In This Review

Holding Aloft the Banner of Ethiopia: Caribbean Radicalism in Early Twentieth-Century America
Holding Aloft the Banner of Ethiopia: Caribbean Radicalism in Early Twentieth-Century America
By Winston James
Verso, 1998, 406 pp.

An important addition to the literature on the African diaspora and the story of American radicalism. James, a professor of history at Columbia University, seeks an explanation for the prominence of Caribbean migrants in the radical politics of the first three decades of the twentieth century, when some 150,000 black people mainly from the Caribbean but also from Africa migrated to the United States. He examines the careers not only of the better-known figures from the English-speaking Caribbean such as Marcus Garvey, George Padmore, and Richard B. Moore, but also important participants in radical movements from the non-English-speaking Caribbean such as Rafael Serra and Sotero Figueroa, participants in the Cuban and Puerto Rican struggles for independence, and Jes£s Col¢n and Arturo Schomburg, distinguished Afro-Puerto Rican leaders. James looks in detail at the characteristics of the Caribbean migrants, their heterogeneity and high levels of literacy and educational attainment, as well as their responses to American society and the differing patterns of race within the Caribbean and the United States.