ST KITTS AND INTEGRATIONISM
This article was compiled by Jodi Phillips May 2014, for the Institute of Black Academics
concerning Black Under achievement.
PUBLISHED 09 MAY 2014 04:26
In St Kitt's and Nevia, slaves established villages in parts of the interior not suitable for plantations. When emancipation began in 1834, there were well-established Afro-Caribbean villages capable of maintaining elements of their traditional culture and developing a complex web of social relations.
Most inhabitants of the islands engaged in basic agriculture and lived very simply. Religion, particularly the Anglican faith, played a major role in education and the formation of concepts of respectability, with an admixture of African traditions centering on mortuary practices and holiday celebrations. By the early twentieth century, the British colonial government provided free basic public education and some amenities. Still, the situation of most islanders remained one of poverty with comparatively little social stratification based on wealth. Members of society who could sustain an elite status generally were connected either to religion or to education, and they maintained some visible material goods, such as a house and furnishings.
In the 1950s, the elimination of sugar and cotton production and an assortment of agricultural problems led to increasing waves of emigration, largely to Great Britain, Commonwealth members, and other English-speaking countries. Emigration resulted in significant changes that were accelerated by political changes in the mid-1960s, when Great Britain established the associated state of Saint Kitts/Nevis, which became fully independent in 1983. Nevisians were unhappy with their connection to the numerically dominant Kittitians and agreed to independence only if they could retain the right to secede and have internal self-rule.
The lengthy economic decline left the islands in an unpromising position. Initial efforts to establish more productive agricultural and other pursuits involving manual labor were stymied by the strong preference of Kittitians and Nevisians for white-collar work. The development of tourism in the 1970s and the increasing ability of emigrants to send funds home have led to better economic circumstances on both islands, which maintain excellent public school systems, resulting in a literacy rate in excess of 90 percent, and good public health programs.[Source : http://www.everyculture.com/No-Sa/Saint-Kitts-and-Nevis.html#ixzz3NUvotXDZ].