Caribbean History and Culture Part 2

The Caribbean is a beautiful land and here are more facts about it.
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    Caribbean History & Culture Part 2 Now, I am learning even more information about the Caribbean. Caribbean history, culture, and music are excellent displays of human expression. The Caribbean is an archipelago or a cluster of islands. The Greater Antilles Islands include Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, etc. The Lesser Antilles includes nations or areas like St. Kits & Nevis, St. Lucia, etc. The history of the Caribbean began obviously with the Native American people. Far too often, some forget the value of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, but I will always comprehend the intrinsic value of Native Americans. The Native Americans of the Caribbean migrated heavily into the Caribbean region. Many of the indigenous human beings in the Americas worshiped polytheistic religions. They established great music and other great civilizations. They were diverse. Many have talked about the Tainos, the Caribs, and other indigenous human beings. European imperialists from Columbus to others have invaded lands, abused Native Americans, and even exterminated tons of Native Americans in the Caribbean. The Western imperialists (from nations like England, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Portugal, etc.) wanted territories and resources to advance their respective Empires. Native Americans were heavily used as slaves for the purpose of labor exploitation. Later, Africans were used as slaves since the Native American populations in the Caribbean was so depleted by the eighteenth century. The good news is that the peoples of the Caribbean (which included Africans,  Native Americans, and Creoles. Creoles in Caribbean terminology refers to those people of color who were born in the Caribbean centuries ago) stood up to the brutal oppression of slavery, imperialism, and colonialism as a means for these human beings to fight for freedom. Many of the revolts and revolutions in the Caribbean were successful in establishing nations like Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba, Trinidad, etc. That is great news. We also conversely realize about the complications in the Caribbeans. These issues deal with poverty, income inequality, Western corporate exploitation, debt issues, human rights issues, etc. There have been stories about the many problems in the Caribbean. Yet, the Caribbean people are very resilient and many Caribbeans have made great strides in their lives. Not to mention that we can see a lot of Caribbean human beings today establishing great contributions in the improvement of the overall society as well. So, I have hope for the future. The Caribbean region has a beautiful landscape with tons of down to Earth, progressive human beings. I know many acquaintances of Caribbean heritage. I have Carib bean heritage on the mother’s side of my family. Caribbean heritage is very diverse culturally and ethnically. There are those of Black African descent, Native American descent, Indian descent (as in from the Indian subcontinent), European heritage, and those of other backgrounds. The strength of the human family is truly beautiful and inspiring. Also, it is important to respect the Afro-Caribbeans who made a great contribution not only in the history of the Americas, but in the  history of world history too. I am a black African American, but I have a great appreciation and respect for Caribbean human beings. It is kind of ironic that some have mentioned information about the Dominican Republic, because I did my own research on Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Henry Louis Gates' Black in Latin America documentary blatantly proves that racism is a serious problem in the Dominican Republic (with even some stores selling caricature dolls of black people in offensive ways). Henry Louis Gates came into the Dominican Republic and Dominican professors in the country admitted that many Dominicans consider themselves whiter Spaniards rather than black human beings. The DR has a statue of the imperialist Bartholomew Columbus (or the brother of that criminal Cristobal Colon aka Christopher Columbus). Many Dominicans deny outright their black heritage. Also, the dictator Rafael Trujillo killed black Haitians via the Parsley Massacre of 1937. Anybody of black African heritage or who had dark skinned complexion was killed outright by Dominican government forces in that massacre. Rafael was a sick man (and he promoted racist anti-black Haitian propaganda in DR textbooks and in their media for years) and ironically he had some black blood, but he was a stone cold, overt racist. Henry Louis Gates also documents the courageous actions of the Haitian Revolution. Now, not all Dominicans are racists (as many Afro-Dominicans and black Haitians have protested DR's recent xenophobic court ruling), but many of them are. I won't place all Hispanics into one box, but we have every right to condemn racism and oppression. I do not agree totally with others on the issue of immigration (like I reject the views of the reactionaries on the issue of immigration as I believe in immigrant rights), but it is true that racism is a serious issue in the Dominican Republic like in the States. I am in solidarity with any person of black African descent globally that wants liberty, justice, and freedom. Also, we have to acknowledge heroes who fought for our liberty too. Afro-Brazilian Sister Benedita Silva has fought for black liberation for years and decades. There are Afro-Latino anti-racism organizations that legitimately want liberation. Henry Louis Gates even interviewed an Afro-Cuban Brother who raps and fights against the racism found in Cuba (Cuba has done some good in the world like sending resources to help West African human beings fight ebola. Obviously, there is more racism in America than in Cuba). Truly, racism is a disgrace. There are tons of Caribbean people in every country & every area of the Caribbean who seek peace, tranquility, justice, and equality . In Israel, Ethiopic, Sephardic, and other Jewish peoples have been mistreated. That is documented. At the end of the day, the dignity of all human life has to be respected. All people born in the Earth have equal value irrespective of their creed, their race, their gender, or their nationality.   Caribbean Music A long history can describe Caribbean music. It has been greatly globalized today. There has been reggae, Kreyol rap, soca, and Afro-Latino dance forms like sarabando and characona for years. African, Native American, Asian, and European influence make up of Caribbean music. There are millions of people of Caribbean living globally too. We know that the Taino Arawaks and the Caribs centuries ago sang songs. They used drums too. Africa has a long, strong influence in Caribbean music. African music is heavily diverse and polyrhythmic in its composition. African music historically dealt with collective participation. That means that the musicians would invite people to  join in on the song and dance events. The music can be formed in classless groups where everyone was involved in celebrating music. There is a call and response in African music. The European influence in Caribbean music has dealt with flutes, hymns, military marching, etc. beyond just classical music. The creolization of music is when there is a combination or merging of African, Native American, and European elements in music as a means to form a new culture of music unique in the Caribbean. There are Indian influences (as in from the nation of India) in the music of Trinidad, etc. as well. Caribbean music today is internationally known, respected, accepted, and loved greatly. Today, we see Caribbean music not only fun to listen to, but it is highly eclectic. Haitians use drums and other forms of music, which have African influences, as a means to have fun, do rituals, and to celebrate their lives. The Rada drum is famous in Haiti as a form of celebration. The Carnival is common too in Haiti and throughout the Caribbean region. Jamaica is the home of tons of vibrant music. Enough said. Jamaican culture beyond just its music has an international impact. Many of the poor urban and poor rural Jamaican developed their own music too beyond the expectations of more of the bourgeoisie members of Jamaican society. Reggae evolved from many musical traditions in Jamaica like ska and rocksteady. Reggae pioneers are Prince Buster, Desmond Deeker, Ken Boother, and the Wailers (which was a band started by legends like Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Bunny Wailer). Millie Small is another Sister who is an innovator of blue beat, ska, and reggae. Also, Jamaican dance hall is extremely popular and artists are very well known internationally who are involved in reggae and dance hall. In the islands of Cuba and Puerto Rico, salsa is very common. Hispanic people express salsa as a way to have fun, love traditions, and to outline pride in their ethnic heritage. The 1960’s saw the growth
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