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Model Blacks or "Ras the Exhorter": A Quantitative Content Analysis of Black Newspapers' Coverage of the First Wave of Afro-Caribbean Immigration to the United States

Black Caribbean Literature (BCL)
Tillery,Alvin Bernard (Author), Chresfield,Michell (Author)
Journal Article
Publication Date:
July, 2012
Thousand Oaks, Ca: Sage Publications Ltd.
African American Research Center, Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject Term:
Caribbean area, Blacks, 20th century, Emigrants and immigration, Content analysis, Newspapers, press coverage
Examines the depiction of first-wave West Indian immigrants to the United States in Black print culture in the early 20th century. The authors conduct a series of content analyses of four newspapers that had wide circulation in the Black community between 1910 and 1940. Each content analysis serves as an empirical test one of four common hypotheses about ethnic differentiation between West Indians and African Americans: (a) the group consciousness hypothesis, (b) the racial nationalism hypothesis, (c) the radical politics hypothesis, and (d) the model minority hypothesis. The authors find very little empirical support for either the group consciousness hypothesis or the racial nationalism hypothesis and find only a modicum of support for the radical politics hypothesis. Finally, the authors find evidence confirming the model minority hypothesis. They also find that the Black press presented an accurate portrayal of the West Indian immigrants' socioeconomic advantages to native-born Blacks.