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Imperialism: Public And Private Life

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“It’s bad enough . . . when a country gets colonized, but when the people do as well! That’s the end, really, that’s the end.” This Tsistsi Dangarembgba quote highlights the omnipotence of colonization as well as many other public life issues. When it gets to the “end”, the omnipresence is felt and its effect on the public life or private life cannot be easily isolated. The private experience your family goes through and the public experiences of imperialism your country goes through become inter-connected. Therefore, one of the most important ways of exploring the effects of imperialism on people involves the consideration of narratives that spread through the public and private life. This exploration is a common theme we find present in Cliff’s…show more content…
Although a lot of these were her own experiences, she clearly extends to them to represent that of the Jamaican people. She further complicates this narrative stating, “but of course this was seen by us -the light skinned middle class- with a double vision. We learned to cherish that part of that was them – and to deny the part that was not” (21). With this statement, she clearly explains the state of the middle class Jamaican. This state can be understood as a situation that involves the dilemma of identity that is created as a result of imperialism. Cliff is not the only one that shares this opinion. Kincaid expresses something similar in a A small place. “In those days, we Antiguans thought that the people at the Mill Reef Club had such bad manners, like pigs; they were behaving in a bad way like pigs” (27). This criticism of the people of the Mill Reef Club from North America which Kincaid provides here can be interpreted as a narration that revolves around public life. Her narrative is seen to explain the public sentiment the people of Antigua had towards the North American people who had come to settle in their country. However, like Cliff she continues on to explain the dilemmic nature…show more content…
From the “flying back stories” which originated in slavery to the “Back to Africa” movements of Garvey and those before him, to the Pan-Africanist activity of the people like Du Bois and C.L.R. James, this need to reconnect and re-member, as Morrison would term it, has been a central impulse to the structuring of Black thought (17).
Davies here highlights the issue of identity which has been central to the colonized who have suffered the effects of colonization. The loss of cultural identity as a result of colonization has made remembering and recovering of lost—sometimes stolen— culture one of the central issues of Africana academia. This issue is brought to light in Kincaid’s
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