Faith Smith's Creole Recitations offers a feminist critique and compelling alternative to the dominant narratives of Trinidadian and black nationalism. Smith's analysis of Thomas's participation in the anglophone Caribbean public sphere of the late nineteenth century makes visible that already in the 1870s, Thomas defined creole identity as normative and national in part by contrasting it to Indian and other ethnic identities. Smith illuminates the significant role women and womanhood played in the construction of creole identity and respectable middle-class nationalism. As importantly, Smith offers “recitation” as a model for understanding social and cultural formation in the Caribbean. In contrast to the long-held view that recitation was necessarily an alienating act of mimicry, Smith reveals that recitation functioned as a creative process used both to resist and to appropriate colonial discourse. Through it, Thomas and other Afro-Caribbean intellectuals shaped the perception and material reality of their individual, ethnic, and national communities.
Leah Rosenberg; The Audacity of Faith: Creole Recitations Explained. Small Axe 1 July 2011; 15 (2 (35)): 164–173. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-1334149
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