Chryl Corbin Humanities and Social Science
The First Generation: West Indian Immigrant Contributions to African American Freedom Struggles
The Naturalization Act of 1870 ushered in a wave of immigration during the turn of the 20th century which included many from the West Indies. While they sought the same opportunities as their European counterparts they often suffered from, and organized against, discrimination and Jim Crow segregation. Thus as activists, intellectuals, and parents, these immigrants paved the way for their children who went on to become such civil rights pioneers as W.E.B. DuBois, James Weldon Johnson, Shirley Chisholm, and Malcolm X. My research illuminates how these often overlooked immigrants helped sow the seeds of the Civil Rights Movement, by connecting their politics to those of their more well-known first generation American children.