Radical Moves by Lara Putnam
Caribbean Migrants and the Politics of Race in the Jazz Age

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Synopsis

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.
 

About Lara Putnam

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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.
 
Published January 7, 2013 by The University of North Carolina Press. 336 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Radical Moves

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Putnam’s first book, The Company They Kept: Migrants and the Politics of Gender in Caribbean Costa Rica, 1870-1960 was a much more localized telling of the story that she expands to both the Lesser and Greater Antilles in Radical Moves, as well as to the mainland areas that border the sea in Cent...

Jun 02 2013 | Read Full Review of Radical Moves: Caribbean Migr...

Reviews in History

Rather than cluck her tongue about British betrayal, Putnam roots changing British attitudes in the development (or decline) of British imperialist interests in Latin America.

Sep 12 2013 | Read Full Review of Radical Moves: Caribbean Migr...