Colin Grant at Lapham’s Quarterly:
Today almost as many Caribbeans reside overseas than live at home. Outward and inward migration from and to the region provides an illuminating case study into the pattern and history of migration. Immigrant has become a dirty word, a term of abuse. But Caribbean pioneers have been, and continue to be, a great expeditionary force that keeps the world turning.
People have always been on the move, all the more when travel became easier. On one level, the world can be divided into those who leave their birthplace and those who remain. “To be born on a small island, a colonial backwater,” wrote Derek Walcott, “meant a precocious resignation to fate.” The only protest was to get away. When Ethlyn and my father, Bageye, left in 1959, they did so in the midst of what was coined “England fever.”