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Making Common Cause in the Caribbean

There were instances of inter-ethnic and cross racial solidarity against oppression as well as instances of short-term liaisons between the oppressed and Europeans to fight against their common enemies.

During the 17th to the 19th century mixed race persons whether half African/half European or half African /half Native American whether free or privileged demonstrated a deep sense of solidarity with the oppressed black masses. Half African/half European and half African /half Native American persons not only participated in revolts or uprisings by the enslaved Africans but in some instances, they instigated and led such uprisings. Also of note is the fact that quite often Native Americans and African maroons made common cause against their common European enemy.

An examination of the actions of the Native Americans and Africans makes it clear that they were keenly aware of the rivalries among the European powers and deftly exploited their differences.

The proverbial saying is 'adversity makes strange bedfellows' which suggests that, in times of trouble, people who wouldn't normally associate with each other may form an alliance. During this period of Caribbean history, the saying could be adapted to 'necessity makes strange bedfellows.'

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