Narratives of resistance and decolonial futures in the politics of the Bermudian Black Power movement

Gowland, B. (2021) Narratives of resistance and decolonial futures in the politics of the Bermudian Black Power movement. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 46(4), pp. 866-881. (doi: 10.1111/tran.12450)

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In this article, I examine the spatial politics of the Bermudian Black Power movement and its connections to Black Power political formations in the wider Caribbean and North America. This spatial politics is examined in detail through an engagement with the First Regional International Black Power Conference (BPC) held in Bermuda from the 10th ‐ 13th of July 1969 and the subsequent Black Power political activity on the island that the conference inspired. Through this engagement it is shown how the island of Bermuda and its black population were constitutive of transnational circulations of radical Black Power, and aligned, thinkers and activists (Swan 2009, 2014). This article develops a reading of a politics of Black Power on the island as challenging hegemonic geographies and political spatialities of white supremacy through the envisioning of alternative, decolonial futures and a resultant pre‐figurative political praxis. Such a reading is built on the theory of West Indian scholars David Scott (2004) and Brian Meeks (2000) and the spatial ontology of Doreen Massey (2005). D. Scott and Meeks have been key contributors to Caribbean critical thought for many decades, with D. Scott the long‐time editor of the Caribbean studies journal Small Axe, and both have been concerned with post and de‐colonial politics in the region and the role of temporality and historiography in conceptualisations of the Modern Caribbean and Jamaica in particular (Meeks 2000, 2016; Scott, D. 2004, 2014, 2017). This article offers an exploration of a decolonial spatial politics and political praxis, through the theory of post‐colonial Caribbean intellectuals (Meeks 2000; Scott 2004), that foregrounds the agentive and insurgent (Mignolo and Walsh 2018) capacity of Black Power as a political movement in the imagining and pre‐figuration of emancipatory futures beyond hegemonic geographies of white supremacy, (neo)colonialism and (neo)imperialism.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This project was supported by the Geographical Club Award, administered by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gowland, Mr Ben
Authors: Gowland, B.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers
ISSN (Online):1475-5661
Published Online:26 March 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 46(4): 866-881
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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