In the closing decades of the nineteenth century, large amounts of gold and diamonds were discovered in the hinterlands of British Guiana (today Guyana). Profits generated from gold and diamond mining (and later bauxite) prompted increased access to government land that in turn enabled expansion in other industries and diversified the plantation economy. Local African- descended people provided most of the labor supply for all these expanding economic sectors, along with African- descended migratory workers from both other areas of the Americas, particularly the Caribbean, and continental Africa. Barbara P. Josiah’s study provides a historical analysis of the role of these African- descended workers, treating them not as victims in the service of capital but as people who consciously sought to expand their horizons beyond the harsh realities and confines of the plantations, with their quasi- slavery systems, seasonal unemployment, and underemployment. Using government and archival records, newspapers, and institutional...
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Book Review| May 01 2013
Migration, Mining, and the African Diaspora: Guyana in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
Migration, Mining, and the African Diaspora: Guyana in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. By Josiah, Barbara P..
Illustrations. Tables. Appendixes. Notes. Bibliography. Index. xix, 274 pp. Cloth, $90.00.
Hispanic American Historical Review (2013) 93 (2): 327–328.
Cadence Wynter; Migration, Mining, and the African Diaspora: Guyana in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Hispanic American Historical Review 1 May 2013; 93 (2): 327–328. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00182168-2077495
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