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Race and Class in the Colonial Bahamas, 1880-1960$
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Gail Saunders

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813062549

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813062549.001.0001

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Gradual Changes in The Bahamas, 1880–1914

Gradual Changes in The Bahamas, 1880–1914

3 Gradual Changes in The Bahamas, 1880–1914
Race and Class in the Colonial Bahamas, 1880-1960

Gail Saunders

University Press of Florida

Chapter 3 summarizes worldwide advances in scientific and technological research that would transform twentieth century life. Especially significant were new developments in the fields of electricity, communications, and transportation and the important changes taking place in Great Britain and its immense empire. In contrast, the British West Indies—suffering from a legacy of slavery and the indifference of the home government—entered the twentieth century in dire economic straits, still largely dependent on sugar. The Bahamas was worse off still and, except for the occasional “boom” brought on by external events, lagged far behind its neighbors and Britain both economically and constitutionally. In spite of these exigencies, citizens of black and mixed race in the late nineteenth century Bahamas, as elsewhere in the Caribbean, expressed a sense of racial identity and pride. A small group of nonwhite Bahamians organized a black nationalist movement and identified with Pan Africanism, advocating an awakening of racial consciousness.

Keywords:   advances, technology, science, electricity, communications, transportation, British West Indies, slavery, racial pride, identity, black nationalist movement

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