ISSN / EISSN : 1925-5829 / 1929-235X
Current Publisher: University of Toronto Libraries - UOTL (10.33137)
Total articles ≅ 22
Latest articles in this journal
Caribbean Quilt, Volume 5; doi:10.33137/caribbeanquilt.v5i0.34442
Caribbean Quilt, Volume 5; doi:10.33137/caribbeanquilt.v5i0.34436
Caribbean Quilt, Volume 5; doi:10.33137/caribbeanquilt.v5i0.34438
Caribbean Quilt, Volume 5; doi:10.33137/caribbeanquilt.v5i0.34437
Caribbean Quilt, Volume 5; doi:10.33137/caribbeanquilt.v5i0.34441
Caribbean Quilt, Volume 5; doi:10.33137/caribbeanquilt.v5i0.34439
Caribbean Quilt, Volume 5; doi:10.33137/caribbeanquilt.v5i0.34440
Caribbean Quilt, Volume 5, pp 1-6; doi:10.33137/caribbeanquilt.v5i0.34365
Among its neighbours, the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago stands out due to its ethnic makeup. The population of most Caribbean nations is mainly of African descent; similar to Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago is evenly divided between Afro-Trinidadians and Indo-Trinidadians. Unlike many of the other Caribbean colonies, Trinidad and Tobago were not extensive plantation economies until much later in the colonial period (Paton 291). This is one of the main reasons why the country presently hosts a proportionately lower Afro-Trinidadian population in comparison to other Caribbean countries. While other ethno-cultural groups reside in the country, the aforementioned groups have dominated the landscape in numbers since at least the early 20th century (United Nations Statistics Division). Afro-Trinidadians are generally descendants of enslaved Africans brought to the Caribbean to serve as plantation labourers; Indo-Trinidadians are generally the descendants of South Asian indentured labourers brought to Trinidad to fulfill the same role following the abolition of slavery in the British West Indies. Trinidad and Tobago's long history of colonial subjugation has bred a modern social hierarchy highly tied to race. Racial categories centered around physical characteristics and created during the colonial period have been instrumental in the development of this social hierarchy. Its institutionalization within the country’s modern national political system has resulted in persisting legacies evident throughout modern Trinidadian society. I focus on the island of Trinidad (while still making occasional reference to Tobago) and argue that Trinidadian national unity has been hampered by the foundations laid by the plantation system and consolidated by the modern political system.
Caribbean Quilt, Volume 5, pp 7-11; doi:10.33137/caribbeanquilt.v5i0.34367
Calypso is a popular Caribbean musical genre that originated in the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. The genre was developed primarily by enslaved West Africans brought to the region via the transatlantic slave trade during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Although West-African Kaiso music was a major influence, the genre has also been shaped by other African genres, and by Indian, British, French, and Spanish musical cultures. Emerging in the early twentieth century, Calypso became a tool of resistance by Afro-Caribbean working-class Trinbagonians. Calypso flourished in Trinidad due to a combination of factors—namely, the migration of Afro-Caribbean people from across the region in search of upward social mobility. These people sought to expose the injustices perpetrated by a foreign European and a domestic elite against labourers in industries such as petroleum extraction. The genre is heavily anti-colonial, anti-imperial, and anti-elitist, and it advocated for regional integration. Although this did not occur immediately, Calypsonians sought to establish unity across the region regardless of race, nationality, and class through their songwriting and performing. Today, Calypso remains a unifying force and an important part of Caribbean culture. Considering Calypso's history and purpose, as well as its ever-changing creators and audiences, this essay will demonstrate that the goal of regional integration is not possible without cultural sovereignty.
Caribbean Quilt, Volume 5, pp 80-85; doi:10.33137/caribbeanquilt.v5i0.34385
Claudia Vera Jones née Cumberbatch, was a Trinidad and Tobago-born journalist and activist who, at eight years old, migrated to the United States from Port of Spain, Trinidad, in the British West Indies (Boyce Davies 159). Jones’ mother and father had arrived in the United States two years earlier, in 1922, when their economic circumstances had worsened as a result of the drop in the cocoa trade, which had impoverished the West Indies and the entire Caribbean (Boyce Davies 159). Like many Black people who migrated from the West Indies, Jones’ parents hoped to find fortunes in the United States, where ‘‘gold was to be found on the streets’’ and the dreams of rearing one’s children in a ‘‘free America’’ were said to be realized (Boyce Davies 159). However, the lie of the American dream was soon revealed, as Jones, her three sisters and her parents suffered exploitation and indignity at the hands of the white families and from the legacy of Jim Crow national policy (Boyce Davies 159).