The Social Impact of Slavery on the Caribbean Society Essay

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The Social Impact of Slavery on the Caribbean Society In order for us to understand the Caribbean, we must acknowledge the tremendous social impact slavery placed upon the islands. We must not only consider the practice of slavery dating back to the indigenous peoples, but from what the introduction of the African slave trade did to the islands economically as well as culturally. In this paper let me reflect on slavery in the Caribbean not from an economical standpoint but, from the racial or what Knight calls ‘complextional mutations’ its social impact on society. Let us discuss historian Benitez-Rojo’s approach to the Caribbean, he tends to reject a single cultural definition of the Caribbean, believing that all the islands have…show more content…
The settlers represented a cross section of the Spanish society, and as the Spanish imposed themselves on the local communities two things happened. 1) the emergence of the mestizo: a racial mixture of Spanish and Indian and 2) the extermination of the native due to famine and disease. Later through the slave trade and the emergence of the plantation society the African became present creating the Creole. What follows then- is the Caribbean people- who’s many ancestors were brought from Africa as slaves, they share in common: the experience of ‘extraordinary collision of race’ which in turn developed what we today call the West Indian, Puerto Rican, Jamaican, in short the people of the Caribbean. Thus, Benitez-Rojo and Knight explain to us the Africanization of the island, or to what is called the Creole. The Creole, a person who has been separated from the center of colonial power, within all the islands, share to a certain extent hybrid forms of the same religion, rhythms, dances, food and other cultural traditions. In attempting to explain the racial/color complextites of the Caribbean as stated earlier Knight utilizes the term ‘complextional mutations’ understanding this term when placed upon the human race came in over 25 possible hybrid variations. Within the caste

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