Cutting the Sugar Cane c.1786
Using the themes of sugar, slavery and the making of the West Indies, Caribbean Views explores the African slave trade and the contrasting lives of plantation owners and plantation life as experienced by the slave population. The experiences of former slave Mary Prince are sharply contrasted against the journal of Maria, Lady Nugent, wife of the Lieutenant-Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Jamaica, who lived in the Caribbean at the same time. Maria, Lady Nugent's journals talk about a life of relative ease with a constant round of social engagements, dancing, and carriage rides in the mountains. Mary Prince's experiences are chronicled following her escape from her owner, John Wood, in 1828. Mary Prince arrived in England where her cause was taken up by the Anti-Slavery Society. Her story, The History of Mary Prince, published in 1831, detailed horrific brutality at the hands of her owner and was the first substantial account of life as an enslaved woman. The final part of the exhibition looks at the eventual approach to the abolition of the slave trade.
The British Library Sound Archive holds material from the 1950s onwards of published and unpublished Caribbean music. Follow the link below for an essay on the details of the collection.