The Caribbeanization of Black Politics

Race, Group Consciousness, and Political Participation in America

By Sharon D. Wright Austin

Subjects: African American Studies, American Politics, Urban Studies, Political Science, Public Policy
Series: SUNY series in African American Studies
Hardcover : 9781438468099, 272 pages, March 2018
Paperback : 9781438468082, 272 pages, January 2019

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations

Introduction: An Overview of the book

1. Political Participation, Group Consciousness, and the Minority Group Model

2. Politics in the New Boston: The Majority-Minority Challenge to the Yankee-Irish Political Hegemony

3. Chicago Politics: Black Participation and the Need for a Progressive Coalition

4. Moderate and Fragmented Black Political Incorporation in Miami-Dade County

5. Black Political Emergence in New York City: The Quest for African American, West Indian, and Haitian Unity

6. Understanding the Implications of Black Political Caribbeanization

Appendix 1.1
Demographic and Citizenship Questions for Respondents

Appendix 1.2
Political Participation Questions


Examines the continuing ethnic diversification of black America and its impact on black political empowerment.


In The Caribbeanization of Black Politics, Sharon D. Wright Austin explores the impact of ethnic diversification of African American communities on the prospects for black political empowerment. Focusing on Boston, Chicago, Miami, and New York City—cities that for the last several years have experienced an influx of black immigrants—she surveyed more than two thousand African Americans, Cape Verdeans, Haitians, and West Indians. Although many studies conclude that African American group consciousness causes them to participate in politics at higher rates when socioeconomic status is controlled for, Wright Austin analyzes whether this is true for other black groups. She assesses the current political incorporation of these groups by looking at data on public officeholders and by examining political coalitions and conflicts among the groups, and she also discusses the possible future of black political development in these cities.

Sharon D. Wright Austin is Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the African American Studies Program at the University of Florida. She is the author of The Transformation of Plantation Politics: Black Politics, Concentrated Poverty, and Social Capital in the Mississippi Delta, also published by SUNY Press.


"The greatest contribution of this book is its analysis of black ethnics in a diverse geographic space. Moving beyond the New York City lens to Boston, Chicago, and Miami is something that has never been done in political science. This book is incredibly important." — Christina M. Greer, author of Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream