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Caribbean migration to Britain brought many new things—new music, new foods, new styles. It brought new ways of thinking too. This book explores the intellectual ideas that the West Indians brought with them to Britain. It shows that, for more than a century, West Indians living in Britain developed a dazzling intellectual critique of the codes of Imperial Britain. Chapters discuss the influence of, amongst others, C. L. R. James, Una Marson, George Lamming, Jean Rhys, Claude McKay and V. S. Naipaul. The contributors draw from many different disciplines to bring alive the thought and personalities of the figures they discuss, providing a picture of intellectual developments in Britain from which we can still learn much. The introduction argues that the recovery of this Caribbean past, on the home territory of Britain itself, reveals much about the prospects of multiracial Britain.

Stephanie Barczewski

tallies for crops and rents. 3 Fuller’s notebook and Douglas’s ledger embody in physical form the links between landed property in Britain and plantations in the West Indies. Other documents recall the complex financial entanglements that arose between British and West Indian property. In the late 1760s, Francis Eyre wanted simultaneously to purchase the Mullett Hall plantation in Jamaica and the

in Country houses and the British Empire, 1700–1930
Open Access (free)
Catherine Hall

For C. L. R. James West Indian identity was something to be celebrated, associated as it was for him, with the whole of the Caribbean, from Cuba and Haiti to Martinique, Trinidad and Jamaica. 1 Its distinctive character he saw as intimately linked to its particularly modern history, with the plantation at the centre of a global capitalist system linking slavery with

in West Indian intellectuals in Britain
Douglas J. Hamilton

As Chapters Three, Four and Five demonstrated, the operation of networks provided a general underpinning for Scottish activity in the West Indian empire in the later eighteenth century. The next two chapters consider more closely the functioning of this process in the political sphere. The island legislatures were responsible for introducing and discussing innovations designed to order

in Scotland, the Caribbean and the Atlantic world 1750–1820
Ben Highmore

ratios of the white population: ‘there are now more Indian men working in non-manual employment than there are Pakistani, West Indian or East African Asian men [… and] the proportion of non-manual employment for Indians now even exceeds that of the indigenous white population’. 4 At the same time, the experience of class demotion was often an experience common to all non-white migrants when they first came to the UK. In this chapter my claim is that while a taste for ‘controlled casualness’ as part of a

in Lifestyle revolution
Race and the art of Agostino Brunias

Agostino Brunias's paintings have often been understood as straightforward documents of visual ethnography that functioned as field guides for reading race. This book offers the first comprehensive study of Agostino Brunias's intriguing pictures of colonial West Indians of colour made for colonial officials and plantocratic elites during the late-eighteenth century. It talks about the so called 'Red' and 'Black' Caribs, dark-skinned Africans and Afro-Creoles, and mixed-race women and men. The book explores the role of the artist's paintings in reifying notions of race in the British colonial Caribbean and considers how the images both reflected and refracted common ideas about race. Although some historians argue that the conclusion of the First Carib War actually amounted to a stalemate, Brunias clearly documents it as a moment of surrender, with Joseph Chatoyer considering the terms of his people's submission. Young's Account of the Black Charaibs mobilised subtle and not-so-subtle allusions to the rebellion in Haiti to construct a narrative of the Carib Wars. The book analyses the imaging of Africans and Afro-Creoles in British colonial art. The painting named Mulatresses and Negro Woman Bathing, Brunias replaces his more quotidian trade scenes and negro dancing frolics with a bathing tableau set against a sylvan Eden. In Linen Market, Dominica, one arresting figure captivates the viewer more than any other. Brunias may have painted for the plantocractic class, constructing pretty pictures of Caribbean life that reflected the vision of the islands upon which white, colonialist identities depended.

Open Access (free)
Crossing the seas
Bill Schwarz

There exists a moving photographic record of West Indian emigrants arriving in British cities in the 1950s, first by steamship and steam train, then later, by the end of the decade and into the 1960s, by plane. We still see, in our own times, these images of men and women who, for all their apprehensions, were stepping across the threshold into new lives, bringing with them a certain

in West Indian intellectuals in Britain
Abstract only
The making of an iconic British journey
Tony Kushner

7 The Empire Windrush: the making of an iconic British journey Journeys of betterment In 1955 Donald Hinds came from Jamaica to work for London Transport. Alongside his work on the buses, Hinds was a regular contributor to the West Indian Gazette. The newspaper was formed in 1958 by the Trinidadian, Claudia Jones, and its content reflected a growing and culturally dynamic West Indian intellectual milieu in Britain. Its content explored domestic problems, including racist violence and discrimination, faced on an everyday level by West Indian migrants. In addition

in The battle of Britishness
Darrell M. Newton

3658 Paving the empire road:Layout 1 30/6/11 08:45 Page 16 1 Radio, race, and the Television Service Well one thing I think that will interest West Indians is what is the attitude – of the English people as a whole, – how do they take to strangers. After all West Indians are coming over here in increasing numbers, and they’d like to know what sort of person they’re going to meet, and how they’re going to be treated. (West Indian humorist and Government Public Relations officer for Jamaica, A.E.T. Henry, on the BBC radio programme We See Britain, 1 June 1949

in Paving the empire road
The ‘rude awakenings’ of the Windrush era
Stuart Ward

emphasis on the ‘myth of the mother country … shattered’ by the experience of sudden proximity. 7 In Lovers and Strangers , historian Clair Wills assembles the key elements of what has become the conventional Windrush narrative: West Indian immigrants had been brought up to believe they were guaranteed a welcome in the

in The break-up of Greater Britain