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  • Print publication year: 2015
  • Online publication date: June 2017

4 - Continental Creolization: French Exclusion through a Glissantian Prism

Summary

Wat a joyful news, Miss Mattie

I feel like me heart gwine burs

Jamaica people colonizin

Englan in reverse.

By de hundred, by de tousan

From country and from town,

By de ship-load, by de plane-load

Jamaica is Englan boun.

Dem a pour out a Jamaica

Everybody future plan

Is fe get a big-time job

An settle in de mother lan.

What a islan! What a people!

Man an woman, old an young

Jus a pack dem bag an baggage

An tun history upside dung!

Some people doan like travel

But fe show dem loyalty

Dem all a open up cheap-fare-

To-Englan agency.

An week by week dem shippin off

Dem countryman like fire,

Fe immigrate an populate

De seat a de Empire.

Oonoo see how life is funny,

Oonoo see de tunabout?

Jamaica live fe box bread

Out a English people mout’.

For wen dem ketch a Englan,

An start play dem different role,

Some will settle down to work

An some will settle fe de dole.

Jane say de dole is not too bad

Because dey payin she

Two pounds a week fe seek a job

Dat suit her dignity.

Me say Jane will never fine work

At de rate how she dah look,

For all day she stay pon Aunt Fan couch

An read love-story book.

Wat a devilment a Englan!

Dem face war an brave de worse,

But me wonderin how dem gwine stan

Colonizin in reverse.

Louise Bennett, ‘Colonisation in Reverse’ (1966)

Introduction

This chapter examines the ways in which migrant Caribbean diasporas inscribe critical paradoxes of migrancy and citizenship in contemporary Europe, concentrating on displaced inhabitants of French Caribbean overseas departments who were made citizens of France in 1946. The resulting diasporic intersections give rise to critical transformations of Frenchness and Caribbeanness engendered by the pressing presence in the metropoles of communities spawned by these migration-based demographic shifts. This French Caribbean-derived metropolitan community has become virtually 1 percent of the French hexagonal population, and their cultural and identitarian hybridities increasingly destabilize our current notions of nationality and belonging.