The long 1950s in Jamaica encompassed the pivotal moments that set into motion the infrastructures of modern political, social, economic, and artistic activity. They also brought into relief struggles over the appropriate scales of interaction, whether national, regional, Pan-African, or diasporic. This essay lays out three of the experiential baselines that would have undergirded these processes—the beginnings of developmentalism, the normativity of migration, and the more explicit emergence of the United States as a significant actor within political and economic affairs. It argues that by the end of the long 1950s, the earlier-twentieth-century story of an emergent civil society in Jamaica was displaced by the story of political society. The result has been a formal decolonization that lacked some of the decolonial social and cultural visions of earlier moments.

You do not currently have access to this content.