Caribbean Matters: Let’s talk cricket, C.L.R. James, and Caribbean culture

Caribbean Matters: Let’s talk cricket, C.L.R. James, and Caribbean culture

When we begin to explore cultures outside our own, we tend to focus on things like language, foods, and music. But looking at sports can often be another way to gain insight into the politics of nations.

Here in the United States, soccer (aka fútbol or football) has finally gained a following, despite the proliferation of countries where football is the number one sport. Yet when we look at the most popular sports in the world, the second in global popularity is cricket.

Cricket and the Caribbean have a long, and checkered political history—a history that was the subject of an absorbing metaphorical analysis by the brilliant Trinidadian historian, journalist, and leftist activist Cyril Lionel Robert James, whose 1963 book “Beyond A Boundary” (full text) is considered by many critics to be the greatest book on cricket ever written.

James was born in January 1901, and so we celebrate him today as we explore the history and politics of cricket in the Caribbean.

Caribbean Matters is a weekly series from Daily Kos. If you are unfamiliar with the region, check out Caribbean Matters: Getting to know the countries of the Caribbean.

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