The (un)making of Bimshire and the Black Englishman: Barbadian Nationalism in Post-colonial Britain
This paper considers Partha Chatterjee's [1993. The Nation and Its Fragments: Colonial and Postcolonial Histories. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press] theory of anti-colonial nationalism - itself a response to Benedict Anderson [(1983) 2006. Imagined Communities. Reprint, London: Verso] - to understand how migrants from Barbados and their children construct their national identities in postcolonial Britain. Using interviews with first-, second- and third-generation Barbadian-Britons, it aims to determine what it means to be Barbadian, fifty years since independence, and how this identity has developed in the long shadow of colonialism and the more recent era of sovereignty. Guided by Chatterjee's framework of spiritual and material nationalism, the findings locate Barbadian nationalism in the dynamic spiritual domain of family, racial consciousness and culture, unaffected by British aesthetic and institutions that have endured since the island's occupation. How is this identity constructed within the borders of the former colonial power? This research locates the Caribbean within these competing discourses of nationalism, particularly nationalism as it responds and adapts to migration.