New African Immigrants, Caribbean And Africa, Difficulties Of Assimilation

2304 words - 9 pages

African immigration dates back to the 1860s . After the abolition of slave trade the first African immigrants came from Cape Verde off the coast of Senegal and made their way to Massachusetts. Between 1860 and 1940 about 20,000 immigrated to the United States.

According to U.S. Census figures, more Africans have arrived in the Untied States voluntarily than in the times of slave trade. According to Census records, immigration figures show that more than 350,000 Africans legally entered the U. S. in the 1990s. These "new" Black groups of immigrants come mainly from the Caribbean and Africa.

The largest concentrations of Africans are found in New York State. Nevertheless many immigrant groups settled in places such as Washington, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Boston, and Houston. Currently the fastest growing immigrant groups are the Ghanaians and the Nigerians. Furthermore, the latest arrivals of immigrants have outnumbered the former immigrants that were mainly composed of refugees from Somalia or Ethiopia. This paper will discuss the social issues those new immigrants will have to face, and predict the issues immigrants will face in about the next 30 years. There is a great variety of African immigrants. This paper will discuss a Ghanaians and Nigerians, as well as generalize them in other groups.
Mary C. Waters, describes in her book Black Identities: West Indian Immigrant Dreams and American Realities , the difficulties Caribbean Immigrants encounter while trying to establish themselves in the United States. These difficulties range from encountering race related problems, self identification, and the struggle of parents to maintain their cultural values and pass them on to their children. Furthermore, these immigrants have to adapt to the United States Laws, and therefore have to give up some of their cultural practices.

Waters gives us an example how Caribbean immigrants having difficulties understanding that their way of disciplining children such as beatings is forbidden by the Law and considered child abuse. Taking the findings of Waters, and examine the culture and social structure of the new African immigrants we can somewhat predict the challenges they will encounter and how this will effect immigration in the next 30 years. Since the Ghanaians and Nigerians are the fastest growing group of immigrants I will use these group as a sample.
Just like the Caribbean's the Ghanaians and Nigerians are visible identifiable.
They are black, and immigrate to a country where the image of African American blacks is stereotyped by most whites as urban underclass or ghetto blacks (Waters 343). A distinct difference is found in the location these immigrants settle. Whereas the Caribbean's settle mostly along the east coast, the Africans go everywhere in the U.S. and they too are highly segregated from white neighborhoods to establish themselves as an ethnic group to avoid that negative image that American society attaches to African...

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