Reflection and Analysis of Oswald Warner's “Black in America Too: Afro-Caribbean Immigrants
Caribbean immigrants have long arrived on the shores of the United States. Prior to 1834, a limited number of enslaved Africans were shifted from plantation estates in the Caribbean to meet growing needs for a slave population in the United States (Parris in Journal of Caribbean Studies 2:1–13, 1981). Other Caribbean immigrants arrived in the late eighteenth to early nineteenth century to escape the political instability of their countries. Such was the case of Haitian immigrants after the revolution.
Becoming American for the Afro-Caribbean and African second generation means becoming black American and thus subject to the same kind of racial prejudice and exclusion as African Americans. While some in the second generation emphasize an American, that is an African American, identity and do not see their ethnicity as important to their self-image, many others seek to have their West Indian or African identity recognized while also identifying as black ( Imoagene 2016;Vickerman 2001;Waters 1999Waters , 2001).
For instance, Lee (2005) argues that notions of Whiteness are constructed as good, civilized, intelligent, etc., where as definitions of Blackness are constructed as poor, uncivilized, welfare dependent etc. In fact, scholars have found this to be the case when interviewing Afro-Caribbean immigrants in New York (Bobb & Clarke, 2001;Vickerman, 2001;Rogers, 2001).
Although this period of black history is marked by lynchings, racial demoralization, and socio-economic strife, it was a growth period for black leadership in Nebraska. What factors and conditions attracted this group of talented, politically and socially astute African Americans to move to Nebraska? What factors enabled black leadership to thrive, and what caused the demise of the leadership core after the 1920s? These questions and others will be explored.
Durene Wheeler Northeastern Illinois University ―Balancing Act: African American Women Narratives on the Promises and Perils of Higher Education