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Obika Gray

Radicalism and Social Change in Jamaica, 1960-1972

Radicalism and Social Change in Jamaica, 1960-1972

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In August 1962, the island nation of Jamaica achieved independence from Great Britain. In this provocative social and political history of the first decade of independence, Obika Gray explores the impact of radical social movements on political change in Jamaica during a turbulent formative era.
Led by a minority elite and a middle class of mixed racial origins, two parties, each with its associated workers' union, emerged to dominate the postcolonial political scene. Gray argues that party leaders, representing the dominant social class, felt vulnerable to attack and resorted to dictatorial measures to consolidate their power. These measures, domestic social crises, and the worldwide rise of Black Power and other Third World ideologies provoked persistent challenges to the established parties' political and moral authority. With students, radical intellectuals, and the militant urban poor in the vanguard, the protest movement took many forms. Rastafarian religious symbolism, rebel youth's cultural innovations, efforts to organize independent labor unions, and the intelligentsia's varied attempts to use mass media to reach broader audiences--all influenced the course of political events in this period. Grounding his tale in relevant theory, Gray persuasively contends that, despite its narrow social and geographical base of support, this urban protest movement succeeded in moving the major parties toward broader
and more progressive agendas.

Author: Obika Gray
Publisher: Univ Tennessee Press
Published: 08/30/2007
Pages: 304
Weight: 0.96lbs
Size: 8.17h x 6.03w x 0.74d
ISBN: 9780870496615
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