Reading about the conditions of slavery on the island of St. Croix can be difficult at times to understand the harsh realities that the enslaved Afro-Caribbean community had to face on a daily basis. Last night I was reading Dr. Isaac Dookhan’s book, A History of the Virgin Islands of the United States. Chapted 9 “The Slave Society” discusses the social and economic differences within the white, free-black, and enslaved communities. He suggests that cock-fighting was the most popular sport among Europeans during the slave trade and plantation era on the island. He also stressed that even though the islands were considered Danish territories, the Danes made up a very small percentage of the European population on the island. Actually, most of the Europeans on St. Croix were either British or Irish (Dookhan 1994: 144).
Click here for more information on the Irish Community in St. Croix
Another interesting fact is that the newspaper St. Croix Avis, which is still in circulation today in the Virgin Islands, started as the Royal Danish American Gazette in 1770 with the intent to “express the local white viewpoint”. Whats interesting is that today this newspaper is one of many reporting sources for local news, which is essentially black news. The changes that occurred in this one reporting source highlights the transitions made in the Crucian community, that celebrates its multicultural roots under the umbrella of Crucian culture and as such the news takes on multiple viewpoints reflecting the concerns of the Virgin Islands community and not just who owns the territory.
Check out more news happening in St. Croix