This essay explores Deborah Thomas's remarkable new book, Exceptional Violence, in light of the critical inheritance of the term diaspora and the status of grief in relation to Jamaica's repertoire of violence. Focusing on two examples of spectacularized violence that Thomas reads in her book, the essay explores the place of grief and the possibilities and implications of its expression in Thomas's work and for scholars and artists concerned with the black diaspora. One set of “incidents” (as the term goes) forms the basis of a chapter in Exceptional Violence on Coral Gardens: “Bad Friday” (1963). The other events, the Tivoli Gardens incursion of May 2010, appear in the book's epilogue, exceeding its main purview but gesturing at a new set of concerns for Thomas and exemplifying themes with which the whole book is concerned. broadly.

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