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Lecture: Migration

Migration has been one of the defining features of modern Caribbean history. Initially, this involved the arrival of Europeans, Africans and, later, Asians – both free and coerced. Later on, new patterns of migration developed between islands, across the region and to distant states, including former the imperial metropoles.

Suggested reading

Byron, Margaret, Post-War Caribbean Migration to Britain: The Unfinished Cycle (Aldershot, 1994).

Chamberlain, Mary, Narratives of Exile and Return (London, 1997).

Conway, Dennis, ‘The Caribbean Diaspora’ in Richard S. Hillman and Thomas J. D'Agostino (eds), Understanding the Contemporary Caribbean (London, 2003).

Cross, Malcolm and Han Entzinger (eds), Lost Illusions: Caribbean Minorities in Britain and the Netherlands (Routledge, 1988).

Du Bois, Christine M., ‘Caribbean Migrations and Diasporas’ in Stephan Palmié and Francisco A. Scarano (eds), The Caribbean: A History of the Region and its Peoples (Chicago, 2011), pp. 583-596.

Gmelch, George, Double Passage: Lives of Caribbean Migrants Abroad and Back Home (Ann Arbor, 1992).

Hahamovitch, Cindy, No Man's Land: Jamaican Guestworkers in America and the Global History of Deportable Labor (Princeton, 2013).

Kasinitz, Philip, Caribbean New York: Black Immigrants and the Politics of Race (Ithaca, 1992).

Lowenthal, David, West Indian Societies (Oxford, 1972), pp. 213-249.

Newton, Velma, The Silver Men: West Indian Migrant Labour to Panama 1850-1914 (Kingston, 1984).

Pilkington, Edward, Beyond the Mother Country: West Indians and the Notting Hill White Riots (London, 1988).

Potter, Robert B., Dennis Conway and Joan Phillips (eds), The Experience of Return Migration: Caribbean Perspectives (Aldershot, 2005).

Putnam, Lara, Radical Moves: Caribbean Migrants and the Politics of Race in the Jazz Age (Chapel Hill, NC, 2013).

Richardson, Bonham C., ‘Caribbean Migrations, 1838-1985’, in Franklin W. Knight and Colin Palmer (eds), The Modern Caribbean (Chapel Hill, 1989), pp. 203-228.

Richardson, Bonham C., ‘Plantations and their People to 1900’ in The Caribbean in the Wider World, 1492-1992 (Cambridge, 1992), pp. 132-157.

Thomas-Hope, Elizabeth, Explanation in Caribbean Migration: Perception and the Image – Jamaica, Barbados, St. Vincent (Macmillan, 1992).

Thomas-Hope, Elizabeth, Freedom and Constraint in Caribbean Migration and Diaspora (Kingston, 2008).

Web sites

'Moving Here - Migration Histories',

Windrush Foundation,

Literary accounts

George Lamming, The Emigrants (1954)

Colin MacInnes, City of Spades (1957)

Colin MacInnes, Absolute Beginners (1959)

V. S. Naipaul, The Mimic Men (1967)

Samuel Selvon, The Lonely Londoners (1956)