This essay is a response to Belinda Edmondson’s Creole Noise: Early Caribbean Dialect Literature and Performance (2022), which is an excellent history of literary and performative Creole in the anglophone Caribbean, tracing its roots back to the work songs of enslaved African laborers, to the transcriptions and parodies of White Caribbean elites, and to the increasing use in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries of Creole by Brown and Black Caribbean writers and performers. Slowly, the language shifted from being a marker of cultural inferiority to a medium for signaling cultural authenticity. Edmondson shows how the everyday language of the anglophone Caribbean haltingly, ambivalently, but in the end decisively elbowed its way into the rooms where print culture was produced, consumed, and evaluated.

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