B’ Rabby as a 'True-True Bahamian': Rabbyism as Bahamian Ethos and Worldview in the Bahamas’ Folk Tradition and the Works of Strachan and Glinton-Meicholas
Journal of Caribbean Literatures, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 121-142, 2009
24 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2010 Last revised: 20 Jan 2016
Date Written: January 1, 2009
'B’ Rabby is more than just the cunning protagonist taking advantage of B’ Boukee in one tale after the other. He is also, I contend, a figure that we meet again and again in our history books, our folk songs, our poems, our novels, and our plays. The pirates, smugglers, and bootleggers of yesteryear are today’s successful businessmen and political leaders. In short, the characters from our past and present who we admire and celebrate all seem to have something in common with these mythical creatures. Similarly, contemporary novelists like Ian Strachan and satirists like Patricia Glinton-Meicholas represent the Bahamas as a nation peopled with B’ Boukee and B’ Rabby figures and depict Bahamian society as one dominated by what I call Rabbyism. It is my intention to undertake a careful read of Strachan’s God’s Angry Babies and Glinton-Meicholas’ The 99¢ Breakfast in an effort to demonstrate just what I mean by that charge. Before doing that, however, it makes sense to explore the folk values and ideas that come out of the Bahamas’ folk tradition.
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