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Black Power in the Caribbean$
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Kate Quinn

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780813049090

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813049090.001.0001

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“Sitting on a Volcano”

“Sitting on a Volcano”

Black Power in Burnham's Guyana

(p.136) 6 “Sitting on a Volcano”
Black Power in the Caribbean

Kate Quinn

University Press of Florida

This chapter explores the response of Forbes Burnham's People's National Congress (PNC) government to local, regional and international Black Power. It examines the complex relationship between the ruling party and the African Society for Cultural Relations with Independent Africa (ASCRIA), assessing the impact this had on the government's domestic and regional policies, including the response to the crisis in Trinidad, policies of cooperative socialism, and questions of political asylum. The chapter then analyses local interactions with U.S. Black Power, focusing on the presence in Guyana of a significant community of African-American exiles/émigrés. While the Burnham government initially levered support from local and U.S. Black Power, ASCRIA's split from the PNC forced the American expat community to choose between competing versions of black emancipation polarized around the figures of Forbes Burnham and Eusi Kwayana. This split marked a fundamental shift in Guyanese politics, opening the gateway to new alliances that began to cut across Guyana's ethnic divides.

Keywords:   Guyana, Black Power, Forbes Burnham, Eusi Kwayana, African Society for Cultural Relations with Independent Africa (ASCRIA), People's National Congress (PNM), U.S. Black Power

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