As Lawrence Harrison, head of the Cultural Change Institute at Tufts University, told me in 1999:
“The culture of slavery, as well as zero-sum traditional African culture, powerfully sustained by a religion (Voodoo) without an ethical code, are palpable to any foreigner who has lived [in Haiti], as I did for two years. Barbados, which I have visited several times, remained a British colony until 1966, by which time it had substantially absorbed British values, attitudes, and institutions. The Barbadians are sometimes referred to as Black Englishmen or Afro-Saxons.”
(Still, that raises the question of why Barbados has a lower crime rate and a higher literacy rate than some other ex-British colonies like Jamaica. The late Robert MacNeil’s PBS series The Story Of English suggested that selection played a role: “[Barbados] was the first main port of call for the slave ships. It is said that unruly slaves from the least domesticated tribes were progressively shipped up the ‘claw’ of the West Indies until they reached Jamaica.”
Although 90 percent of Barbados’ population is said to be “Afro-Bajan”, Barbados has a fairly large mixed race middle class who typically call themselves “white” (for example, the Barbadian pop singer Rihanna, who is considered black in America, recently complained “I Was Bullied At School For Being White”) and espouse traditional white standards.