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Regional Discourses on Society and History

Shaping the Caribbean

Edited By Jerome Teelucksingh and Shane Pantin

This book thematically analyses and surveys areas of Caribbean history and society. The work is divided into three parts: part one addresses migration and identity; part two explores policy and development; and part three explores music and literature. The volume places a fresh perspective on these topics. The essays depart from the usual broader themes of politics, economics and society and provide a deeper insight into forces that left a decisive legacy on aspects of the Caribbean region. Such contributions come at a time when some of the Caribbean territories are marking over 50 years as independent nation states and attempting to create, understand and forge ways of dealing with critical national and regional issues. The volume brings together a broad group of scholars writing on Caribbean issues including postgraduate students, lecturers, and researchers. Each chapter is thematically divided into the aforementioned areas. This book addresses areas much deeper than the linear historical and social science models, and it offers Caribbean academics and researchers a foundation for further research.

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11. Recuperating the Lost Voice of Esteban Montejo in Miguel Barnet´s Biografía de un cimarrón (Adonis Díaz Fernández)


11. Recuperating the Lost Voice of Esteban Montejo in Miguel Barnet´s Biografía de un cimarrón

Adonis Díaz FernándezTranslated to English by Nicole Roberts

Africa has long existed as a trope of concern in black Caribbean consciousness. Moreover, it is true to note that respectability and Africanity seem to exist as the antithesis of each other in many Caribbean societies and Cuba is no exception. Critics such as Pappademos argue that Africa has long been suppressed or marginalized in the literary aesthetic of black Caribbean writers.1 Even though a hegemonic discourse prescribes the exclusion of an individual from the prevailing social worldview, survival actions by that lost voice, that is, the so-called other, also presuppose a certain exclusion. The text Biografía de un cimarrón, written by the ethnologist Miguel Barnet in 1966, sets out a number of issues which locate the main character of the work in a marginalized setting within his own history, but at the same time, reveals the inescapable value of his own voice, the voice of resistance and the spirit of cimarronaje.

Marginalization is a phenomenon that has become evident in Cuban society through the history of the formation of the nation, when it comes to the culture of African heritage. Not only is this mutilation reflected from the “ethnic and racial” point of view, as studies linked to the African influence in the Western Hemisphere are usually called, but from the civilizatory point...

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