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Richard B. Moore and Pan-Caribbean Consciousness

Richard B. Moore and Pan-Caribbean Consciousness

Chapter:
(p.70) Chapter 3 Richard B. Moore and Pan-Caribbean Consciousness
Source:
City of Islands
Author(s):
Tammy L. Brown
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781628462265.003.0004

From the 1940s through the 1950s, Barbadian-born political activist Richard B. Moore led campaigns for Caribbean independence from British colonial rule and advocated for the political federation of the English-speaking islands. I argue that Moore’s vision of pan-Caribbean identity was a product of his immigrant status. During the height of anti-colonialism campaigns in the 1940s and 1950s, Moore developed a sense of pan-Caribbean identity after years of working alongside radical political activists from various islands. Although Moore’s participation in radical labor organizations such as the Communist Party and the African Blood Brotherhood has been documented at length in prior publications, Dr. Brown’s analysis of Moore presents him in a new light by showing how his individual personality and intellectual biography influenced his efforts to transcend island-specific stereotypes to forge Caribbean political unity. This chapter argues that Moore’s vision of pan-Caribbean identity was a product of his immigrant status. During the height of anti-colonialism campaigns in the 1940s and 1950s, Moore developed a sense of pan-Caribbean identity after years of working alongside radical political activists from various islands. As he collaborated with Caribbean intellectuals such Hubert Harrison from St. Croix, Otto Huiswoud from Dutch Guiana, and Ethelred Brown from Jamaica, the geographical and temporal distance from his birthplace helped to broaden his political imagination. Therefore, New York City provided a unique vantage point from which to imagine the political unity of Caribbean peoples abroad, as a degree of pan–Caribbean political solidarity had already been achieved via political coalitions in New York City. Although Moore’s participation in radical labor organizations such as the Communist Party and the African Blood Brotherhood has been documented at length in prior publications, this analysis of Moore presents him in a new light by showing how his individual personality and intellectual biography influenced his efforts to transcend island-specific stereotypes to forge Caribbean political unity.

Keywords:   Communist, Harlem, Richard B. Moore, colonialism, Caribbean

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