People Get Ready: African American and Caribbean Cultural Exchange

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Univ. Press of Mississippi, Nov 12, 2010 - Social Science - 256 pages
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Throughout this book, Kevin Meehan offers historical and theoretical readings of Caribbean and African American interaction from the 1700s to the present. By analyzing travel narratives, histories, creative collaborations, and political exchanges, he traces the development of African American/Caribbean dialogue through the lives and works of four key individuals: historian Arthur Schomburg, writer/archivist Zora Neale Hurston, poet Jayne Cortez, and politican Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

People Get Ready examines how these influential figures have reevaluated popular culture, revised the relationship between intellectuals and everyday people, and transformed practices ranging from librarianship and anthropology to poetry and broadcast journalism. This discourse, Meehan notes, is not free of contradictions, and misunderstandings arise on both sides. In addition to noting dialogues of unity, People Get Ready focuses on instances of intellectual elitism, sexim, color, prejudice, imperialism, national, chauvinism, and other forms of mutual disdain that continue to limit African American and Caribbean solidarity.

 

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Contents

Recalling African American and Caribbean Solidarity
3
Comparative Approaches to Cultural Decolonization in the Americas
22
Arthur A Schomburg as Decolonizing Historian
52
Zora Neale Hurston in the Caribbean
76
Jayne Cortez and CrossCultural Saturation
101
JeanBertrand Aristide and the Dialectics of Our America
131
Why Comparative Links between African American Studies and Caribbean Studies Matter
155
APPENDIX An Interview with Jayne Cortez
162
NOTES
172
WORKS CITED
202
INDEX
221
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About the author (2010)

Kevin Meehan is associate professor of English at the University of Central Florida. He has published in African American Review, American Literature, Callaloo, and elsewhere.

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