Contributor: James Ferguson

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Sombrero Island — a distant light | On this day

Issue 149 (January/February 2018) | 0 comments
A small speck of land at the northern end of the Leewards, Sombrero Island is known to few — but has a surprisngly colourful history. James Ferguson tells tales of shipwrecks, guano mines, and the 150-year-old lighthouse that saved countless sailors’ lives in the dangerous Anegada Passage

Defenders of the faith | On this day

Issue 148 (November/December 2017) | 0 comments
Exactly a century ago, anti-African prejudice prompted Trinidad and Tobago’s colonial legislature to ban the indigenous Spiritual Baptist religion. But, as James Ferguson explains, the draconian law never dissuaded the Baptist faithful

The Lüders affair | On this day

Issue 147 (September/October 2017) | 0 comments
One hundred and twenty years ago, a minor dispute in Port-au-Prince escalated into an international incident, with the German navy threatening to bombard the city. James Ferguson remembers this episode in the long history of foreign powers meddling in Haiti’s affairs

Twisting Rhodes | On this day

Issue 146 (July/August 2017) | 0 comments
It’s an irony of history that the legacy of arch-imperialist Cecil Rhodes includes the education of many Caribbean intellectuals — like Jamaican Rex Nettleford, who arrived in Oxford sixty years ago, writes James Ferguson

John James Audubon: The Birdman | On this Day

Issue 145 (May/June 2017) | 0 comments
It’s considered a landmark of ornithology, and it was published one hundred and ninety years ago: John James Audubon’s massive Birds of America. Born in Haiti, Audubon had a restless life spread across continents, but along the way he transformed himself into a leading expert on the birdlife of North America. As James Ferguson explains, his legacy in science and conservation still endures

Harry Belafonte: calypso with a conscience

Issue 144 (March/April 2017) | 1 comment
A beloved musical icon since the 1950s, Harry Belafonte has an equally long reputation as a political activist. And the parallel themes of his public life, entertainment and activism, both have their roots in Belafonte’s childhood in Jamaica. James Ferguson finds out more

The remains of the Danes

Issue 143 (January/February 2017) | 0 comments
Exactly a century ago, the Kingdom of Denmark sold its Caribbean possessions for $25 million to the United States. Commemorated in the US Virgin Islands, the anniversary is little remembered elsewhere — but, as James Ferguson writes, the story behind the event reminds us about the ambitions that drove European colonisation of our region

Who’s your granny?

Issue 142 (November/December 2016) | 0 comments
Sixty years ago, a squadron of battle-hardened guerrillas landed on Cuba’s south-east coast, launching the revolution that would soon grip the world’s imagination. And the heroically leaky boat that got them there? It was named for someone’s grandmother. James Ferguson remembers the story of Granma

The Bianca C: into the deep

Issue 141 (September/October 2016) | 0 comments
One Sunday fifty-five years ago, residents of St George’s, Grenada, woke up to a disaster unfolding in their harbour. More than six hundred people on board the liner Bianca C were in grave danger — so dozens of Grenadians leaped into action. James Ferguson remembers the story

Historic gold: the earliest Caribbean Olympic heroes

Issue 140 (July/August 2016) | 0 comments
At the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Caribbean sports fans will have dozens of home-grown champs to cheer on. But the region’s history of Olympic success stretches back more than a century. James Ferguson looks back to the earliest Caribbean Olympic heroes, and how today’s athletes have kept their victorious legacy alive