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Rise and Fall of an Empire

A Progressive Caribbean

Jerome Teelucksingh

Rise and Fall of an Empire: A Progressive Caribbean emphasizes the significance of literature, media, history, slavery, culture and ideology which helped shape the Caribbean. This interdisciplinary work includes lesser known events, individuals and organizations that have emerged from colonialism and contributed to the foundations of a Caribbean Empire. Furthermore, these personalities and groups made valid contributions to the improvement and betterment of Caribbean societies. There are obvious contradictions within the Caribbean region that denote noteworthy progress whilst other indicators reflect a regression. Undoubtedly, these are features of a dynamic people and stable region that should be considered an Empire.

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It is impossible to produce any publication that captures the complete history of any era, place or peoples in the Caribbean. This is partly due the diversity and plurality of the region. More importantly, it is difficult to capture the history of the Caribbean when one considers such topics and themes as linguistics, cuisine, education, migration, politics, religion, culture, ideology, geography, literature and sports. These are all invaluable parts of the region’s landscape.

Progress cannot be restricted to one definition. For some progress can be measured by a country’s grand architecture and infrastructure, while others would use social indices as poverty, unemployment or crime. However, culture, literature and history can also be considered when assessing the progressive state of a people, country or region. Despite progress and achievements, Caribbean history has its foundations solidly rooted in power, inequality, privilege, racism, exploitation and abuse. The various chapters delved into aspects of power, especially different types of power. This power or lack of power is manifested in the shortcomings of colonial governance, protests, culture and ←177 | 178→religion. It is the analysis of power that provides relevance to subaltern and postcolonial studies.

It is difficult to deny the fact that during colonialism and imperialism, European or United States leaders and local rulers legitimized structural violence and refused to oppose or change the unequal distribution of power in the Caribbean. The fate of the enslaved and indentured laborers rested on those who wielded power—the planters and colonial authorities....

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