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Following the massive arrival of Afro-Caribbean immigrants in New York city, a few researchers have pondered on the relationships between these newcomers and the African American population, as well as on the experiences of both groups with regard to socio-economic mobility. This article aims at exploring the evolution and the impact of the research work on English-speaking Afro-Caribbean immigrants in New York City. It highlights the preferred methodological approaches, the representations that were generated and the debates that were stirred. The article is not intended as a comprehensive historiographical study, but rather offers a critical synthesis of landmark works dealing with the issues of « race » and ethnicity in the United States through the analysis of Afro-Caribbeans’ economic success and degree of identification with the African-American population.