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No Women Jump Out!

Gender Exclusion, Labour Organization and Political Leadership in Antigua 1917-1970


Christolyn Williams

This book aims to provide a history of twentieth-century labour in the British colony of Antigua and Barbuda. It documents the labour and class struggles between landowners and peasants both before and after the legalization and formation of trades and labour unions in 1940. It exposes the political and racial dynamics of British colonialism in the eastern Caribbean as never before. The racial dynamics are evident between white colonial administrators, landowners and mill and factory owners, as they struggled to maintain control over a black and coloured population in a changing world.
The long overlooked history of the role of the British Trades Union Congress (TUC) in facilitating the end of British colonialism is one of the surprising stories of this book, as is the astonishing role of women. Despite their exclusion from labour and trade union history, oral sources show women played a key role as labour organizers who defied employers by planning meetings and actively recruiting union members. They were always there, as domestic workers in urban areas, in the fields and in the factories. They served as recruiters and organizers, carried the lights for outdoor meetings and encouraged and stood behind the union leaders. Despite their central role, they did not «jump out», and their stories became forgotten, overlooked even, in the history of Caribbean labour.


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Archival Sources Antigua and Barbuda Archives (Antigua Archives) St. Johns, Antigua. Antigua Public Library (APL), St. Johns, Antigua. Antigua and Barbuda Museum, St. Johns, Antigua. Library of Congress (LOC), Washington, DC USA. London School of Economics (LSE), London, UK. New York City Public Library (NYPL), 42nd Street and 5th Avenue, NYC. New York Public Library Science, Industry, and Business Library (SIBL), NYC. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (SCRBC), Harlem, NYC. Trade Union Congress Archives (TUC Archives) at London Metropolitan University United Kingdom, London, UK. United Kingdom National Archives London Public Records Of fice (UK National Archives/PRO). Books, Theses and Articles Alexander, Jack. ‘Love, Race Slavery and Sexuality in Jamaican Images of the Family’. In Raymond T. Smith, ed., Kinship Ideology and Practice in Latin America. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1984. Amin, Shahid. ‘Peripheral’ Labour?: Studies in the History of Partial Proletarianiza- tion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996. Anderson, David and David Killingray. Policing the Empire: Government, Authority and Control, 1830–1940. New York: St. Martin’s Press, c1991. Antigua and Barbuda National Report for the United Nations: Fourth World Confer- ence on Women Beijing, China 1995. St. Johns, Antigua: Antigua Printing and Publishing 1995. 220 Select Bibliography Antigua Girls’ High School Centenary Celebrations Committee. Antigua Girls’s High School Centenary 1886–1986: A Tribute to Our Alma Mater. St. John’s, Antigua: Antigua Printing and Publishing, 1986. Aronof f, Marilyn. ‘Community in an Industrial Society: A Study of a West Indian Labor Movement’. Thesis at Brandeis University, 1973....

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