They Do As They Please: The Jamaican Struggle for Cultural Freedom after Morant Bay

They Do As They Please: The Jamaican Struggle for Cultural Freedom after Morant Bay

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Overview

They Do As They Please: The Jamaican Struggle for Cultural Freedom after Morant Bay by Brian L. Moore, Michele A. Johnson

This book is a companion to Neither Led nor Driven, published in 2004. It examines the secular aspects of culture in Jamaica, namely, material culture (architecture and home furnishings, dress, and food), rites of passage, language and oral culture, creative and performance arts, popular entertainment, sports and games, social clubs and fraternities, and the issues of drinking and gambling. It also examines the lifestyle cultures of Indian and Chinese immigrants who were new arrivals in Jamaica.

Moore and Johnson argue that although a vibrant and fully functional creole culture existed in Jamaica, after Morant Bay, diverse elements within the upper and middle classes (the cultural elites) formed a coalition to eradicate that "barbaric" culture which they believed had contributed to the uprising, and to replace it with "superior" cultural items imported from Victorian Britain in order to "civilize" and anglicize the people. It reinforces the prime thesis of Neither Led nor Driven that the lower classes, the main targets of this campaign, drew on their own Afro-creole cultural heritage to resist and ignore the new elite cultural agenda; but they did selectively embrace some aspects of the imported Victorian culture which they creolized to fit their own cultural matrix. Ultimately, the cultural elite efforts at "reform" were hampered by their own ambivalence, hypocrisy and disunity, and they actually impeded the sponsored process of anglicization.

The data are primary archival and contemporary library resources housed mainly in Jamaica and the United Kingdom. The authors' meticulous analysis of official reports, newspapers, religious denomination reports, private papers and published accounts has produced a work that illuminates the complex and still under-explored period of Jamaica's history as the society entered new phases of "modernity".

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9789766402457
Publisher: UWI Press
Publication date: 02/28/2011
Pages: 620
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.50(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Preface xi

1 The Struggle for the Cultural Soul of Jamaica after Emancipation 1

2 "Tu'n yuh han' mek fashion": Creolizing Material Culture 11

3 Celebrating Life, Commemorating Death: Rites of Passage 57

4 "Duppy know who fe frighten": Jamaican Creole Language and Oral Culture 81

5 "Lighten our Darkness": Promoting "Enlightened" Intellectual Activity 108

6 "Elevate the tastes and morals of the people": Art, Music and Performance 145

7 "Rationalizing" Leisure: Holidays and Festivals 175

8 "De tune you playing no de one I dancing": Popular Entertainment 210

9 "Mens sana in corpore sano": Fashioning a Jamaican Sporting Culture 248

10 "The Brotherhood of Man": Gentlemen's Clubs and Fraternities 300

11 "Tom drunk but Tom no fool": Lifestyle Peccadillos 317

12 "We are heathen": Asian Cultures in the Culture War 360

13 Capturing the Cultural Soul of Jamaica 405

Notes 417

Bibliography 541

Index 567

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