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Radical Moves: Caribbean Migrants and the Politics of Race in the Jazz Age
     

Radical Moves: Caribbean Migrants and the Politics of Race in the Jazz Age

by Lara Putnam
 

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In the generations after emancipation, hundreds of thousands of African-descended working-class men and women left their homes in the British Caribbean to seek opportunity abroad: in the goldfields of Venezuela and the cane fields of Cuba, the canal construction in Panama, and the bustling city streets of Brooklyn. But in the 1920s and 1930s, racist nativism

Overview

In the generations after emancipation, hundreds of thousands of African-descended working-class men and women left their homes in the British Caribbean to seek opportunity abroad: in the goldfields of Venezuela and the cane fields of Cuba, the canal construction in Panama, and the bustling city streets of Brooklyn. But in the 1920s and 1930s, racist nativism and a brutal cascade of antiblack immigration laws swept the hemisphere. Facing borders and barriers as never before, Afro-Caribbean migrants rethought allegiances of race, class, and empire. In Radical Moves, Lara Putnam takes readers from tin-roof tropical dancehalls to the elegant black-owned ballrooms of Jazz Age Harlem to trace the roots of the black-internationalist and anticolonial movements that would remake the twentieth century.
From Trinidad to 136th Street, these were years of great dreams and righteous demands. Praying or "jazzing," writing letters to the editor or letters home, Caribbean men and women tried on new ideas about the collective. The popular culture of black internationalism they created—from Marcus Garvey's UNIA to "regge" dances, Rastafarianism, and Joe Louis's worldwide fandom—still echoes in the present.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Filled with insightful details. . . . A very exciting and refreshing take on circum-Caribbean migrations and black internationalism. Putnam hits multiple high notes in this scholarly composition.—Journal of African American History

This extraordinarily thoughtful, original, well-researched study is delightfully and engagingly written. . . . Highly recommended. All levels/libraries.—Choice

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807872857
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
01/07/2013
Edition description:
1
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.90(d)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
Putnam's original and important book is packed with meaningful ethnographic material that is fascinating to read. Her scholarship is outstanding, her methodology highly effective, and her research thorough. Her well-crafted prose and original perspective will appeal to students, scholars, and general audiences alike.—O. Nigel Bolland, Colgate University

Meet the Author

Lara Putnam is associate professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh and author of The Company They Kept: Migrants and the Politics of Gender in Caribbean Costa Rica, 1870-1960.

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