Békés (white Creoles) are the descendants of the original plantation owners in the Antilles. They remain economically dominant in the islands, forming a privileged and self-segregating minority. They are, perhaps surprisingly, invoked by Raphaël Confiant as fundamental to both Éloge de la créolité's conception and failure. This essay analyzes a number of texts (novels, films, manifestos) produced by, or about, békés since 1989, to investigate how the principles valorized in the Éloge have resonated (or have failed to resonate) with békés: Marie-Reine de Jaham's La grande béké and its TV adaptation; Roger de Jaham's Tous Créoles! movement; and Romain Bolzinger's documentary Les derniers maîtres de la Martinique. Through the prism of the manifesto, the essay sketches a number of tropes, images, and discursive positions that, whether directly influenced by créolité or articulated in opposition (or in parallel) to it, illuminate the (lack of) development in béké identity politics over the last quarter century.
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Research Article| March 01 2017
All Creoles Now? Béké Identity and Éloge de la créolité
Small Axe (2017) 21 (1 (52)): 220–232.
Maeve McCusker; All Creoles Now? Béké Identity and Éloge de la créolité. Small Axe 1 March 2017; 21 (1 (52)): 220–232. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-3843974
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