Contents Preface: Griots from Different Shores ix Introduction: The Newest African Americans? 1 1. West Africa and West Africans: Imagined Communities in Africa and the Diaspora 35 2. Occupational Detour: New Paths to Making a Living 75 3. Capturing a Niche: The West African Enclave Economy 115 4. Transnational Ties/Translocal Connections: Traversing Nations, Cities, and Cultures 141 5. More Than Black: Resistance and Rapprochement 179 6. Young, Gifted, and West African: Transnational Migrants Growing Up in America 211 Conclusion: Further into the Twenty-First Century 255 Notes 259 Bibliography 295 Index 323 About the Authors 335
Marilyn Halter is Professor of History and American Studies at Boston University and Research Associate at the Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs. She is the author of Between Race and Ethnicity: Cape Verdean American Immigrants, 1860-1965 and Shopping for Identity: The Marketing of Ethnicity. Violet Showers Johnson is Professor of History and Director of Africana Studies at Texas A&M University. She is the author of The Other Black Bostonians: West Indians in Boston, 1900-1950.
"Halter and Johnson build complex imagery of the transnational immigrant experience of West Africans since the 1960s."-Choice "African & American gives a valuable and much-needed voice to the African immigrant experience in America. Focusing on the divide between what it means to be an African and an American, Halter and Johnson reveal the historical complexity around these terms and how newcomers grapple with this reality in the contemporary world."-Zain Abdullah,author of Black Mecca: The African Muslims of Harlem "Africans are among both the first Americans, brought here in slavery long before the nation was created, and the most recent Americans, arriving in appreciable numbers in the last few decades. Halter and Johnson bring together these threads of history, offering a rich and unique contribution to the literature on immigration and race relations. A terrific book."-Mary C. Waters,author of Black Identities: West Indian Immigrant Dreams and American Realities "This book contributes to a growing field of books on African immigrants to the United States... This book is relevant for study and courses in diaspora, Africana, and African American history and studies."-Journal of American History