What is 'Caribbean Identity'? This amalgam of so many diverse elements and traditions springing from the complex history of the modern Caribbean is embodied in the person of A. S. Frankson. Frankson's long and distinguished public service career was decisively shaped by the impact of Western culture through European settlement in the region, the historical background of slavery and indentured labour, native nationalism and 'black consciousness'. He played a key role within the British colonial system in Belize prior to its independence in 1981 and subsequently he exemplified modern post-colonial international idealism by pursuing an active career in the US Peace Corps, both in Belize and his native Jamaica. Frankson explores the great and divisive issues of the Caribbean - slavery, colonialism, colour prejudice, colonial and post-colonial government, the growth of bureaucracy and even globalisation. In the manner of a modern Caribbean William Cobbett, conservative but radical and humane, he departs from much conventional post-colonial wisdom in pointing out the advantages of colonial government and even colonialism in its more benign forms, as displayed in the Caribbean. In the process he gives a rich picture of Caribbean life from childhood to old age and the emergence of a modern, post-colonial Caribbean world. This is a story for all readers interested in colonial and post-colonial history and the vital question of identity in colonial societies.
Memoirs of the Colonial Service