The Influence of Jamaican Immigration on Greater Hartford’s Cultural and Political History


  • Eugene Z. Bertrand
  • Dr. Caitlin E. Carenen


Jamaicans, African Americans, Discrimination, Martin Luther King Jr., Immigration in Connecticut


This project helps to fill a void in the history of American immigration by focusing on a neglected group of immigrants within American immigration history: Jamaicans in Connecticut. This project examines the vital role immigrants have played in working toward equal rights and shaping communities in the northeast. These Jamaican immigrants faced segregation and racism and yet fully immersed themselves into Connecticut society and made significant and lasting contributions, both culturally and politically. This project argues, through an empirical examination of a multitude of primary sources and oral history interviews, that with a mission to unite West Indians and African Americans who shared similar spiritual beliefs to create a greater community, Jamaican immigrants successfully integrated into Connecticut and became a part of the Greater Hartford community by actively engaging in politics and creating new cultural communities through powerful and effective support networks that included social organizations and communities of faith.