Joshua Jelly-Schapiro

Joshua Jelly-Schapiro

Island People: The Caribbean and the World

FoI at Waterstones/
Wed 01 February 2017

Joshua Jelly-Schapiro

Island People: The Caribbean and the World

Joshua Jelly-Schapiro
Wed 01 February 2017,

Voyaging from Cuba to Jamaica, Puerto Rico to Trinidad, Haiti to Barbados, and islands in between, Joshua Jelly-Schapiro offers a kaleidoscopic portrait of each society, its culture and politics, connecting this region’s common heritage to its fierce grip on the world’s imagination.

From the moment Columbus gazed out from the Santa María’s deck in 1492 at what he mistook for an island off Asia, the Caribbean has been subjected to the misunderstandings and fantasies of outsiders. Running roughshod over the place, they have viewed these islands and their inhabitants as exotic allure to be consumed or conquered. The Caribbean stood at the centre of the transatlantic slave trade for more than three hundred years, with societies shaped by mass migrations and forced labour. But its people, scattered across a vast archipelago and separated by the languages of their colonisers, have nonetheless together helped make the modern world. Home of the Rastafarian faith, Che Guevara’s stomping ground and birthplace of reggae, the Caribbean has produced some of the world’s most famous artists, activists, writers, musicians and athletes.

Jelly-Schapiro – author of the new book Island People: The Caribbean and the World – examines how these islands’ inhabitants have searched and fought for better lives, and introduces us to the forty million people who continue to decisively shape our world.

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