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Making Waves: How the West Indies Shaped the United States

Debbie Jacob

Making Waves: How the West Indies Shaped the United States


The West Indian impact on the United States goes far beyond the human and natural resources mined and exploited during slavery in the New World. And even though the West Indies and the US are inextricably linked by these binding influences, much-untapped information still exists. Many stories are yet untold of the Caribbean men, women and islands that have had an impact on American history, politics, economics and culture before that period and long thereafter.

In Making Waves: How the West Indies Shaped the United States, Debbie Jacob gives a surprising, vivacious account of the West Indian influence beginning in the 17th century. From Peter Stuyvesant, the last Dutch governor of New Amsterdam, and renowned West Indians such as Alexander Hamilton, Marcus Garvey, Oscar de la Renta, Bob Marley and Sidney Poitier, to famous Americans such as George Washington, John Hancock and Oliver Perry, stories of island power emerge.

Making Waves highlights the ingenuity and significance of the West Indies and features the crucial yet little known role that Barbados played in winning the American Revolutionary War and causing the US Civil War. West Indians founded US cities; sparked witch hysteria created movie magic and an NFL star.

  1. Peter Stuyvesant: The Dutch West India Company's Disappearing Act
  2. Tituba: A West Indian Stirs the Cauldron in Salem
  3. Jean Baptiste Point du Sable: The Haitian in the Onion Field
  4. John Paul Jones: The Secret in Tobago
  5. John Hancock: Fame, Fortune and the West Indies Connection
  6. St Eustatius: A Thorn in the Side of a Colonial Giant
  7. George Washington: How Barbados Saved the General
  8. Alexander Hamilton: The West Indian Who Defined the US
  9. South Carolina: Nothing Sweet from Barbados Comes
  10. Toussaint L'Ouverture: From Slave to Iconoclast
  11. Saint-Domingue Changes America's Landscape
  12. Denmark Vesey: The Man Who Bet on Freedom
  13. Jean Laffite: The Legend of a Pirate
  14. Oliver Perry: "We have met the enemy..."
  15. William Alexander Leidesdorff: All That Glitters is Not Gold
  16. The Invisible West Indians of the Panama Canal
  17. Hazel Scott: A Class Act
  18. Marcus Garvey: The Black Star Line
  19. Fidel Castro: An American Obsession
  20. Stokely Carmichael: Stoking the Fires of the Civil Rights Movement
  21. Sidney Poitier: The Big Picture
  22. Shirley Chisholm: A Barbadian in the House
  23. Roberto Clemente: Faith, Hope and Charity
  24. Euzhan Palcy: Making Waves in Hollywood
  25. Bob Marley: "Rastaman Vibration"
  26. Kool Herc: Trenchtown Rocks Hip Hop
  27. Janelle Commissiong: Stealing the Show
  28. Oscar de la Renta: The Man Who Dressed First Ladies
  29. Geoffrey Holder: The Toast of the Town
  30. Patrick Chung: The Wave of the Future

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