This paper examines the significance of the Canboulay Riot of 1881 in Trinidad, and how this event was able to alter the celebration on the island, known as Carnival. Though historians have recognized the riot as a symbolic act of defiance by free blacks on the island, a link has not previously been made between the riot, and changes within the celebration of Carnival. Specifically, the actions of these free blacks during the riot contributed to the integration of the middle class into the celebration, which prompted a medley of changes that are now integral components of Carnival in Trinidad today.

Sources used in this paper most notably include newspapers from the time period. Additionally, the accompaniment of valuable secondary sources, such as journals and books written by historians and scholars of Trinidad and the rest of the Caribbean, provide unique insight into questions dealing with culture, race and class.

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