West Indian American

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
West Indian Americans
Colin Powell 2005.jpg
Eric Holder official portrait.jpg
Cicely Tyson 2012 Shankbone 2.JPG
Kareem-Abdul-Jabbar Lipofsky.jpg
Nicki Minaj cropped.jpg
Lenny Kravitz by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Carroll, Jennifer.jpg
Maxwell in toronto.jpg
Poitier cropped.jpg
Elizabeth Nunez at the 2008 Brooklyn Book Festival.jpg
Harry Belafonte 2011 Shankbone.JPG
Tatyana Ali in Zuhair Murad and Swarovski Inauguration Night 2.JPG
Total population

West Indian American (except Hispanic groups):
2,672,753

0.9% of the US population
Regions with significant populations
New York, Florida, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Georgia, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, California, Illinois, Maryland, Washington D.C.
Languages

mainly American English, English-based creole languages (Jamaican Creole, Trinidadian English, Sranan Tongo, etc.), French-based creole languages, Papiamento

minority English, French, Dutch, Surinamese Hindi
Religion
Predominantly Christianity; other faiths.
Related ethnic groups
Africans, African Americans, Indians, English, French, Dutch, Caribbean Canadians
Caribbean born Populations, 1960-2009[1]
Year Number
1960
193,922
1970
675,108
1980
1,258,363
1990
1,938,348
2000
2,953,066
2009
3,465,890

West Indian Americans or Caribbean Americans are Americans who can trace their ancestry to the Caribbean. About 2,532,380 Americans— 0.83% of the total population—reported Caribbean ancestry in 2008.[2]

The Caribbean is the source of the U.S.’ earliest and largest Black immigrant group and the primary source of growth of the Black population in the U.S. The region has exported more of its people than any other region of the world since the abolition of slavery in 1834.[3] While the largest Caribbean immigrant sources to the U.S. are Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Haiti, U.S. citizen migrants also come from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.


Caribbean Immigration to the United States[edit]

17th to mid 19th Century[edit]

The history of African-Caribbean immigration in the United States can be traced back to slavery when the British colonies in the Americas shifted enslaved Africans to different territories, as the demands of capital and plantation economy dictated.

Africans from the West Indies who arrived in the United States were slaves brought to South Carolina in the seventeenth century. These slaves, many of whom were born in Africa, number among the first people of African origin imported to the British colonies of North America. Over time, Barbadian slaves would make up a significant part of the Black population in Virginia, mainly in the Virginia tidewater region of the Chesapeake Bay. The number of enslaved Africans bought from the Caribbean increased in the 18th century, as the continental U.S. broadened its trade relations with other Caribbean islands.

The number of enslaved Africans imported from the Caribbean decreased after the New York City Slave revolt of 1712, as many white colonists blamed the incident on slaves recently arrived from the Caribbean. Nevertheless, between 1715 and 1741 most of the slaves of the colony remained being West Antilles (hailed from Jamaica, Barbados and Antigua). However, after the New York slave revolt of 1741, slaves imported from the Caribbean were severely curtailed, and most enslaved Africans were brought directly from Africa.

Albeit, Caribbean immigration to the United States was relatively small in the first years of nineteenth century, it grew of significant manner after the American Civil War, in 1865, which brought about the abolition of slavery. So, in the 19th century the U.S. attracted many Caribbean who excelled in various professions such as craftsmen, scholars, teachers, preachers, doctors, inventors, religious (the Barbadian Joseph Sandiford Atwell was the first black man after the Civil War to be ordained in the Episcopal Church), comedians (as the Antiguan Bert Williams), politics (as Robert Brown Elliott, U.S Congressman and Attorney General of South Carolina), poets, songwriters, and activists (as the brothers James Weldon and John Rosamond Johnson and William Stanley Braithwaite). From the end of the nineteenth century up to 1905, most West Indian people emigrated to South Florida, New York and Massachusetts. However, shortly after, New York would become the main destination for the West Indian immigrants.

