Bonds of Empire: West Indians and Britishness from Victoria to Decolonization
In the first half of the twentieth century Britishness was an integral part of the culture that pervaded life in the colonial Caribbean. Caribbean peoples were encouraged to identify with social structures and cultural values touted as intrinsically British. Many middle-class West Indians of colour duly adopted Britishness as part of their own identity. Yet, as Anne Spry Rush explains in Bonds of Empire, even as they re-fashioned themselves, West Indians recast Britishnessin their own image, basing it on hierarchical ideas of respectability that were traditionally British, but also on more modern expectations of racial and geographical inclusiveness. Britain became the focus of an imperial British identity, an identity which stood separate from, and yet intimately related to,their strong feelings for their tropical homelands.Moving from the heights of empire in 1900 to the independence era of the 1960s, Rush argues that middle-class West Indians used their understanding of Britishness first to establish a place for themselves in the British imperial world, and then to negotiate the challenges of decolonization. Through a focus on education, voluntary organization, the challenges of war, radio broadcasting, and British royalty, she explores how this process worked in the daily lives of West Indians in both theCaribbean and the British Isles. Bonds of Empire thus traces West Indians' participation in a complex process of cultural transition as they manipulated Britishness and their relationship to it not only as colonial peoples but also as Britons
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Other editions - View all
African American argued attended audience Austin Clarke Barbados BBC officials BBC WAC BBC’s became Britain British Caribbean British culture British Empire British imperial British Isles British monarch British royals British West Indies C. L. R. James Calling the West Caribbean Britons Caribbean colonies Caribbean Voices College Colonial Office Colonial Service colonial subjects Committee coronation Daily Gleaner dark-skinned December Edward Empire Service English ethnic exams expatriate Grenfell Williams Guyana Harold Moody History included Indians of color interview island king’s Kingston League of Coloured League’s Letter Lindo listeners loyalty Marson Melville Memo middle-class West Indians monarch Moody mother country native British native Britons November overseas persons political post-war primary school Public Opinion pupils Queen race racial radio region Report respectability Second World Second World War Secondary Education secondary schools social stations status suggested Swanzy traditional Trinidad Trinidadian twentieth century University Press Victoria wartime