Although the Americans were initially greeted with brass bands and open arms, Antiguans at all levels of society quickly found that the Americans did not see their society as they did…
Although the Americans were initially greeted with brass bands and open arms, Antiguans at all levels of society quickly found that the Americans did not see their society as they did. The Americans brought to Antigua a consciousness of race, and a level of racial discrimination and hostility, that was far greater than any that Antiguans had known, at least since slavery ended — it was so strong, and so different, that many people told me that it was the Americans who had introduced racism to Antigua.
This is not to say that Antiguans did not know racism: the middle classes still faced a color barrier, although it was gradually rising, while those from the laboring classes who had traveled to England or the United States — and particularly those who had served in the British armed forces in World War I — had returned home angry and vocal about the discrimination they had suffered.
In addition, the Garvey movement had affected the consciousness of many West Indians, including Antiguans. What they meant was that the American southern (and army)-style racism of 1941 was different from the kind of “muffled” racism they had know in Antigua itself.
Source: The American Brand of Racism
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