By Francio Guadeloupe
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Additional resources for Chanting Down the New Jerusalem: Calypso, Christianity, and Capitalism in the Caribbean
Both white metropolitans and Dutch SXMers did not measure up to local French men, for they were crude and did not know how to treat and talk to a woman. The tongue-in-cheek story of the island’s division was common knowledge. It was the story SXMers told one another and visitors. Although quite amusing, this folktale is a simpliﬁcation of how the division came into effect. According to the archives, soon after its decision to leave the island, the Spanish government sent a detachment from nearby Puerto Rico to effect the departure.
One local, Miss Maria, a slender former schoolteacher in her mid-sixties with snow-white hair and brown skin, was adamant about the matter. Slavery was not something people spoke about when she was growing up. “Who want to talk about that? ” For black locals, slavery was an episode worth forgetting. All that their grandparents had conveyed to them were the ideas that they should never think anyone better than themselves and that they should never let anyone take advantage of them, especially white people.
The Caribbean stands as a symbol of the unconquerable human spirit. From Marti to James to Mintz to Brathwaite to Chagan to Nettleford, these theorists have been responsible for disseminating this idea of the Caribbean, which has become the hallmark of the region. It is the way we like to imagine ourselves and like others to imagine us in academic settings. Nettleford worded it best when he wrote, “The mind is always creatively active to guarantee survival and beyond. Many a Caribbean So Many Men, So Many Histories 19 intellectual, like the Caribbean artist, has got to be a latter-day maroon, ambushing society under the camouﬂage of intellectual investigation, analysis and artistic invention” (Nettleford 2001: 182).