Saunders’s book explores the history of race relations in the Bahamas during a critical period in which the islands underwent significant political and socioeconomic change. She details the interactions between the primary racial and ethnic groups, including whites, mixed-race individuals of European and African ancestry, black Creoles, and liberated Africans. Although archival materials are sparse, Saunders has been able to locate enough colonial official documents, travelogues, and newspapers to analyze how race and class informed society during the early part of her study. She also used oral history interviews to reconstruct the more recent history of the Bahamas. Saunders argues that although Bahamian society had always been divided by race and national origins, in spite of the gradual changes that accompanied emancipation, “the fundamental structure of the society was not altered. The black majority remained dominated and socially ignored by white...
Philip Howard; Race and Class in the Colonial Bahamas, 1880–1960 by Gail Saunders. Labor 1 December 2018; 15 (4): 163–164. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/15476715-7127551
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