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Introduction

Introduction

The Newest African Americans?

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
African & American
Author(s):
Marilyn HalterViolet Showers Johnson
Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814760581.003.0001

This book chronicles the experiences of first and second generation West African immigrants and refugees in the United States during the last four decades. Drawing on field work and oral histories of West African immigrants aggregated in various locations from West Africa to the West Indies to destinations like metropolitan Atlanta, the book examines how significant segments of black America are forging new meanings and interpretive frameworks for understanding the paradigm of the Atlantic World. More specifically, it explores the transfiguration in the diversity and complexity of the role of the new West African diaspora in the recent history of the black Atlantic. It considers the intricate patterns of adaptation and incorporation among the immigrants and their children, along with the impact of the recent postcolonial and voluntary immigration of West Africans on the changing meanings of “African Americanness.” It also tackles issues of cultural identity formation and socioeconomic incorporation among immigrants and refugees from West Africa, and whether these migrants will become the newest African Americans.

Keywords:   refugees, West African immigrants, West Africa, West Indies, black America, West African diaspora, immigration, West Africans, African Americanness, cultural identity

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