Chapter

A Historical Memoir

Mark Clague

in The Memoirs of Alton Augustus Adams, Sr.

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2008 | ISBN: 9780520251311
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520933811 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520251311.003.0003
A Historical Memoir

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This chapter reveals the memoirs in this book to be a response to a Virgin Islands “identity crisis” left in the wake of racial pressures from the U.S. mainland as well as the islands' own continuing economic struggles. It is a return to three local and traditional values that credits in part to the Danish past: discipline, a vibrant cosmopolitan culture, and tolerance. Cosmopolitism produced a tolerance of other ways of living that encouraged racial cooperation. Certainly, racism was present in the islands, but Adams experienced a tolerant, open society without institutionalized racial barriers. These values hope to redress the current imbalance toward materialism by reminding the people of the intrinsic worth of customs and by pointing out their relevance for present concerns. It is a social tool for shaping the self-concept of Virgin Islanders and preserving the strengths Adams feels are central to his islands' future.

Keywords: Virgin Islands; identity crisis; cosmopolitan culture; materialism; self-concept

Chapter.  3773 words. 

Subjects: American Music

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