The Bahamas: television fantasy vs. darker reality

n July 10, the Bahamas celebrated the 42nd anniversary of its independence from Great Britain. The islands that make up this Caribbean nation have become a must-see tourist destination over the past decades, while Nassau, the capital, has a history that is currently being glorified by Hollywood. The TV series ‘Black Sails,’ aired on the Starz network, depicts what life was like in Nassau in the early 18th century when pirates ruled the Caribbean.

‘Black Sails’ is loosely based on a combination of real-life pirates and the popular book Treasure Island. The show focuses on real-life characters, like Charles Vane, and the fictional Captain J. Flint, pirates who made a profit from robbing merchant ships. The stolen bounty is then brought back to New Providence Island (where Nassau is located), where it is resold via the island’s black market. Both Vane and Flint share the utopian goal of Nassau becoming an independent nation,...

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