Lara Putnam Lecture at National Museum of American History - Caribbean Migration

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Radical Moves: Caribbean Migration and the Working-Class Roots of Interwar Black "Renaissance" Location: National Museum of American History, 1400 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20560 Date and Time: Tuesday, February 26, 3:30 PM -- 5:00 PM Lara Putnam presents on her latest research. Her lecture will address the generations after emancipation, in which hundreds of thousands of African-descended, working-class men and women left their homes in the British Caribbean to seek opportunity abroad: in the goldfields of Venezuela and the cane fields of Cuba, the Panama canal, or the bustling streets of Harlem. But in the 1920s and 1930s, a brutal cascade of anti-black immigration laws swept the hemisphere. Families were suddenly divided by borders; hardworking strivers found themselves banned from employ. They fought back. From Trinidad to 136th Street, these were years of fierce dreams and righteous demands. Praying or "jazzing," writing letters to the editor or letters home, Caribbean men and women created a radical, race-proud popular culture-- including Marcus Garvey's UNIA, "reggae" dances, and Rastafarianism-- that resonates with us up to the present. Lara Putnam is associate professor in the Department of History at the University of Pittsburgh. She received her PhD in history from the University of Michigan. She has also taught at the Universidad de Costa Rica as a professor and worked there as a researcher. Putnam is an internationally recognized scholar who specializes in gender, ethnicity, race, and memory as they relate to both Latin American and Atlantic history; she is the author of The Company They Kept: Migrants and the Politics of Gender in Caribbean Costa Rica, 1870--1960 and Radical Moves: Caribbean Migrants and the Politics of Race in the Jazz Age among other works.

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