Born Fi' Dead: A Journey Through the Jamaican Posse Underworld

Laurie Gunst, Author Henry Holt & Company $23 (245p) ISBN 978-0-8050-3205-5
Nothing encapsulates the sad story of 20th-century Jamaica better than the name the island's poor give themselves--``sufferers.'' Their suffering is the result of political battles between left and right, the latter supported by the U.S. The posses--street gangs made up of very poor people brought up on American westerns, kung fu and Stallone and Schwarzenegger movies--were converted into political strong-arm groups; the warfare reached its high point in the election of 1980, with about 800 political killings. Many posse members then emigrated to the U.S., where they channeled their violence into the crack trade. Gunst, who taught at the University of the West Indies in Kingston and wrote her doctoral dissertation on Jamaica, explores the line between the underworlds of New York and Kingston and shows just how ill-fated the island has become. The title is island patois for ``born but to die.'' (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/27/1995
Release date: 03/01/1995
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-8050-4698-4
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-84767-670-2
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