The decade of the 1950’s has seen an ever increasing influx of British West Indians, chiefly from Jamaica, into the United Kingdom In this period over 100,000 persons made the long and expensive journey from the tropical lands of their birth to reap the heralded economic opportunities of the mid-latitude motherland. The problems and progress of these British citizens, as set forth by the several authors of this volume, are drawn from 400 social casework files of the Family Welfare Association.
The first third of the book is a generally valuable account by Douglas Manley of the West Indian social and cultural background. Following this is a brief but adequate chapter by Ivo de Souza which focuses on arrival procedures and problems. Albert Hyndman’s sympathetic description and analysis of the West Indian in London is the heart of the study. Problems of poor and crowded housing, reluctant acceptance of West Indians into trade union memberships, competition for unskilled and semi-skilled jobs, family conflicts, and racial prejudice are among the omnipresent features of immigrant life portrayed here. This able social document concludes with brief descriptions of the West Indians in the cities of Bristol, Liverpool, and Nottingham, where patterns and problems are similar to those in London. Several appendices provide basic demographic and economic data on the British West Indies, along with lists of organizations in the United Kingdom and the colonies that have facilities for aiding these determined and hardworking immigrants.