World War II through 21st Century[edit]

Immigration from the region to the U.S. gained momentum during World War II when 50,000 Caribbean, Black and white, arrived in the 1940s, taking advantage of the rapidly expanding war economy and post-war economic growth. Thousands came as legal migrant workers brought to work in agriculture, primarily on Florida’s sugar plantations. By the end of the war, thousands of contract workers from the Caribbean were employed as W2 workers [3]

Most of the Caribbean, Central America, and South America historically have had little tradition of immigration to America, before the 1960s. Post 1965 saw a tremendous influx of rural working-class migrants. Proximity to the U.S., fluency in English and Civil Rights legislation were reasons for the disproportionate numbers of Caribbean outflows.The collapse of agriculture in many islands had devastated their economies, the growing replacement of agriculture by tourism in the Eastern Caribbean had greatly increased the urban population and led to neglect of rural communities as well as greater migration to the U.S. from the Caribbean countryside. [3]

The influx of direct, capital-intensive and labor-intensive foreign investment has accelerated the push to migrate out of the region, to the extent that these investments overwhelmed small scale agriculture and manufacturing and displace workers who sought jobs elsewhere. [3]

Today, is there is a fourth wave of Caribbean migration in United States.[4] So, the number of Caribbean immigrants grew up from 193,922 in 1960 to 2 million in 2009.[5]

Caribbean American Communities[edit]

West Indian American Ancestries (excluding Hispanic groups) in 2010
Country/Region of Ancestry Caribbean
American
Population
(2010 Census)[6]
Flag of Jamaica.svg Jamaica 965,355
Flag of Haiti.svg Haiti 881,488
Flag of Guyana.svg Guyana 214,315
Flag of Trinidad and Tobago.svg Trinidad and Tobago 197,793
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg British West Indies 84,678
Flag of Barbados.svg Barbados 58,215
Flag of Belize.svg Belize 54,925
Flag of the Bahamas.svg Bahamas 48,043
Flag of the Netherlands.svg Dutch West Indies 37,681
Flag of Grenada.svg Grenada 25,924
Flag of Antigua and Barbuda.svg Antigua and Barbuda 15,199
Flag of the United States Virgin Islands.svg United States Virgin Islands 15,014
Flag of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.svg Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 13,547
Flag of Saint Lucia.svg Saint Lucia 10,364
Flag of Saint Kitts and Nevis.svg Saint Kitts and Nevis 6,368
Flag of Dominica.svg Dominica 6,071
Flag of Bermuda.svg Bermuda 6,054
Flag of Suriname.svg Suriname 2,833
Flag of Aruba.svg Aruba 1,970
Flag of France.svg French West Indies 1,915
Flag of France.svg French Guiana 1,128
Flag of Sint Maarten.svg Sint Marteen 352
Other West Indians 38,070
Total 2,672,753

Over 70 percent of Non-Hispanic Caribbean immigrants were from Jamaica and Haiti, as of 2010. Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Belize, the Bahamas, Barbados, and Grenada, among others, also have significant immigrant populations within the United States. Though, sometimes divided by language West Indian Americans share a common Caribbean culture. Of the Hispanic population, the Puerto Rican, Dominican, Panamanian, Cuban, and Costa Rican populations are the most culturally similar to the Non-Hispanic West Indian community.[7]

Location[edit]

About 69 percent of Caribbean immigrants resided in Florida and New York in 2009. In 2009, Florida had the largest number of resident Caribbean immigrants with 1,388,014, or 40.0 percent of the total Caribbean-born population in the United States, followed by New York (1,008,134, or 29.1 percent).[7]

Other states with relatively large Caribbean immigrant populations (greater than 65,000) included: New Jersey (253,010, or 7.3 percent), Massachusetts (136,578, or 3.9 percent), Georgia (83,735, or 2.4 percent), Connecticut (78,957, or 2.3 percent), Pennsylvania (77,527, or 2.2 percent), and California (72,251, or 2.1 percent).[7]

