"Koo-Koo or Actor Boy"

"Koo-Koo or Actor Boy"

"Koo-Koo or Actor Boy" by I M Bellisario in Sketches of Character (Kingston, 1837)


Barringer, Tim, et al,. Art and Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and His World. Yale, 2007. 

White, Shane. Stylin': African American Expressive Culture from its Beginnings to the Zoot Suit. Cornell, 1998.

Abrahams, Roger. Singing the Master: The Emergence of African American Culture in the Plantation South. Pantheon, 1992.

Klein, Herbert. African Slavery in Latin America and the Caribbean. Oxford, 2007.

Rodriguez, Junius P., Encyclopedia of Slave Resistance and Rebellion. Greenwood, 2007.


1. This image represents a figure associated with the Jon Canoe Festival in Jamaica. Discuss that festival and some of its possible meanings.

2. The Jon Canoe festival finds its roots in West African ceremonies and rituals. Discuss these events and highlight the similarities and differences between these and their Caribbean counterparts.

3. Discuss the extent to which the Jon Canoe Festival can be considered an act of resistance.

4. This image shows a black slave in spectacular costume. Discuss the clothing of slaves from the typical to the extraordinary.

"Koo-Koo or Actor Boy"