"Boss of Black Brooklyn is a gift from the island of Nevis to Brooklyn and the rest of America. It is the story of the man, Bertram L. Baker, who in 1915 emigrated from Nevis and in 1948 became Brooklyn’s first black elected official. Brooklyn today has scores of black elected officials and it is known as the capital of the Black Diaspora. When Baker was serving in the New York State Assembly, which he did for two decades, he continually paid tribute to another Nevisian who had served in the New York Assembly before him. That was Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America. We learn a lot more about Nevis in this book. We learn about life on Nevis in the late 1800s and early 1900s; we learn about issues of fatherhood and motherhood there and then; and we learn about the sensitive issues of race and color in the old colonial Caribbean. The reason that the author, Ron Howell, knows so much about all of this, is that Bertram Baker was his maternal grandfather. Ron makes Nevis’ old Main Street come alive. In was on Main Street, in the late 1800s and early 1900s, that Bertram Baker’s maternal ancestors, the de Grasse family, owned the Scotch House retail store. The Scotch House was located a literal stone’s throw from the old stone house where Alexander Hamilton was born in 1757. That house still stands and helps make the remarkable history of Charlestown, Nevis’ capital, come alive to a visitor. In walking along Main Street, one can hear voices from the distant past, like the ones who speak in the opening chapters of Boss of Black Brooklyn."
Ambassador Hull of St. Kitts and Nevis Praises the Memory of Bertram L. Baker