State/Territory Non-Hispanic West Indian-American
Population (2010 Census)[8][9]
Percentage[note 1][10]
 Alabama 8,850 0.1
 Alaska 1,195 0.1
 Arizona 7,676 0.1
 Arkansas 5,499 0.2
 California 76,968 0.2
 Colorado 7,076 0.1
 Connecticut 87,149 2.4
 Delaware 6,454 0.8
 District of Columbia 7,785 1.2
 Florida 809,985 4.3
Georgia (U.S. state) Georgia 113,728 1.1
 Hawaii 2,816 0.2
 Idaho 694 0.0
 Illinois 27,038 0.2
 Indiana 7,420 0.1
 Iowa 1,710 0.0
 Kansas 2,775 0.0
 Kentucky 5,407 0.1
 Louisiana 7,290 0.1
 Maine 2,023 0.1
 Maryland 62,358 1.0
 Massachusetts 123,226 1.9
 Michigan 15,482 0.1
 Minnesota 6,034 0.1
 Mississippi 1,889 0.0
 Missouri 6,509 0.1
 Montana 593 0.0
 Nebraska 1,629 0.0
 Nevada 5,967 0.2
 New Hampshire 2,766 0.2
 New Jersey 141,828 1.6
 New Mexico 2,869 0.1
 New York 815,516 4.2
 North Carolina 32,283 0.3
 North Dakota 377 0.0
 Ohio 14,844 0.1
 Oklahoma 21,187 0.5
 Oregon 3,896 0.1
 Pennsylvania 74,799 0.6
 Rhode Island 6,880 0.7
 South Carolina 10,865 0.2
 South Dakota 474 0.0
 Tennessee 6,130 0.0
 Texas 66,705 0.2
 Utah 1,675 0.0
 Vermont 375 0.0
 Virginia 40,172 0.5
 Washington 8,766 0.1
 West Virginia 1,555 0.0
 Wisconsin 5,623 0.0
 Wyoming 526 0.0
USA 2,672,753 0.9

Language[edit]

More than half of Caribbean immigrants either spoke only English or spoke English "very well." In 2009, 33.0 percent of Caribbean immigrants reported speaking only English and 23.9 percent reported speaking English "very well." In contrast, 42.8 percent of Caribbean immigrants were limited English proficient (LEP), meaning they reported speaking English less than "very well." Within this group, 9.7 percent reported that they did not speak English at all, 16.5 percent reported speaking English "well," and 16.7 percent reported speaking English "but not well."[7]

Occupations[edit]

Employed Caribbean immigrants were concentrated in service jobs; construction, extraction, and transportation occupations; and administrative support positions.

Among the 976,931 Caribbean immigrant male workers age 16 and older in 2009, 25.5 percent were employed in construction, extraction, and transportation occupations; 19.5 percent worked in service jobs; and 14.3 percent were in manufacturing, installation, and repair occupations.[7]

Among the 1.0 million Caribbean-born female workers age 16 and older, 21.7 percent reported working in service occupations, 16.5 percent occupied administrative support positions, and 16.2 percent were in healthcare roles.[7]

Sub-groups and Related Ethnic groups and topics[edit]

Contributions to American Culture[edit]

There are close to 50 Caribbean carnivals throughout North America that attest to the permanence of the Caribbean immigration experience. West Indians brought music, such as soca, calypso, reggae, compass and now reggaeton, which has a profound impact on U.S. popular culture. Cultural expressions, and the prominence of first-and second-generation Caribbean figures in U.S. labor and grassroots politics for many decades also testify to the long tradition and established presence.[3]

In June 2005, the House of Representatives unanimously adopted H. Con. Res. 71, sponsored by Congresswoman Barbara Lee, recognizing the significance of Caribbean people and their descendants in the history and culture of the United States. Since the declaration, the White House has issued an annual proclamation recognizing June as Caribbean-American Heritage Month.[11]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Percentage of the state population that identifies itself as West Indian relative to the state/territory" population as a whole.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Historical Census Statistics on the Foreign-born Population of the United States: 1850-1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "United States - Selected Population Profile in the United States (West Indian (excluding Hispanic origin groups) (300-359))". 2008 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2010-03-18. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Fraizer, Martin. "Continuity and change in Caribbean immigration". People's World. Retrieved 6 May 2014. 
  4. ^ Caribbean Migration - AAME - In Motion: The African-American.
  5. ^ US in Foco: Caribbean Immigrants in the United States. Posted by Kristen McCabe, from Migration Policy Institute, in April 2011. Retrieved December 19, 2013.
  6. ^ "ANCESTRY (TOTAL CATEGORIES TALLIED) FOR PEOPLE WITH ONE OR MORE ANCESTRY CATEGORIES REPORTED". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f McCabe, Kristine. "Caribbean Immigrants in the United States". Migration Policy Institute. Retrieved 6 May 2014. 
  8. ^ "2010 Census". Medgar Evers College. Retrieved 2010-04-13. 
  9. ^ US Census Bureau: Table QT-P10 Hispanic or Latino by Type: 2010 retrieved January 22, 2012 - select state from drop-down menu
  10. ^ http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=DEC_10_SF1_QTP10&prodType=table
  11. ^ http://www.caribbeanamericanmonth.org/. Retrieved 6 May 2014.  Missing or empty |title= (help)