Winston James is one of the leading scholars of the African diaspora. This superb, well-researched and detailed book explains the vanguard role of African Caribbean immigrants and their significant contributions to Black American radicalism--political, economic, and intellectual.
Some of these African Caribbeans we know; some we do not all know--
Among those that many of us know or have heard of are Denmark Vesey, Claude McKay, Hubert Harrison, Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Turè), Marcus Garvey, George Padmore, William Monroe Trotter....
Certainly there are no doubt African Caribbean immigrants contributing thought and talents to Black American communities that are not among the famous, but nevertheless have provided examples for African Americans in what is possible for African peoples, as business people, as political leaders, and as intellectuals.
Even though no great names have emerged to compete with that of the greats like Marcus Garvey, et al, nevertheless these African Caribbean immigrants, like other immigrants of color, continue to play this role. Black Americans should continue to learn from their examples, even the immigrant of color who's just the simple, everyday businessman or everyday businesswoman, providing a different model to an African community. To repeat: economically, politically, intellectually. Although the book does not necessarily mention the spiritual level, certainly there have also been contributions on that level, and much of the leadership has also been spiritual leadership.
Afro-Hispanic and Afro-Cuban radicalism is also represented in Arturo Schomburg and Jesus Colon.
This book discusses the migrations, the characteristics and forces which inspire radicalism and the differences between the Caribbean and the United States regarding race, color, class.
Many of the organizations and founders of various Black Power movements have been West Indians and/or who have links to West Indian thought. We know, for example, that Malcolm X's father was a Garveyite, and therefore many of the thoughts, principles and values of Malcolm X are also Garveyist, although his connection to the Nation of Islam provided additional ideas and ideals, together with his own independent and independence-thinking, as he proceeded to become who many consider the greatest African (Diaspora) leader of the 20th century. (See Don Steele's The True Meaning of Malcolm X, http://www.lulu.com/content/9077)
This book, however, focusses on the African Caribbeans, and to assert that political, cultural, intellectual, social, psychological (and again, should we add spiritual?) enlightenment among the Africans in the United States have their African Caribbean roots.
Political evolution--"radical and dissenting intelligentsia"--what would its history be without these vibrant African Caribbean immigrants and their many dimensions of revolutionary radicalisms?----------------------------------------------------
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