This book chronicles the Tobago movement for autonomy from Trinidad from the time of the union of these two Caribbean islands from 1889 to 1980 when Tobago gained internal self-government. It argues that the problems Tobagonians complained about in the few years before internal self-government were longstanding and can be traced throughout the history of the union. The work puts the several calls for separation within the theoretical framework of identity. It posits that identity was the major buttress in the movement for autonomy. The manuscript's unique contribution is its "integrationist-separatist continuum" by which the author assesses the responses of British, colonial and local officials.The work adds to the historiography of the Caribbean and Trinidad and Tobago in particular, and is a useful case study of the issue of secession in the Caribbean. It serves as a comparison for the St Kitts - Nevis situation.The author uses primary sources from the Public Records Office and the Newspaper Library in London, the National Archives of Trinidad and Tobago, the Tobago Archives, the Registry Section of the Central Administrative Services, Tobago, the Heritage Library in Trinidad as well as oral history sources.
Learie Luke is interim Chairman and Assistant Professor, Department of Social Sciences, South Carolina State University. He has written several entries for the Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History: The Black Experience in the Americas and ""The Role of Identity in the Movement for Autonomy in Tobago"" in Beyond Plantations: Alternative Explanations in Caribbean History.