Racial Identity and the Political Ideologies of Afro-Caribbean Immigrants

Kevin J.A. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Although the number of Black immigrants in the United States is increasing, few studies have examined whether they assimilate into the liberal ideologies with which U.S.-born Blacks are typically affiliated. Using data from the National Survey on American Life, this study examines how identity formation and generational status among Black Caribbean immigrants moderate their ideological differences with U.S.-born Blacks. It shows that Black Caribbean immigrants are more likely to identify with more conservative ideologies as generational status increases. Furthermore, the analysis indicates that the adoption of a Black American racial identity is not by itself associated with an ideological convergence between Black Caribbean immigrants and U.S.-born Blacks. More assimilated Black immigrants who prefer Black American rather than non-Black identities are still more likely to be conservative compared with U.S.-born Blacks. The analysis further provides a nuanced understanding of the relationship between Black racial solidarity and the political ideologies of Caribbean immigrants. It finds that immigrants who both embrace a Black American identity and are members of Black advancement organizations are more likely to have similar political ideologies as U.S.-born Blacks. However, these similarities disappear as assimilation increases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-39
Number of pages18
JournalReview of Black Political Economy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Economics and Econometrics


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