Orginal Publication Date
Explorations in Sights and Sounds
The history of the Americas, one first of imperialism, second of slavery, is one of which we are aware. Whether accepted or rejected, the colonial heritage has had a hypnotizing effect on many writers in this hemisphere as is abundantly displayed in this anthology, Jamaica Women. The major part of the poetry here is social protest or "message" poetry as opposed to that involved in the structure of language, although we do find both in the surprising variety of subjects considered, some personal-love, family-others cultural and collective-nature, freedom, poverty, work, strength or lack of it. The best of these poems refrain from plunging into nostalgia for a non-existent history (Arawaks, Africa) or indulging in racial self-assertion, both of which undermine the very point to be made, that is, finding an identity unrestrained by race or class.
Copyright, ©EES, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1984