Destined for a Life of Service

Defining African-Jamaican Womanhood, 1865–1938
Author(s): 
Altink, Henrice
ISBN: 
9780719080289
Date published: 
August 2011
Hardback
Price: 
£60.00

Based on a wide range of original sources, including folktales, anthropological studies, court statements, poetry and speeches, this book sheds new light on the struggle of people of African descent for full and equal citizenship in the post-emancipation British Caribbean. It examines the messages that African-Jamaican women were given about their place and roles from within and outside their own community, the extent to which these messages intersected with class and colour ideologies, and African-Jamaican women’s attempts to realise these ideals of femininity amidst various constraints.

Incorporating the full realm of African-Jamaican women’s experiences, exploring not just their sexuality and reproduction but also their roles as labourers, citizens and freedom fighters, the book also links shifting gender ideologies to citizenship, race and nation. Essential reading for undergraduates and graduates interested in gender within the British Caribbean during the critical transformative period between 1865 and 1938, it will also interest political scientists and other scholars working on questions of nationalism, transnationalism and the gendered nature of citizenship.