster 1991;
Fox 1990a; Handler 1988; Keesing 1989; R. Price 1998; Quintero-Rivera
1987; Swedenburg 1990; Verdery 1991). Nationalist cultural production,
then, is both a material and ideological process that reflects the changing
interests of the state and its citizens. The processes of imagination, inven-
tion, and memory represent attempts at the ‘‘naturalization of the arbi-
trary’’ (Brow 1990:4), and the ongoing conflicts involved in creating and
disseminating representations of the nation are practices by which time
and space become bounded to serve particular political goals.
3 Jamaica (1962), Trinidad and Tobago (1962), Barbados (1966), and Guyana
(1966) gained their independence before many of the smaller Caribbean
nations like Antigua (1981), the Bahamas (1973), Belize (1981), Dominica
(1978), Grenada (1974), St. Kitts and Nevis (1983), St. Lucia (1979), and St.
Vincent (1979). Several Anglophone Caribbean territories still maintain
colonial status with Britain (Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, the Cay-
man Islands, Montserrat, and the Turks and Caicos Islands), and the diver-
sity of political arrangements with former imperial nations throughout the
Caribbean is staggering.
4 The 1991 census indicates that of the 2.3 million people that comprised
Jamaica’s population, 90.5% identified themselves as black; 7.3% identi-
fied themselves as of mixed racial descent; 0.2% as white; 1.3% as East
Indian; 0.3% as Chinese; and 0.5% as members of other ethnic groups,
including Syrians, Lebanese, and Jews (Statistical Institute of Jamaica 1991).