More Africans Enter U.S. Than in Days of Slavery

More Africans Enter U.S. Than in Days of Slavery
New York Times

Immigration may also shift some of the nation’s focus from racial distinctions to ethnic ones. “Certainly, South Africa showed us that minority status does not necessarily correlate to one’s position in society, but rather that power and its uses are the issues,” said Samuel K. Roberts of Columbia, a history professor who is also on the faculty of the university’s Institute for Research in African-American Studies. “That being said, increasingly distinguishing between black Americans and black Africans may produce conditions in which we will be less prone to think of a fictional construct of ‘race’ as the distinguishing factor among all of us in North America.”

How long might those distinctions last? “I guess one of the questions will have to be what happens in the next generation or two,” said Professor Foner of Columbia. “In America, marriage is the great solvent. Are they going to melt into the African-American population? Most likely yes.”

Look at the last sentence of the article; the writer assumes that intermarriage will be with African Americans. I would bet Africans are more likely to marry white Americans. Education and aspirations are important factors — in my experience, African immigrants have more in common with majority Americans than with African Americans. Perhaps slavery was an experience that really changed some social groups profoundly. Perhaps it’s sort of a class or self-concept difference. But while African immigrants may be drawn to other immigrants because of the similarity of the immigrant experience, I think that when they marry non-immigrants they will tend to marry whites or others that share their views on family and society. Africans families tend to be very stable and their values are usually quite conservative.


  1. re: More Africans Enter U.S.
    Written by Christine, on 01-10-2005 00:22

    Who wrote this? He’s delusional. He’s trying to say white people, who make up most of welfare, pedophiles, and have a history and present of violently oppressing other groups share common values with Africans? Please. I understand your stance on promoting interracial dating. I am totally for it and have dated several non-black men, including Korean, European, Moroccan, Pakistani, Hispanic, etc. However, don’t use your eagerness to support that to make ignorant and offensive statements against AFRICAN Americans. You sit from your picket fence and point fingers and African Americans without knowing some really good ones. If you did, you’d know we have some values that are actually more moral and conservative than many white Americans, such as our stance on homosexuality and abortion. I personally don’t have an issue with either, but I do know that some African Americans, based upon their religious beliefs, have an issue with them.

    I hope Africans don’t buy into that “special Negro” mumbo jumbo you are dishing out, because they’ll be sadly delusioned. I dated a white conservative guy from Montana, and it amazes me, as much as he loved black women, how ignorant he was about the historical and present-day struggles with racism. You don’t have to deal with it unless you happen to date a black woman, so you can’t speak to it, not even to discount it. There is a very strong divide between white and black Americans. Unfortunately, other cultures and ethnic groups are being dragged into it to “choose” black or white. It’s been done with Asians and Hispanics, even those darker than black people and it seems your audacity knows no boundaries in having Africans and Caribbeans choose also. It’s like White Americans want everyone to select them overall. It’s not a competition. Africans can marry both white Americans and African Americans. However, I assure you, most will marry black Americans. Oh, unless the conscious tearing down of African Americans’ image continues. Did you see the two separate photos taken during the first few days after the destruction of Hurricane Katrina? One picture showed white Americans with goods wading through water and said, “Survivors find food.” The other photo was of black people with food wading through water and said, “Looters.” Until white Americans begin to actually see racism as an institutional problem, rather than isolated, individual incidents, how can we truly come to gather as races?

    As for Africans, you need to learn some things. Many of the immigrants who make it to the UIS are the cream of the crop, the ones with money and even some education. The ones who get left behind in Africa, India, Asia, etc., are the poor. Don’t be absurd in stereotyping all Africans, Asians, and Indians as honest, educated, and hard-working. If you go ABROAD, you’d see fellow countrymen prostituting 3 and 4 year olds to white American and European pedophiles, trafficking women, and engaging in corrupt activities. Nigeria, for example, has been cited as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. So, do you think some of those individuals who are corrupt never make it to the US? Watch the wars in Africa and across the world. The good and bad characteristics, values, stereotypes you try to ascribe to certain groups are BS, because it all comes down to human nature. We are all humans and therefore susceptible to good and bad qualities.

  2. re: More Africans Enter U.S.
    Written by Christine, on 01-10-2005 00:40

    By the way, you must obviously be for intermarriage between every other group except African Americans and non-African American people, because, I can’t believe you’d make such demeaning, judgmental, ignorant, harmful statements about Black Americans and be pro any other group marrying us. You’d LOVE for everyone, even other people of AFRICAN descent, to scorn us, wouldn’t you? Guess, what? It’s not happening. Oh, you have a few Africans who are ignorant with their head buried in the sand about the history and present prevalence of racism and discrimination in this country. Or you may have a few that bought in to the “Special Negro” myth. But, you have some Africans who see more in common than different with African Americans. Was your statement meant to “flatter Africans” so they’d feel “kinship” to you? I don’t care how long our ancestors have been apart, many African Americans have still retained some values, such as respecting elders and a sense of community. It’s been dwindling over time, thanks to the division implemented during slavery, but it’s still there. There are many things my African friends and I laugh about that we share in common. All it takes is a conversation for us to sit down and find those things out. Unfortunately, some Africans and African Americans never make it to the table, because they believe the constant barrage of negative stereotypes about each other. Historically, white Americans portrayed Africans as savages, animals, and primitive. Considering the recent end of apartheid and the racism Africans are experiencing throughout African, I’m sure some whites still hold that belief.

    It’s so absurd that you’d even go as far as to try to say other BLACK people wouldn’t marry us. I am a tall, attractive, intelligent, educated African American woman who dated a very handsome Hispanic guy I used to work with. This very tacky white woman at the time was interested in him and asked him, “What’s wrong with the White women?” What BS!!!!!! I’d understand if he was White, but he was Hispanic and it’s NOT the same thing despite recent efforts to make them the “new” white Americans. This woman felt that because she was White, the man should have wanted her over me, even if she was tacky and I wasn’t and he wasn’t a White man. He and I were both baffled about her way of thinking. Sadly, I’m sure she’s not the only White person to hold this sense of entitlement…that everyone should naturally want “them” first, especially over an African American. Get a grip!!! Did it occur to you that not everyone is attracted to White people? It’s nothing personal, but a reality. I have several Hispanic, Asian, and Black friends who are only interested in Black men. I know several Africans and Caribbeans who specifically prefer Black people. Even if they don’t date African Americans, which they DO (me and at least 30 other African American friends are dating/married to Africans), they’d date a Caribbean, Black Latina, etc. Get a grip!!! The world DOES NOT revolve around you!!

  3. re: More Africans Enter U.S.
    Written by Biyi, on 25-04-2006 23:22

    Christine could not have put my argument more eloquently. Your statement belies your views of African-Americans they lack the stability and conservatism of whites and other groups??? Unfortunately, there are Africans who subscribe to this view and think they are different because they are educated and should be treated as equals (I grew up in Nigeria and worked in Kenya and can attest to the pervasiveness of this view). These same misguided fools forget that slavery and racism has to do with the color of skin and racist perspectives don’t wait for you to open your mouth to say where you come from before making assumptions of your capacity.

    Furthermore, your call to eradicate racial categories is indicative of the naiveté of those folks who think because they are in/a product of inter/multi-racial marriage in love with a society that is blind to color but even more so to inherent racism… including yours.

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