Jamaican Americans

Overview

The first wave of Jamaican immigration to the United States occurred in the early 1900s, when seasonal farmworkers settled in Florida and a second more skilled group moved to New York City. During the subsequent decades, both the U.S. Immigration Act of 1924 and the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 restricted further Jamaican immigration to the United States. However, a second wave of migration began in 1965 with the passage of the Immigration and Naturalization Services Act, which eliminated ...
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Overview

The first wave of Jamaican immigration to the United States occurred in the early 1900s, when seasonal farmworkers settled in Florida and a second more skilled group moved to New York City. During the subsequent decades, both the U.S. Immigration Act of 1924 and the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 restricted further Jamaican immigration to the United States. However, a second wave of migration began in 1965 with the passage of the Immigration and Naturalization Services Act, which eliminated national-origin quotas. Today, more than 700,000 people of Jamaican descent call the United States home, including nearly 300,000 in New York City. From Colin Powell, the first African American to be appointed U.S. secretary of state, to former NBA star Patrick Ewing and Grammy Award winner Harry Belafonte, Jamaican Americans have made important contributions to American society and continue to share their rich cultural heritage.

Each informative volume in The New Immigrants series describes the achievements and hardships experienced by immigrant groups that have arrived in the United States since Congress passed the Immigration and Naturalization Services Act in 1965.

About the Author:
Heather A. Horst worked as a teaching assistant at a rural primary school in Jamaica

About the Author:
Andrew Garner is honorary research associate at Oxford Brookes University in the United Kingdom

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
Though Jamaicans have been migrating to North America since the 1890s, they are included in this "New Immigrants" series for young adults. The authors discuss some Jamaican history, focusing on the free Maroons of the eighteenth century and slavery in the nineteenth (abolished by the British in 1834); later, banana production and tourism became major industries. After independence, immigration to the U.S. and Canada picked up, often depending on immigration policies in those countries. Jamaican culture is presented as consisting primarily of four elements: food (a recipe for Jamaican jerk chicken is included), music, religion, and migration—many Jamaicans preferring to leave their children to be educated in Jamaica. Also explored are the difficulties of adjusting to life in their new countries, where immigrants may be perceived as African-Americans rather than Jamaicans. Most interesting are chapters and sidebars about prominent Jamaican-Americans or -Canadians like activist Marcus Garvey, poet Claude McKay, and singer and activist Harry Belafonte; more recent achievers include Colin Powell, actor Tyson Beckford, New York City Council member Yvette Clark, and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. This title will probably be most interesting to students living in areas of Jamaican immigration (for the U.S. mostly in New York and Miami); writing is pedestrian and a lack of organization leads to much repetition. American teens may not be easily drawn into an extended discussion of Canadian affairs, while the book's appeal is also limited by several badly blurred pages and awkwardly placed sidebars. One hopes these deficiencies will be corrected in later printings. Reviewer: Barbara L.Talcroft
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791087909
  • Publisher: Facts on File, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/28/2007
  • Series: Facts on File New Immigrants Series
  • Pages: 144
  • Age range: 11 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents


Introduction     6
Exodus     11
My Island in the Sun     22
Buffalo Soldiers     39
Jamaica Farewell     51
Jamaicans in the Babylon System     62
We're Gonna Make It     75
Many Rivers to Cross     84
One Love     94
Legend     105
Positive Vibration     115
Chronology and Timeline     122
Notes     126
Glossary     128
Bibliography     132
Further Reading     134
Index     137
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