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Transnational Ties/Translocal Connections

Transnational Ties/Translocal Connections

Traversing Nations, Cities, and Cultures

(p.141) 4 Transnational Ties/Translocal Connections
African & American
Marilyn HalterViolet Showers Johnson
NYU Press

This chapter examines how transnationalism emerged as a vital component of West African immigrants' everyday life in the United States. More specifically, it considers how West Africans systematically maintained homeland ties and transoceanic connections. It first discusses the different patterns of West African transnationalism, such as sustaining solid bonds between America and their African homelands through visits for vacations, weddings, burials, and the temporary relocation of American-born children. It then explores how the immigrants strive for “comfortable homes” in the United States while sustaining and enhancing ties across nationalities, ethnicities, continents, and American states and cities. It also describes the virtual and actual boundary crossings that reflect connections beyond a singular link between homeland and host societies. Finally, it explains how transnational networks enabled the newcomers, through their homes of origin and other locations of the West African diaspora, to shape their American experiences.

Keywords:   transnationalism, West African immigrants, West Africans, boundary crossings, transnational networks, West African diaspora, United States, West Africa, homeland, transoceanic connections

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