Caribana: African Roots & Continuities

The entire essay is appropriately written in the kinetic Caribbean demotic, or vernacular. The rhythm and movement of the language keep the reader moving forward, though all the while we are moving back and forth in time as NourbeSe Philip begins to put the present day festival in it’s historical and political context:

We keeping our eyes on Totoben dancing down University Avenue and Maisie wining and wining her all around that bottle, but we leaving them up in Toronto for a while and looking back, back to where they coming from and how it is they doing what some calling this commonness on University Avenue in the white people country that more than a million Black people invading on the first weekend every August.

On ships the slaves were packed in the hold on galleries one above the other. Each was given only four or five feet in length and two or three feet in height so that they could neither lie at full length nor sit upright … In this position they lived for the voyage…

-George Lamming

Race, Space and the Poetics of Moving is clearly a fitting subtitle for this innovative and informative extended essay.

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