"Dangerously Large": The 1938 Labor Rebellion and the Debate over Birth Control in Jamaica

New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids
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In the late 1930s, following a massive labor rebellion on the island, a group of middle- and upper-class Jamaicans launched a campaign to spread access to modern birth control technology to the working classes, leading to the establishment of the first birth control clinic in Kingston in March of 1939. This paper analyzes the debate that arose as a result of these activities during this period, focusing on the ways concerns surrounding “over-population” and illegitimacy in Jamaica were intimately linked to class and racial tensions as well as to local and international nationalist, feminist, and eugenics movements.

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