Master of Arts
Dr. Don Morrow
This thesis examined the manner in which West Indies cricket became a catalyzing force for West Indians in moving towards political independence from Britain during the period 1950-1962. West Indians took a game that was used as a means of social control during the colonial era, and refashioned that game into a political weapon to exact sporting and especially political revenge on their colonial masters. Analyses (CDA, narrative analysis, examination of calypsos and cartoons) of the historic cricket tour to England in 1950, the decolonization movement, and the appointment of Frank Worrell as the first black captain of the team, among other significant indicators and events, revealed recurring narratives that linked the success of West Indies cricket to a readiness for political independence from Britain. These narratives reflected a feeling that “the time was now” for West Indians to forge a political identity for themselves separate from the subservient pupil of the British master. Politicians utilized rhetorical strategies that appealed to feelings of racial unity to fuel their push for political independence. Taken together, the overriding narrative revealed by this analysis applied to selected newspaper articles and political speeches, could be encapsulated in the epithet, “massa day done”. The discourse emanating from the success of West Indies cricket set West Indians on a course toward political autonomy from Britain.
Newman, Jonathan A., "'Massa Day Done:' Cricket as a Catalyst for West Indian Independence: 1950-1962" (2013). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 1532.