Review: The Dead Yard

“Thomson takes up his account with the dissolution of the fragile and unwieldy West Indies Federation on 5 August 1962 when the island achieved its independence from the British Empire, joining the soon to be nascent Commonwealth. The midnight moment of the Union Jack taken down for the last time in Kingston was celebrated solely by one migrant labour nurse in Wanstead, East London, he reckons. He documents the extent to which for all intents and purposes, despite the Fabian playwright George Bernard Shaw’s exhortation on a visit to the island in 1911 of “Jamaica for the Jamaicans”, its national culture has long been inextricably linked to the ways and means of its former mother country, the indelible Anglican twee adornments from its 14 formal ‘parish’ areas, through to the baronial estates acting as a nod to its plantation era, replete with iced tea on the (increasingly decrepit) terrace and the perpetuation of domestic servitude.”

Read it all…

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