AfriGeneas Caribbean Research Forum
[CARIB] West Indians: An Introduction
West Indians: An Introduction
The British West Indies are among a chain of volcanic and coral islands stretching from Florida to Venezuela and include the countries of Anguilla, Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Turks
Image of a Caribbean ManBecause of the relationship between the West Indian islands and Belize and Guyana, people from these countries in Central and South America are also considered West Indians.
When Europeans first discovered the West Indies in 1492 most of the islands had indigenous populations. The Portuguese and Spanish enslaved many of these Amerindians to work on plantations and in the gold mines in South America; however, many were wiped out by disease and invasion.